Macy's pulls fat-shaming dinner plates after complaints

I agree smaller plates are better, but in lieu of that, guidelines on what is a “full” plate helps as well. Consumers are silly, fickle, and irrational. When presented with two sizes of plates, they want the bigger one - bigger is better; it looks better in their mind. Then, naturally, one fills it up. It’s unconscious sabotage.

Restaurants are even worse. Their plates are HUGE with portions to match.


You’re right that given a regular plate, most people will usually fill it so that it looks like a plate of food. These are regular size plates.

The “guidelines” don’t create a Delbeouf illusion; they ensure one can’t happen. The plate will look half-filled and people will most likely stress about that, instead of just eating their meal. Or if they fill it “outside the line”, they feel guilty in a way that also has been shown to not help with long-term portion control.

You’re right about smaller plates, but these plates are just screaming at people that they’re regular size.


Do most people even eat from plates anymore? A huge portion of calories in most people’s diets these days are from drinks of one variety or another and I honestly know a frightening amount of people who have never used their stove let alone regularly dish out food on a plate to eat. They might eat a plate of food a day, often in a restaurant… but just as often in a fast food establishment where plates are usually not needed. I think the problems with eating habits in America are a lot deeper than plates and trite jokes about how motivating it should be to shape your body based on other people’s expectations rather than your own health. The fracture is waaay deeper than plates and way bigger than an individuals actual feelings about their place in society based on their ass size.

And like everything these days, it seems like we just insist on talking about the problems that exist today with the iconography of a reality that might not even meaningfully exist anymore in our culture or be relevant to the population or problem in question.


These dishes are ill-concieved consumer garbage. They won’t be any more effective in promoting portion control or healthy habits than a decorative plaque instructing readers to “be happy” would be in treating depression.


Very true. The source of most people’s food has changed for the worse (produce, meats, and groceries in general). Changes in education and increasing emphasis on convenience in marketing mean less people cook for themselves. The nature of advertising and “reality-based” entertainment have undermined perception of realistic body types and basic boundaries of common decency (MYOB has become a thing of the past).


I think that fat-shaming men could be dangerous in real life more than women. Two sysadmin where I work are amateur heavyweight (in boxing sense) fat shamin then means you’ll get an uppercut and yout hard disc wiped.

Outside the jokes I think that a boy could have a violent reaction more easily than a girl and it’s normally stronger.

1 Like

I dunno. I recently came to know a family where one parent of two sons has clear OCD type issues around eating that are pretty wildly ambivalent and toxic. No one has ever addressed these issues for what they are. One child struggles with occasional binging but works out like a beast to offset it and is physically healthy as a result but still struggles with emotional issues around body size. The other son is currently overweight, collapses in and withdraws, is moody and depressive with bursts of anger and clearly carries a lot of shame for currently being the “fat” one. In one dinner setting I witnessed one son being told he is too thin and not big enough AND the other son being told he is too fat." This is apparently a daily conversation at meal times. I also found out that these guys
‘sneaking out’ in the middle of the night to go on burger/waffle runs has become their way of bonding and rebelling against their parents. So, the problem is going to continue…

Fat shaming men isn’t doing anything for either of these guys TBH. I think a lot more of the toxicity we see in young men is coming from places like this really. So I’d say fat shaming men is dangerous, but actually very common. And it fills an ostensibly patriarchal society with angry shame filled young men who might lash out when that’s triggered.


Cosa cavolo c’è scritto? Come italiano mi sento confuso.
Manicotti means muffs or sleeves, and al dente meash how pasta and spaghetti has to be cooked.

1 Like

And calzoni means underpants, saltimbocca means jump in the mouth, and puttanesca means whore style. Don’t think about it too much, Italian food names don’t make any sense, especially to Americans.


I hate to break it to everybody, but almost everything you know about weight and weight loss is wrong.

It is not a simple case of calories in versus calories out. People can literally be starving and not lose a single pound. They can work out until they pass out, and not budge their fat/muscle ratio.

Most of the correlations between various diseases and weight have been found by looking at all the people with the disease and finding the correlation, not by looking at all the people who are overweight (or underweight, depending on the issue – it can make you just as sick, but we don’t blame it) and seeing if there really is a correlation. Even when there is, correlation is not causation: “fixing” one’s weight is not a cure-all.

People die from fat-phobia. Between eating disorders and diets that literally cause heart-attacks (that’s what killed Mama Cass, not the fat-phobic and anti-semitic meme of a Jewish woman choking on a ham sandwich), and doctors blaming all of a patient’s issues on their weight and missing serious diseases that had nothing to do with it, fat-phobia kills people.

Don’t kid yourself. Weight-loss is an industry. It’s a very successful one, having gaslit and misinformed even those who should know better. There are billions of dollars tied up in it, and they work hard to hide evidence that anything other than “perfect” can be healthy, just like (and more successfully) the tobacco industry hid the cancer evidence in smoking.

These plates aren’t just fat-shaming. They’re bloody dangerous to someone with an eating disorder.

