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Alie Ward, actress, podcaster, writer, and science correspondent on my son’s favourite show Brainchild, is opposed to portion control. What other reason could she have for wanting Macy’s to ban a set of dishes that encourage eaters to not eat a full plate?
The plates in question have three circles emblazoned on them. From outside to in, largest to smallest, they read: “mom jeans, favourite jeans, skinny jeans.”
The idea is that depending on how much food you heap on your plate, you’ll be able to fit into different sized jeans. Or maybe it’s just a joke, I dunno. But for Alie Ward, it was a goddamned travesty, and she made sure Macy’s knew about it.
She was so offended by the portion control plates that she demanded that Macy’s remove them. She didn’t want them simply removed from the store where she was shopping for dinnerware, but from all the Macy’s in the country. Macy’s was so freaked that they complied.
Ward should have been feeling pretty powerful right about now. After all, a single snapshot posted in a single tweet was enough to control the entire corporate dinnerware department at one of the most storied department stores in the world. But that wasn’t enough for Ward, and she threatened them again.
They are cute plates, and while not to my taste, they are definitely something my Aunt Dora would have bought an insisted I eat my diminutive portion of sausage and peppers from while she looked on, sipping a diet Tab, with her arms crossed. My Aunt Dora would have wanted to make sure I could fit into my skinny jeans.
Lots of people who use dinnerware are trying to lose weight, and when doctors are asked the best way to do that, they typically suggest things like exercise… and portion control. Nutritionists suggest that when controlling your portion, you eat your meals off smaller plates. But what if you only have room for one set of plates in the tiny cupboards of your tiny house? These portion control plates would be perfect, and not offensive at all.
Except that Ward found them offensive. She must have felt judged by the plates. We can picture her, aghast in Macy’s feeling like these plates were telling her there was something wrong with her. Maybe she had an Aunt Dora, too, and she felt like these plates were criticizing her in exactly the same way, diet Tab and all.
Her concern was definitely that the plates would make people feel bad, and that because people who don’t have to buy the plates or eat of the plates might feel bad, she doesn’t want anyone to have them. We are so quick to ban things these days, and for the worst reason of all, the protection of others.
Ward wasn’t the only one who found them offensive, although for sure these newly offended didn’t even know about the plates until Ward posted the photo. Probably no one would have ever heard of the Shoebox Greetings style plates if Ward hadn’t shared them with her tens of thousands of followers.
Ward’s followers jumped in with all kinds of reasons why there are problems with these dinner plates. The concern is that portion control plates can be triggering for people who are obsessed with controlling their portions.
But is all that enough to ask a major department store to not sell some plates? Is that a good reason to take down a little company, or whoever made these plates, and refuse to let anyone buy them? Does Ward really think we need to be protected from our plates?
What kind of idiots does she think the public is that we can’t decide for ourselves if we want to buy cute little portion control plates? What if the public all has an Aunt Dora who wants to eat off plates that let us know when we’re expanding our waistbands past “favorite” and right over the line into “mom?”
Bridget Phetasy isn’t having it. She wants the plates. And she wants them now.
Because we don’t want to be protected from our dinnerware, Alie Ward, we just don’t. It’s stupid. If anything, we want a ban on things being banned. The power of consumers lies in their purchasing power, and Ward wielded her power by not buying the plates. Now let Phetasy wield hers, and buy them.