On Those Horrible Magic Players With Their Big Ol' Ass Cracks

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I’d like to repost a comment here from one Andrew Wright:

I’m a 6’4″ 300 lb Magic player and I don’t wear tailored clothes to a tournament. I like clever t-shirts and get them in the largest possible sizes when I can (always paying extra when I do) but clever t-shirts do not come in “Long” sizes.
When you see a 2x or 3x t-shirt, they are designed and built for people with large guts and/or barrel chests, not for people with a long torso.
After a bare minimum number of washes, even the long t-shirts start to shrink vertically (and the short/wide shirts become unwearable). Bowling shirts and other top shirts can hide this fact for only so long. T-Shirts I loved supporting webcomics, local stores, and other favorite artists are stacked up in my closet waiting until that day in the vague and distant future I ask for someone with a sewing machine to make them into a quilt.
This makes me massively sad.
I am a married man, a volunteer, a recognized leader in my community, and an announcer for a Roller Derby league for going on 6 years now, where I’ve won Volunteer of the Year in 3 of the seasons I’ve served. One does not earn these accolades by being a “cat-piss” person around women. And shaming men who look like me doesn’t make it easier to find clever t-shirts.
How well my t-shirt fits me does not tell you the story of who I am any more than what a woman is wearing tells me what kind of person she is.
So jerks like this guy who take photos making fun of people that face the same problem that I do without their knowledge or consent and post them to on the net for a comedy bit that uses these images as a take down of innocent bystanders, they need to know that’s not ok.
I don’t care what the “other people” think of my Magic habit, but I do care if people like me are going to be made fun of by their peers in public due to the oversight of t-shirt design companies.
Basically, if it’s not okay to shame someone or degrade someone for what they wear, does it matter whether that shamed or degraded person is male or female?

Mur Lafferty asked the very good question, “Do people view the Magic buttcrack incident any different from People of Walmart?” And the answer is that I personally do not. I’m pretty much not cool on people taking secret photos of ordinary citizens and then making fun of them.  That feels an awful lot like what bullies did in high school when I didn’t dress well.
And you know what?  All that bully-shaming didn’t actually make me dress better, as some people suppose it would.  What it did was make me ashamed of any clothes I had on, and eventually decide to wear a unitard-like outfit of “black pants, black shirt, sneakers” to everywhere I went because I didn’t even want to think about clothing, and felt uncomfortable any time I had to wear so much as a button-down shirt.  And I was so disinterested in clothing for years afterwards that I wore stained T-shirts and pants because clothing had become this null-zone for me.  My not caring had become, in a way, a rebellion against the assholes who hurt me.
Mockery is a remarkably shitty way of changing people’s minds.
Now, if someone had taken me aside and complimented me on the rare occasion I wore a shirt that looked good, and quietly pulled me aside to tell me that my hair was really wild that day and could maybe use some combing, and made me feel like they were on my side and happy to be with me no matter what, then I probably would have been a much better dresser.  I know, because this is what happened when Gini quietly started heaping praise on me for wearing more color, and when I finally found something that expressed myself without being too crazy, then I flourished into Hawaaian shirts and shiny boots and fingernails.  I shave now.  I pay a lot of attention to those details.
And that helps.  People look at me better in my stylish hat.  They treat me differently.  It’s actually somewhat of a revelation how clothes can make people treat you better.
Because when a bunch of kids are pointing and making fun of your pants, you don’t think, “Gee, if only I wore something snappier, I’d win their love!”
You think what you wear has the possibility of shaming you, and wear the least offensive thing you can – and don’t bother to learn the rest of the rules that go with it.
So yeah, I’m not down with the whole thing.  Some fat people have problems getting clothing they like, and have this awkward positioning between finding clothes they like and ass-exposure, and don’t always find that balance.  Or maybe they don’t even know.  And while yeah, I can see the argument that ass alley is unpleasant to some – it’s not to me, because my attitude is that as long as someone’s hygenic and isn’t stinking up the place, who cares what skin they’re showing? – I think if it’s an issue then that’s best done by quietly taking someone aside and telling them quietly that their ass is showing, as it should be in most places.
Because, as I’ve noted here before, shaming fat people actually makes them gain weight.  If you’re really concerned about these fat people cleaning up their act to make Magic tournaments more “welcoming” in some obscure way, then you’ll talk to them as human beings and try to resolve the issue quietly. Maybe suggest some T-shirt manufacturers who have better fits for the large gentlemen.  Discuss some practical approaches to reduce the sagging pants.
Otherwise: you’re there to mock and shame people, wrapped in a thin veneer of so-called humor.  That’s fine.  Be honest about what a callous jerk you are, and stop pretending this is somehow about “helping” them.

7 Comments

  1. Mishell Baker
    Mar 17, 2014

    The whole problem might have been averted if they’d used those molded plastic chairs that have actual backs in them. I’ve always found butt-exposing chairs to be profoundly irritating in general.

    • TheFerrett
      Mar 17, 2014

      I agree that’d fix it, but that’s seriously out of their control. This was at Grand Prix Richmond, a record-breaking tournament where 4,300 people showed up – so big they had to spread it over two separate halls. They were at the mercy of whatever the venue had to provide, or else pay for (and deliver) 4,500 chairs to a place and back.
      I’d like it if the backed chairs were a standards, though, definitely.

  2. Jennifer
    Mar 17, 2014

    I’ll admit, I clicked through to the link. Then I got disgusted with myself and left. Thank you for putting out this counter-message. You should not have to apologize for or explain the fit of your tee shirt. What anyone wears is their own business alone, and mocking people for their appearance is more debasing to the mocker than the mockee. You are a classy guy.

  3. Jim Crocker
    Mar 18, 2014

    Folding chairs are the only kind strong enough to withstand the punishment they get at a venue like that. The alternative are either too flimsy to stand up to repeat use or fantastically expensive. So that’s the tools we have to work with.
    What’s your take on how long the DCI should have shit-canned that asshole? Even 18 months seems like a relative wrist-slap if you want to send the message that this kind of crap WILL NOT be tolerated in what’s supposed to be a safe space.

    • TheFerrett
      Mar 19, 2014

      Actually, 18 months is pretty huge. Common DCI banning for flat-out cheating is 6-12 months, depending on the nature of the infraction. That sent the very clear message that the DCI views this as worse than cheating by a large extent, which I’m not sure I agree with… but I’m not going to get too upset about it anyway.

  4. M. Minion
    Mar 18, 2014

    This takes me all the way back to Jr high… when my dad gave me diet pills because my body filled out… I didn’t get cloths that fit me for years.

  5. Lisa Michelle
    Mar 18, 2014

    I totally get it about the t-shirts. My babydaddy is 6’5″ and 285, but I’ve also never seen him with asscrack going on, because he hikes his jeans up enough when he sits down that even if the t-shirt rides up, the waist of his pants is not halfway down his ass.
    I agree about fat shaming and that it’s not helpful; I’m not a skinny girl myself and have issues with how clothes fit. But I also don’t know how people don’t know that their jeans are riding so low that they are about to fall off. Not just at gaming, but anywhere.

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