LESLEY KEATING: It's not a fat tax, just honest selling

Aren't we easily-offended these days. Fashion retailer New Look has come in for quite a bit of flack after a shopper reported that trousers in its '˜Curves' range '“ aimed at plus-sized women '“ cost 15 per cent more than the same ones in its standard range.

Sunday, 20th May 2018, 9:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:33 am
Do you prefer the honesty of New Look's pricing policy?

‘It’s a fat tax!’ came the outraged cry, ‘A fat-phobic, shaming tactic!’

Well, excuse the pun, but I think they’re making a big, fat fuss about nothing.

I’m pretty sure New Look was a profit-making organisation, not a registered charity, last time I looked.

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Clothing, like any other manufactured item, is priced after taking into account the cost of material. Larger clothing takes more. It’s a simple fact, so why should the retailer absorb the cost?

Now, the issue here is the fact that New Look had the balls (or, some may say, stupidity) to actually raise its head above the parapet and slap on a surcharge for larger items.

But, let’s not kid ourselves. Do we really think New Look is the first retailer to do this?

It may be the most blatant so far, but you can be sure others do exactly the same but neatly hide it right across their range, levelling out the prices, so a size eight costs the same as a size 20.

So, would you say the smaller sizes were being discriminated against?

Or would you prefer the honesty of New Look?

If you walk into a fast food eatery and fancy upscaling your burger and chips for the 15 per cent larger version, you are going to pay more. But it’s still a burger and chips.

If you go to B&Q for a garden shed and choose the 8ft x 10ft version instead of the 6ft x 4ft one, you won’t complain that it costs more... although it will look exactly the same (a bit like those trousers did).

Isn’t it time we stopped bleating about how unfair everything is and start supporting retailers instead?

If not, there’ll be no competitively-priced fashion chains like New Look left and we’ll all have to start learning to use a sewing machine instead.


The world is a hurried place, isn’t it? Everyone’s always rushing about, barely pausing to breathe.

We’re all like manic hamsters on wheels and I’m as guilty as the next person. Which is why I made a conscious effort to slow down last week.

Instead of dragging the dog around the block for 20 minutes, with one eye on my watch, before rushing back home to chores, I got up earlier, did them first, then took a slower, longer walk with her.

She loved it. And, so did I.

There was time to chat to other dog-walkers, to literally smell the flowers and notice how beautiful the area I live in is.

That extra 30 minutes really energised me with valuable extra time to breathe properly and slow down.

Thoroughly recommended.


Like a lot of us, I find firing off an e-mail or text is so much easier than actually picking up the phone.

Although I’m surgically attached to my mobile, I’d still rather use it for messages than actual – God forbid – phone calls, and I don’t even know the number of the landline since we changed supplier last year.

But yesterday, when discussing something online with my cousin, I decided it was easier to ring than explain in writing.

After a lovely chat, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually physically spoken to him for about three years.

Afterwards, he texted to say: ‘It was so nice to hear your voice again after all this time.’

Made me feel quite ashamed.

So, pick up the phone, it’s good to talk.