I talked recently about how scales don't measure anything of worth. That comes from working on loving who you are despite external cues or societal pressures. Well here my friends is a perfect example of why so many people drive themselves crazy to lose weight, get thin and in a larger sense FIT IN.
Earlier this week I went shopping for a ski jacket. I went to every store in my area that carries ski jackets and was told by every sales person that "No, sorry we don't carry larger sizes but you can check online" When I asked them why they all responded with "Oh, I don't know". People, I live in Canada! It snows here, like a LOT and I am not certain of many things in life but I am certain I am not the ONLY fat person in my town who wants to be warm in the winter!
Ok- on to the Internet search. Now, if you have a NON conventional body shape or size you know the hesitation of ordering online- there is a REALLY good chance it won't fit so I wanted to find a site that 1. had a Return Policy and 2. (Bonus) a FREE return policy (Canada you need to catch up on the Returns thing). I eagerly typed in Plus Size Ski Wear and got excited for what my American, Australian or European Neighbours could offer me. I wanted something stylish and edgy - I mean I am not a neutral colour girl and while there is nothing wrong with having a style preference of a more mature nature- That is not mine.
The first site that popped up on my Google search was BURTON and they had sooooo many great choices. They even had a new line of snowboard jackets from L.A.M.B. I clicked on sizes and BAM! Shut Down! XXL was the largest. Again I gave them a chance. In the Plus size world no two size labels are alike - YOU HAVE TO CHECK THE SIZING CHART. Let's just say this particular XXL was closer to L/XL. This went on for about 2 hours. Each site I went to had labels of larger sizes but the measurements of the LARGEST size were not forgiving around my hips/Butt and not being able to try it on made me hesitant to spend $250-$500 on it
I posted on Facebook about my disappointment and how sad it made me to feel left out of a world I felt like I belonged in. I have been skiing since I was 7 years old. I am good at it and it brings me joy. I have been working on getting my hip and knee working properly again after a very painful pregnancy that took away my ability to be active the way I was used to. So this year I invested in myself to get me back on the slopes so I could add another thing to my list that fills my cup.
I have great friends and family. They are always quick to offer suggestions and jump in to help me when I ask. What I realized from this conversation that was happening on Facebook though was that there is still so much that people don't understand. While I appreciated my friends finding these elaborate ways to get me what I need, that is what was adding to the frustration and sadness. Lack of CHOICE. I should NOT have to spend 3 days coming up with a plan to get an item of clothing smuggled in from Timbuktu, pay brokerage fees and duty to then realize it doesn't fit but because there is no way to return it I just have to hang up this $700 purchase in my closet so that it always reminds me that I DON'T FIT IN and shopping is never easy for ME.
Now obviously I exaggerated just a bit there but it was to make a point. Why should I have less choice because of the shape or size of my body? Why should I have to go to a different FLOOR in a department store while shopping with friends? Why do I have to pay MORE for a shirt that is the same design and fabric as the smaller sizes? (Don't tell me it's because more fabric was used because the XXS shirts aren't priced lower). Why do I have to go to a site that markets themselves as Plus Size Friendly and find that I don't get to chose the same designs as the smaller sizes, and in some cases the designs I get to chose from are boring and ugly? The answer is I SHOULDN'T. This is what bigger, Taller, shorter and people with disabilities want retailers to GET! We all have money too and it's time to stop leaving us out of the design process.
If you agree with anything you read I urge you to write an email, post on Social Media pages of companies you have issues with. We have to stop accepting what IS available and ask for more.