I have known fat people who can run up the side of a mountain in full fire-fighting gear, and “ideal weight” people who can’t make it a block at a slow jog in t-shirt and shorts. One of the former is a vegetarian – you know, that super-healthy lifestyle of the skinny people?

That people find these plates amusing is proof that the industry has succeeded in brainwashing enough of the population to ignore any other possibility other than fat=bad.

P.S. Pregnancy wreaks massive changes on the human body. But let’s go on laughing at those who – not always by choice – go through that.


Researchers don’t know what has caused the increase in obesity and diabetes, but we can very safely say it wasn’t a lack of making fun of fat people. We’ve been doing plenty of that.

And violence. I know someone who was beaten up by a twosome that hated fat people.

Yeah that angle kills me. People who try to “lose their pregnancy weight” make me really sad. We’ve got cross-cultural data on post-pregnancy permanent weight gain. It is a normal part of being someone who delivered a baby, not unhealthy. Your hips getting wider because they changed shape to let a baby out does not make you ugly.

As for my own commentary about the obesity epidemic:

It used to be that the rich could be fat because they got to eat and poor people were thin because they didn’t have enough food. And guess what, poor people died of being thin! Now rich people are thin and poor people are fat and poor people die of being fat.


There’s probably a less embarassing way to phrase that…


“If you smiled more you would be happy and not need to eat, fatty!”

On a t-shirt, I bet.



That’s what this is about, not “portion control” or offensiveness. A business as large as Macy’s will certainly have customers who suffer or suffered from eating disorders, and who have family and friends who have. It is not politic for them to basically say “we laugh at your serious life-threatening illness”. Selling these plates would be like selling a mirror that says “You don’t have to go to work today! Just tie that tie tighter and you can strangle yourself!” If that’s your type of humor, I’m sorry, I can’t help ya, enjoy the rest of sixth grade. I get it, you like offensive humor, just don’t come crying to me when you see my White Male Tears coffee mug.


Absolutely. I find that I have to take the portions, cut them in half, and take the unused half home. Taquerías are an exception, since two typical tacos (or one taco and a side) is the right size for me.


These plates claim to be humorous in tone, but they still emphasize the idea that a person has less worth if they don’t fit society’s physical ideal. “Oh, you look like a mom?!? How horrible!” As if the physical changes that bringing a life into the world can create are somehow something to be ashamed of? As if a few visible extra pounds makes you an appropriate target of derision?


Losing weight is a complex issue, and is rarely a simple matter of “eating less.” Metabolism can make things far more complex than calorie limitations. Plus, health issues can make exercise difficult or even impossible-- I have two relatives who would love to be able to work out more, but injury and illnesses compromise their ability to do so. (In one case, it’s heart issues and joint injury; in the other, it’s aneurisms and blood pressure.) But beyond that, these plates convey an unspoken yet very real pressure that if you don’t fit the artificial and sometimes impossible-to-attain standard of “perfection,” you have less inherent worth as a human being.

This is wrong.

And the argument that “it’s not just about women, there are plates for men too, so it’s not that bad” doesn’t hold water. More disdain, more insults, aren’t the answer to anything.

What’s the big deal, people say. It’s just a joke, lighten up.

Well, for people who are already struggling with weight issues, self-esteem issues, body dysphoria issues like anorexia or bulimia, these plates are an unnecessary reminder and reinforcement of their pain.

The plate makers should be ashamed. Macy’s should be ashamed.


That makes me think of myself - I’m about 40 (ETA: oops, not 50, brain fart) pounds over my “ideal” weight (way better than 125 pounds over!), but I can and do ride metric centuries on a fairly regular basis, at least after I got down to where I am now. My diet is rather varied, always features vegetables, and usually but not always features meat. When I was climbing down from Fat Mountain, my own strategy was to cut portion size and avoid grazing. Scarfing down snacks is a surefire way for me to gain weight. If I want some chips with my lunchtime sandwich, I find it best to get one of those “bags of bags” that has sensibly-sized portions. If you walk into a convenience store and buy one of the usual “small” bags, you’ll see that it has two or three servings in the nutrition info. :open_mouth:


I think this depend son the restaurant type. The chain places (like UNo’s, Chili’s etc) I agree…they give way too much (what I would call bad) food. I also find kitschy places like Japanese Hibachi also give way too much from a portion stand point, generally of the cheapest parts of the meal (like the rice).

But i also find my local “higher” end places that every calls the fancy/foodie places generally give normal portions, and folks generally complain like “Oh, they are so fancy…they give tiny portions. they are overpriced and underserve”.

I generally don’t mind getting either a small or large portion. If it’s small, I eat it all in one sitting, if it’s larger I have lunch for the next day. I’d argue our obesity issues are partially due to lack of self control.


Call a man a fat bastard and he’ll just chuckle at you and eat the rest of his donut. Because he knows society doesn’t really judge him on his appearance, but assumes he’s a valid human being no matter what he looks like.


Aww, I was hoping the men’s version would say “Dad Bod / Invisible Man / Fuckable”