Times Writer Dumps on Texas' JC Penney, Because We're Just So Damn Fat Here

​JC Penney is the reliable standby of malls across the Midwest and in Texas; for the past 20 years the company's been headquartered in Plano, the mall-infested suburb of Dallas.

They've decided to open a Manhattan branch, and were met with heaps of condescending scorn from The New York Times' "Critical Shopper," played in this instance by Cintra Wilson, a writer who's always been heavy on the snark.

It's difficult to take in just all the sneering aimed at us corpulent, tasteless slobs between the coasts, but we'll try.

1. Goobers Are Fat!!  "It took me a long time to find a size 2 among the racks. There are, however, abundant size 10's, 12's and 16's....I didn't buy either because I can do better for $80, but if I were a size 18, I'd have rejoiced....[Penney] has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It's like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of Roseanne."

2. They're booooring! "Why would this perennially square department store bother to reanimate itself in Manhattan -- in the sleekest, scariest fashion city in America...? Why would this dowdy Middle American entity waddle into Midtown in its big old shorts and flip-flops without even bothering to update its ancient Helvetica Light logo, which for anyone who grew up with the company is encrusted with decades of boring, even traumatically parental, associations?...[One of its fashion lines is a] key provider of looks that say 'I have been in a senior management position at this D.M.V. for 34 years.'"

3. People who work at Penney are adorably so unlike Cintra Wilson. Wilson spoke with a young saleswoman who said she loved working at the store, and loved that it offered advancement opportunities. Wilson's finely tuned nose for BS quickly detected rehearsed soundbites, because obviously JC Penney would be scared shitless of Cintra Wilson and would therefore practice all employee responses. But then there was this exquisite piece of The little people, bless their hearts -- The saleswoman "hopes that working at Penney's will move her closer to her goal of a career in visual merchandising, and her positive upward mobility struck me (and I say this with no sarcasm) as being a good thing on dozens of levels."

Good Lord. Thank you for your open-heartedness. And we would personally like to see a list of the "dozens" of levels on which you deign to think this is a good thing.

4. Unlike Penney's customers, Cintra Wilson and her friends are fashionably thin, and they have oh-so-hip nicknames. "My escort, Dr. Redacto, bought a T-shirt. He ordinarily wears a large. I advised him: 'Get the medium. I guarantee, a large is going to be five times larger than any large you've ever seen.'

"While modeling it for me later, we discovered that even a Penney's medium is five times larger than any large T-shirt either of us had ever seen: The sleeves came down to the elbow, and there was enough room in front for eight months of unborn twins."

Forget it, people: We are simply not worthy. We are the kind of people who shop at (and even headquarter) a foetid cesspool of ickiness like JC Penney.

Let's face it. We will never be cool enough to hang out with Dr. Redacto.

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