National Bullying Prevention Month - Challenge Wrong

Dear ________ (a store in my mall, that will remain nameless, for now)

I'm writing to you today to ask that a particular product you are displaying in your window at your Temecula Promenade Mall location be removed from view and hopefully not stocked again. The following sign greeted me this morning as I walked into the mall.

Bias stigmatization obesity weightbias

Obesity is no laughing matter. Obesity is a chronic disease that affects the health of more than 67% of adults in the United States, nearly 32% of American children are affected by overweight or obesity. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. People are dying.

Below the sign in your store window making fun of "fat people" was a poignant piece of art about cancer survivors. We wouldn't make art making fun of those battling cancer, diabetes or any other disease. Why is it that society seems to think that obesity is fair game? It's not OK.

I, myself was once diagnosed with obesity and just a few short years ago couldn't have walked the length of our mall without a struggle. Today, I celebrate the fact that I walked the entire mall and then some. Sadly, I was greeted by that sign.

Please help recognize and support National Bullying Prevention Month by removing that hideous sign.

Thank you,
Michelle Vicari

cc: Temecula Promenade Mall

I love my mall. When I first had surgery I took it as a personal accomplishment when I was finally able to walk the length of it without stopping to take a breather on a bench. It hurt me to pass this sign this morning. All we can do is chip away at this stuff when we see it. Hopefully, they will remove it and maybe gain a little understanding into our plight.

*UPDATE: Good news I received a reply from the store: "Michelle, The signs have been removed from the store. Thanks for calling it to our attention."  I'm heading to the mall later today so I'll be able to see for myself :) as of  10/8/12: It's gone :) Thank you.


Mindy said...

I would like to second the above email. Signs like this are NOT funny. I agree wholeheartedly with you Michelle. Go get 'em girl!!!
Mindy :)

Katt said...

Wow! How terribly rude and cruel. I hope the mall takes your letter to heart and removes that. It's sooo not funny. Thanks for all you do, Michelle. xxx

Michelle Collins said...

Thank you for writing this. It's so wrong. We shouldn't be making fun of anyone. It's just plain wrong and what a waste of resources!!!

SweetVTmom said...

Why don't people get it? Signs like that really hurt me (and others)and only make our self esteem go lower into the ground.
Thank you for stand up for us Shelly!

Anonymous said...

Very well written, Shelly! It's so hard to see people, businesses and society in general feel it's ok to ridicule an entire group of people. Thanks for representing all of us!

Kathy said...

It's incredible that a business would actually think this is okay to display so prominently in their window. Obviously we know making fun of people who are overweight is still widely accepted, and that's so hurtful. I hope they take to heart what a horrible message this was ... "you may have cancer, but at least you're not 'fat' ". Just awful!

Dollygrandma said...

Thank you, Shelly, for writing your letter. I, too, wish I could sign it with you. Comments like the one in the store window about body size are flat-out bullying, plain and simple.

Slim Smitty said...

I'm so glad you wrote this letter.

How offensive!!

Reminds of that hoopla with American Apparel when they ran that ad with the anorexic girl with a shirt that said "Put the fork down" or "stop eating that" or something shitty.


Amy Cardenas said...

OMG! Which store was this in???? Are you in/around the Temecula area? I live in Temecula and go to the mall all the time! I love it.....especially all the new outdoor stores!!!! Glad you contacted the store and they removed that sign!!! NOT a nice sign at all!!!!

Adventures with my Gastric Sleeve said...

Wonderful update!!!! So glad you were an instrument of change!

Tina @ The Bandit Girl said...

You absolutely ROCK!

HOA Mgr Lady said...

Thank you Michelle!

Robin said...

I am glad I read your whole posting as I was shocked to see the picture on your blog! My initial reaction was "does she think that is funny??" I just couldn't believe it. Then I read on and the Eggface I have grown to love shined through again. I continue to grow in your shadow and am thankful for your open candor not only on your blog but with the world in general. Best, Robin

Anonymous said...

Thank you! As a former morbidly obese person and now normal weight WLS victor, I see neither the humor nor the cruel joke in such signs. They were a way to hide the truth that death from weight was shadowing me by making light of the situation. Not funny, and for many, very hurtful. Thanks for standing up!