Vanity is pretty much constant across all cultures because, to me, vanity is nothing more than attempting to align one's self with the ideal look of their culture. If you're wealthy and from Paris or New York, your cultural iconography comes from wearing the clothes of top designers, which displays your sophistication, affluence, and power. But if you're from Middle America, you're more likely to wear a flannel shirt or a denim jumper in order to display a firm, pulsating commitment to heterosexuality or humble servitude, depending on gender. Even monks floating cross-legged out on some cliff in Tibet doing oms wear those red robes that they think convey humility and a commitment to deprivation. Each culture believes that their look is superior to any other, but ultimately they all display vanity.

I can't be mad at the creators of Shape-Ups. In fact, I should probably thank the creators of Shape-Ups for outing closeted idiots. Keeping that in mind, anyone who wears Shape-Ups in public, who isn't exercising, is either part of some secret society of people who idealize the one specially-ordered orthopedic shoe of David, the guy with the short leg from homeroom, or a fucking idiot.  Dave totally agrees with me: if you wear Shape-Ups in public you look like a tard. Not because wearing them implies that you have a physical disability, but because wearing a pair of shoes so hideous in order to make your body look better is fucking idiotic. In fact, just yesterday I saw an ad that said, "If you love Shape-Ups, you will love our Goblin Mask that makes your boobs look bigger."

Shape-Ups are a more effective idiot highlighter than tribal tattoos, Ugg boots, and non-prescription, clear-lensed Ray-Ban glasses on a kid wearing hammer pants from American Apparel while discussing Kafka (which he learned about by reading a Wikipedia page) and riding a $5,000 road bike he bought to save money on gas to buy shitty film for the 50-year-old camera that he feels visually encapsulates his aspirations to simultaneously star fuck Alan Ginsberg and Vanilla Ice. Because the act of wearing Shape-Ups in public not only displays a lack of taste but also a complete lack of basic thinking skills.

Kim Kardashian promotes Skechers Shape-Ups shoes
Well, at least we know Shape-Ups are guaranteed not to make your ass smaller.
Face it, Shape-Ups are shoes for tards, and not tards in the traditional way. Most mentally handicapped people understand the difference between who they are and who tards are. Tards are people who have the capacity to know better but don't. Mentally handicapped people know that anyone who calls a mentally handicapped person "retarded" is a fucking tard. So don't get all bent out of shape when I use the word "tard." I'm not a tard, people. I know better than to call somebody something they are not. I was in a special education study hall in middle school so I am well acquainted with the differences. Trust me on this one, people who wear Shape-Ups are tards because they should know better.

Shape-Ups are not effective at shaping anyone up… unless I missed the fact that they correct the lifelong cycle of instant gratification that has led so many obese Americans to hire general contractors in order to leave the house via forklift to get their Classic Eight burger when their family members finally draw the line. "Eight patties is one thing," family members say with compassion and tears in their eyes, "but, mayo between each patty? We won't do it." It was the vivid memory of that fermented, white, mayo-like substance between skin flaps, the smell of death, and gangrenous bedsores that demanded the line be drawn.

I guess I can't be mad at the creators of Shape-Ups. In fact, I should probably thank the creators of Shape-Ups for outing closeted idiots. In the past it was easy to mistake an idiot for a normal person because most television health gimmicks "store easily under beds and in closets." At least now, idiots are already unknowingly marking themselves by wearing the shoes of David (you know, the kid with one short leg). The scary Brave New World truth of it is that all it would take to get rid of Shape-Ups wearers is an ad campaign highlighting weight loss at the small cost of their life.

  • "Just ride the train, and you'll lose weight."
  • "Come to Dachau resort and spa for the weight loss, stay for the bakery."
  • "It's a hell of a time."

But that will never happen because ethical leadership would refuse to do so, and unethical leadership would use the Shape-Ups wearers for killing the ethical leadership.

To me, Shape-Ups are a sinister product that prays upon the part of our culture that looks at convenience as the ultimate end, even when it's a means. People are willing to look like idiots while ineffectively trying to look fantastic, simply because it's more convenient than eating right and exercising. Shape-Ups are evidence that even vanity is trumped by convenience. They are a scary reminder that a holocaust, if convenient for the majority, is still imminent.

See new PIC posts via Twitter or Facebook.

Sign up for satire writing or improv classes at The Second City - 10% off with code PIC.