While hunting for a gift for my mother in law, I came across these novelty scales. One substitutes affirmations for numbers, and one does away with numbers altogether — but both come with those little sliding scale markers, so you can see whether you weigh more than you did last week.
I’m a little boggled by these, I must confess. It reminds me a little of the Weight Watchers “diets are mean” campaign — a smirking little head-pat that makes body acceptance out to be “sassy” and “a little wicked.” (Those are both right out of the product description.) I object to these the way I object to Jane magazine, Sex and the City, and Sarah fucking Palin; they present themselves as feminist, or at least empowering, but they’re just patriarchy in a fake mustache. Girl power means you can wear any shade of lipstick that suits your complexion!
But on the other hand, for people trying to wean themselves off the scale, as wink-nudgy as this is I think it’s got some real potential. That’s not who they’re made for, of course — they’re made for the cartoon fat woman in a caftan and turban who eats brownies because “you only live once, darling” but then loudly laments about how she’ll have to get her turban sized up. But we all know people who need the security blanket of the scale, but can’t be trusted with knowing what it says. And then there’s the fact that, while the absolute value of your weight is meaningless to your health, significant loss or gain is the sort of thing you do want to be able to track. As hard as I’m rolling my eyes at the marketing, the scale-that-isn’t is actually not a bad idea.
What do you think? Offensive or intriguing? Is this the kind of thing that Shapelings who are still clinging to the scale should try to replicate at home for less than $95? And what should I get my mother in law for Christmas? (Actually, if you are mobility impaired or have chronic pain and there’s one thing that would make or has made your life easier, please let me know — I could always get her picture frames or whatever but I’d rather get her something that will improve her daily life.)