That Walmart Photo Gallery Was Pretty Tasteless

Last week we posted a gallery of pictures of overweight and “odd” looking Walmart customers and employees. We framed it like Gawker’s “Blue States Lose” party photos, and let loose the image dump.

The mission of The Consumerist is to to inform, empower, and entertain consumers. The “Red States Lose: Gallery Of Walmart’s Beautiful People” failed the first two, and hardly managed the third.

If we had couched the gallery within some sort of discussion (or even a series of snarky comments) about the following:

• Walmart’s foray into selling organic foods – mere window dressing?
• What correlation exists between the proliferation of bulk products at discount prices and the obesity epidemic? The consumption epidemic?
• Walmart’s wholesome image belied by the in-store reality…

…then we might have something to work with. Perhaps not even then.

Instead, we’ve got a series of cheap fat jokes, leaving our readers confused and angry.

Apologies. Notre culpa. Sorry to our readers, and to the customers, mothers and grandmothers, unwittingly shown in the post. We shall endeavor. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. foggybottom says:

    I’m sorry, but…
    Screw ’em if they can’t take joke.

  2. That Guy says:

    I thought it amusing, but I am familiar with the BSL on gawker, so perhaps that’s why… It would’ve been even more of a parody had you done the comments for each picture, as is done with BSL, but presented as it was, a “light entertainment/slightly inside show biz” joke post, I saw nothing wrong with it. Snark away every now and again. Hell, you could’ve photoshopped in the Cobrasnake and really pushed the joke home.

    So yeah, basically… What foggybottom said. ^

  3. robrob says:

    kudos for taking the high road. there are lots of places i can go find mean spirited bloggers talking trash about anyone that is different from them, but only one blog I read to find consumers standing up for their rights. thanks for realzing you shouldnt blur the line between the two.

  4. Mojosan says:

    I agree with robrob. Consumerist is a great read, there is no reason to mock or ridicule people for no reason.

    I too am glad your taking the high road.

  5. AdminX says:

    Oh well… there’s always Wal-Mart frappr….

  6. pambamboo says:

    Folks who complained need to be (at the very least) consistent about what offends them – to wit: the post about the Chinese (?) dogs being used for fur on so called faux fur garments got some of the most hilarious comments I’ve ever seen – I was in tears I laughed so hard. So it’s OK to snicker at poor little puppies being skinned alive but not OK to post pictures of truly obese and horribly dressed humans? C’mon people! If you gotta be PC be PC all the way. As god (and foggybottom) said when Adam and Eve complained about their new post-Eden status: screw ’em if they can’t take a joke!

  7. buthidae says:

    Oh, come now. Everyone knows pictures of fat people are funny!

    Well, at any rate, I laughed :-)

  8. So it’s OK to snicker at poor little puppies being skinned alive but not OK to post pictures of truly obese and horribly dressed humans?

    I really have no opinion on the gallery (I never saw it), but animals are different than humans. I’m not really even arguing your point but you might have some better examples you could go to.

  9. Keter says:

    Methinks some Wal-Mart shoppers protest too much. You know who you are. ;o)

    Stick to yer guns, Consumerist. Truth is truth, even if it offends some. What you published was but a meek and mild sample and illustrative of exactly what you wanted to showcase.

  10. Perhaps as a compromise foggybottom, That Guy, and Keter can send in photographs of themselves for the next humor gallery.

    As for the Walmart Photo Gallery: couldn’t y’all have at least been consistent in blocking out their faces?

  11. LTS! says:

    Look, if you’re fat you’ll be subjected to fat jokes and if you are blonde you’ll get blonde jokes. If you are Polish expect to hear something about a screen door on a submarine.

    This is the way life goes. If you are fat and can do something about it then don’t get offended, just do something about it. If you can’t do something about it then accept who you are and laugh at the jokes.

    Besides.. not everyone in those photos was big.

    These comments brought to you by someone who is fat.

  12. acambras says:

    LTS, if I wanted to make fun of fat people, blondes, Poles, or anyone else, I would probably go to websites with fat jokes, blonde jokes, or Polish jokes.

    I think most of the people who have commented on this matter agree that people aren’t turning to for that type of “content.”

  13. And0 says:

    I didn’t see it as some sort of fat joke. It was pictures of customers at Walmart. I’ve actually never been inside a Walmart (there aren’t many in CA), so it’s interesting to get an idea of the demographic.

    Personally, I’d be interested in seeing more store photo galleries like this. Denny’s customers at 3 am, Sees Candies on Valentine’s Day, average CostCo cart contents…

    We spend a lot of time fighting for our rights as consumers, but we don’t often look at ourselves. Was it the weight in the pictures that made people uncomfortable, or the images of gross excess?

  14. jconli1 says:

    Its been brewing for the last few months, but this may be the tipping point. Your recent high profile seems to be coming around to bite you in the ass.

    Not that I’m saying this is some exclusive club or anything, not at all… but pro-consumer sites don’t have to be a bunch of people playing the sensitive helpless victim card all the time; especially a site that spun out of the king of snarky blogs.

    In order to make progress (and stay sane) in the current state of consumerism you just HAVE to have a sense of irony and dark humor about the world around you, that’s why most of us routinely come here.

    If everyone had read the complete article, they’d have seen Blue States Lose and hopefully understood the satirical intent of the post. It was actually very funny, but could have probably benefitted from more text (giving them names, stories, a place in the middle American Wal*Mart daytime social scene) and not just candid photos.

    Either way… please, Consumerist, don’t wuss out now!


  15. AdminX says:

    I don’t understand why everybody is always talking about the fat wal-mart customers. If you check out the flickr of the girl posing holding the gun you’ll see that she’s a professional model. It’s obvious that some wal-mart customers may be fat, but the article didn’t say “all walmart customers are fat and ugly!”. I don’t see how this is shocking to people because america is the fattest country and fat people go out and buy stuff.

    I still think the article was funny and you shouldn’t have to apologize. This site is pretty edgy, and that’s why I read it every day.


    Um, what? “Shop here”? Is that a reference to another post?

  17. LintMan says:

    Personally, the walmart article and (the snarky comments about fat people in some previous articles) comes across to me as rather arrogant and snobby, like it’s high school with the cool kids making fun of the geeks and losers. It’s probably the thing I’ve liked least about the Consumerist.

    As I see it, for *this* web site, snarky comments about corporate hijinks, scams, ripoffs, bad consumers, etc = good. Stuff related to, you know, consuming. Snarky comments about unattractive people just because they are unattractive = bad. If I want that kind of high school stuff I can go to other Gawker sites or Fark or Something Awful.

  18. Ben Popken says:

    Edgy is fine, but it should have a point.

  19. Why not follow up with a Target shopper gallery, to compare?

  20. Baz says:

    That was hysterical. Nothing wrong with some real documentary footage… :)

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    3/4 of those jerks voted in that imbicile who lied his way into getting 3,000 servicemen killed in Iraq.

    Screw their feelings.

    Besdies, if in doubt, you really should wear gangsta XXXL instead of stretchies anyway…