Reader Eric Reeb hips us to the latest attack on the chubs of the U.S.: Oak Park, Illinois, "long celebrated for its diversity," may be trying squeeze plus-size retailer Lane Bryant out of a public-private shopping center. The Chicago Tribune lets it all hang out like Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure:
The developer said it had a signed lease to move retailer Lane Bryant into the building at 1116 Lake St., but Oak Park officials would not allow the retailer to move in, telling [developer] RSC that the store is not of the "kind and quality" the town seeks.
Oak Park officials dispute RSC's version of events, though the town manager calling RSC's spokesman "a fucking fat-ass fuckwad" really bolsters the developer's case, I think. But that's just me.
In any case, it strikes me that this fat suit is in many ways a distraction from the larger, more pernicious issue of public sector development:
Because the village bought and assembled the properties in the development site, the village and the developer signed a redevelopment agreement in March 2004 giving Oak Park final say over tenants in the Lake Street development.
I'm guessing there's a whole lot of eminent domain, favoritism, zoning shenanigans, and much more at work here.
Lane Bryant claims that 62 percent of U.S. women wear a plus size. Trib story here. Chicago Sun-Times' take, including a note that Oak Park was named one of America's "sexiest" suburbs last year, here.
A meditation on American fatness and manifest destiny here.
Is the size of your butt the government's business? Jacob Sullum says no here.
A.S. Hamrah chewed on the semiotics of celebrity fat suits for Reason here.
Reason on eminent domain issues here.