Monday, August 17, 2009

If anime fanboys are stereotyped as fat then why are 3X shirts so hard to come by?

I'm sitting here and listening to the Womanst Musings weekly podcast, this week is on fat acceptance, and working on my weekly menu post and something came back to me.

Over the last few months I've lost a little bit of weight (yeah me!) and have been able to wear shirts that I could not wear years ago. Well I've been a huge fan of Japanese anime for about the last 15 years. Well if you know anything about anime then you know that the stereotypical anime fan is a fat overweight guy who is shy around women, doesn't go out that much because of hunting the net for the latest releases, and is a smelly slob. I'll get to the other items another day but for now I want to talk about the fat part.

I have to say that for the stereotype of a anime fan to be a fat guy it is sure really fucking hard to find anime t-shirts. As of right now I own exactly two anime shirts, one from Yu Yu Hakkusho and the other is a Crying Freeman shirt that I finally found after about a year of searching. The reason for this is that I've never seen a 3X anime t-shirt.

Maybe there aren't that many 3X anime t-shirts because merchandisers realize they can bank on us fat anime fans to buy other shirts. Usually these will be about advertising that one is an otaku, have remarks about wanting a Japanese girlfriend, or just have some generic word/phrase in Japanese that does not have a translation (because you know that us fat anime fans have all learned the language right?). I'm a fan but not enough of a fan to call myself an otaku, I don't care what ethnicity my girlfriend would be, and I don't care too much about bragging about my knowledge of the Japanese language with a tshirt.

Take a look at Spencer Gifts and Hot Topic (who carries anime t-shirts) if you will. I know that know that most people that embrace the cultures that they cater to wouldn't bother shopping in those stores (unless you're a teenager) but if you are a fat person that is into those cultures then you really have no business there looking for tshirts. I can't count how many times I've been into one of those stores looking for something in a 3X just to be told, "Sorry the largest we have is 2X. Yeah we don't keep those very long. As soon as they get in they go right out." Okay if you have a product that is going out the door that quickly and still have people coming in looking for it while at the same time you have 50 of those shirts in Large on the shelf that will be on the clearance rack in 4 months maybe you might want to think about stocking those larger sizes.

Oh and don't bother with the whole "it costs more to make shirts in larger sizes" garbage. Exactly how much more material does it take to make a shirt in 3X versus Large? I'm sure there is a good amount but is there enough to account for the extra up to $5 a 3X shirt will cost? And besides if your 3X shirts are flying off the shelf at lightning speed while your Large shirts sit there long enough to actually go on clearance (meaning that you have significantly marked the price down and you are not making as much of a profit on it) which ones make more sense to stock up on?

I mean fanboys are stereotyped as being male (hence the -boy part) and merchandise makers have no problem making items and apparel geared to us (even to the point where fangirls are left in the cold sometimes) so why is it that when weight comes into the equation all of a sudden no one can supply us with the gear we want?