Apple Too Thin for Comfort?

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Last week the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness (a mouthful I know), wrote a letter to CEO Steve Jobs condemning the tagline for Apple’s newly released iMac. Apple and Steve quickly buckled under the pressure, changing the tag line from “The new iMac. You can’t be too thin. Or too powerful.” to “The all new, all-in-one, iMac.”

As a card carrying member of the LTLC (the Larger than Life Consortium), I applaud Apple in their quick response. Words are powerful and those of us with a girth greater and smaller than Lindsey Lohan can suffer tremendous setbacks when such language is used. Words trigger emotions. Words trigger memories. Unpleasant ones. Sometimes it is difficult to simply get through the day, as we are constantly bombarded by language and images of what the media and middle Americas perceive as ideal.

As many of you know I am huge Apple supporter, some might even call me a zealot, but always in the kindest and most humane of terms. Our home is just just brimming with the fruit with a small bite taken out for good measure. From laptops to iPods, and iMacs to AppleTVs. And if there is one thing they all share in common, other than just being fabulous hardware and software, it’s that practically each and everyone of them…

Is thin.

My iPod is thin. My partner’s iMac is thin. The AppleTV is thin, hell even my future iPhone is thin. The list goes on and on. And after long and careful consideration, I believe all this thinness is weighing me down and making me more insecure than I already am. What am I to do when I am surrounded by all this THINNESS?! On a subconscious level, and perhaps even on a deeper level, I know the inner me is sobbing like a desperate lonely child every time I walk into my home, as I am literally surrounded by a multitude of messages telling me to get on the treadmill and purge that afternoon’s bok choy.

So I too have decided to write a letter to Steve Jobs, proposing that Apple be bold and take the initiative by banning the words “thin”, “svelte” and “wisplike”, and their related synonyms, antonyms and palindromes from all of their written and verbal online communications, as well as their advertising and documentation. And further to the point, that their existing product line be reworked to be more weight “neutral”.

Below is a brief excerpt of the letter. Due to various legal reasons, as well as detail and length, I am unable to post it in its entirety here:

Dear Digital Savior, Steve P. Jobs


Steve, thin and powerful simply sends the wrong message: That you can only be thin and powerful at the same time. But some of our most beloved leaders who served with great honor were plenty plump around the middle while simultaneously wielding supreme executive power. Former presidents William Howard Taft and Grover Cleveland are stirring examples. And overseas we have such luminaries as Henry the VIII, Winston Churchill and Boris Yeltson. All were men of great power and responsibility. But it’s not just a men’s only club. Oprah Winfrey whose weight yoyos like bottom-heavy pendulum, wields more power than the leaders of most 3rd world countries combined.

And here’s another thing Steve. I love Apple products, but the whole product line needs to be revamped. In this case, I think we can make a giant leap forward by taking only a tiny step back. Let’s first start with the iMac.

The new iMac certainly a marvel of industrial design and technology. But it would be better served by the increased girth and weight of the original iMac! Imagine how many more processors, ports, memory and drives you could stick behind that glorious screen? Also you’d have plenty of new internal real estate for fans to keep that beast cool. Plus you could go back to those trendy flower and colored designs that made color-coordinating your Mac to the environment such a dream. And that round hockey puck mouse would feel oh so comfortable against the palm again. Simply make it bluetooth and call it a day.

Next let’s talk about the MacBook. Once again these products suffer from a huge case of overwhelming thinness. Again the answer lies in the past. Putting today’s technology inside the original candy-color coated iBook would create a powerhouse of a laptop. While vaguely reminiscent of a padded toliet seat, that old design provides some comfort when stuck on a plane for 18 hours or during a baseball game going into extra innings. Plus the increased heft and weight would feel solid as you lug it around campus with newly designed reinforced steel handle.

And finally the AppleTV. Sure it takes up almost no space and serves movies and music to your HDTV with aplumb. Who could ask for more? But with a device that is easily lost in a rack full of stereo equipment (made even harder to find with failing vision) and a remote control thinner than some coats of paint, the AppleTV is a painful reminder of what is wrong in our society. That what you can’t see can hurt you. Why not look to your competitors like Sony and JVC and the top loading VCR of yesteryear for inspiration. The increased storage (just drop a new drive in when needed) would be a boon to movie lovers, and a wired Hershey’s bar-sized remote control could never ever be lost.

But Steve this is only the tip of iceberg. While granted the metaphor seems to have more gravitas with all this global warming going around, it still applies here. Taking cues from the past ensures a future safe and free and filled with love for all those of different shapes and sizes.

Devoted follower,

P.S. Any chance I can snag a new iPhone?

But why stop with Apple. There are many culprits. Sure their are fashion models, major pop stars, and no-talent actresses that place their focus on image rather than health. The media drones on and on about them while having little care for the damage that is being done. But what about the others? Motorola and their “thin” Razor for instance. The Transamerica pyramid (It starts fat but goes thin at the top). Or hell, even Mead Paper. Why does paper need to be so damn thin anyway?

So write them. Write them all. Tell them your full and your happy and you’re not going to take it any more!

Post by ILO on 08/30/07 at 8:59 pm