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I'm fat, Vancouver. Get over it.

Photo of Emily Walker, author of "I'm Fat, Vancouver, Get Over It."

 

There are many reasons to fall out of love with you, Vancouver-- high rent, rain, traffic, asinine liquor laws. My reason for falling out of love with you lurks in your shadows, never mentioned, and that is— what seems to be an institutional dislike of women in this city who are plus-sized, or more plainly, young fat women.

In 2004, while preparing to come to Vancouver from Portland to study at UBC, I wish someone had warned me about the tears I would shed in this city. Tears shed because I would not be able to find clothes that fit me, or people who would accept me for who I am, fat body and all. If someone had given me the warning, I would have seriously thought twice about moving here.

My first year in Vancouver was a major shock. While my friends strolled down Robson buying dresses for our dormitory formal, I would reach to the back of every rack in every store and see the tags max out at size 8, sometimes 10, very rarely size 12.

I usually wear an 18 in pants and an XL in shirts. I went underdressed to our formal, in a black cotton skirt I brought from Portland and the largest blouse I could find downtown that did fit me-a large. In summer, my friends went swimsuit shopping and swimming in English Bay.

I knew better by then to even think I would be able to do that. I finally did go swimming later that summer in my friend’s parent’s pool in Maple Ridge. My friend had to loan me his brother’s swim trunks and shirt.

During my first week of graduate school two years ago, another plus-sized girl who was from the States cornered me at a party when she heard I had also done my undergrad here. “Where do you buy your clothes up here?” she whispered. I felt awful, because I was going to break her heart.

I told her the truth. I returned home to Portland often, with an empty suitcase and would pack it full of new clothes for three to six months until I could get back down to the States again.

Only in the last few years have I been able to find Canadian versions of American stores (Old Navy and Forever 21, namely) who will ship plus size clothing to me here in Vancouver. But, I have to wonder exactly how much money I’ve spent on shipping fees for clothes that I could have picked up off a rack in many other cities for less.

I have to say things have gotten a little better on the clothing front in Vancouver, thanks in part to a thriving burlesque scene here that does not ask for acceptance of all body types, it demands it. As a result, there are stores now where I can actually buy pants or a dress that are stylish and age appropriate, but only in East Van. They’re also expensive and spending $150 on a dress is probably not wise when you’re a grad student, yet I’ve been forced to do it to have age appropriate clothing that will fit.       

And then there’s my dating life in this city. I’ve basically become as celibate as Mother Teresa. After seeing exactly how dismal my sex life was, a roommate of mine convinced me to join a dating site.

In six months of being on the site, with a full body shot on my profile page, I received not a single message from anyone in the Vancouver area. The place I received the most requests for dates? Bellingham.

In the time since I’ve moved to Vancouver, I’ve managed to partake in a few nights out in other cities: Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and every major Scandinavian city brimming with beautiful blondes, including Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo. In none of those places did anyone feel the need to go out of their way and verbally berate me about my weight as they have here in Vancouver.

One night, I was drinking at a bar near my house waiting for friends, when a guy in his mid-30’s sat down and offered me a drink. We got to talking and for some reason this guy decided to bring up the fact that he was barely over 5’7’’.

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Come to East Van!

Honey, none of us should feel like we need to fit someone else's model of a "perfect" woman, yet, as you've laid out here very succinctly, it does seem to be a major expectation in parts of Vancouver.

I'm size 18 as well... sometimes 20.  I was size 14 last year, but my body is going through a lot of changes right now.  I like to shop at Penningtons on Broadway (near Main/Kingsway), but it can get a little pricy.  At least it's a plus-sized shop.

 

One thing that I'm very happy with is living in East Van.  East Van is the place to be if you don't feel like you want to compete with the slenderfest going on in Kits, West End or Yaletown.  East Van embraces diversity in colour, gender identity, sexual preference and body type.  It's a remarkably loving and caring environment.

 

Drop me a note, you sound like someone I'd love to hang out with!  I'm Kellyanne73 on Facebook :)

 

I'm fat Vancouver

My daughter has PCOS a hormonal dissorder that causes weight gain. She has alot of muscle mass but any type of mass around here people think is just fat. I took her to Bellingham to get a Christmas dress and had the same issue as Vancouver I guess becasue they cater to Canadian shoppers. 

It makaes me so mad to have family and friends judge every little mint she puts in her mouth while teir skinny girl eats slurpees and junk daily. I love Vancouver but I agree she may have to move to find a good guy to marry . 

wow

Firstly, this is a very well written article and as a plus-sized woman I find this to be overwhelmly true. 

It's sad that I don't want to share this on my facebook, because I don't want Vancouver friends and acquaintances to judge me.

I actually just emailed Lululemon because they've recently stopped carrying anything larger than a 12 despite the fact that they used to go up to 14. Even a brand that says they're trying to promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness won't help larger people by giving them good work out clothing. 

 

 

Thank you for being

Thank you for being courageous enough to write this piece. As a plus-size female, I've fortunately not experienced weight-related harassment, but definitely have been made to feel less than by clothing stores and the dating scene. 

However, I think the anger towards Vancouver is misdirected. As both a Canadian and American citizen that has lived and travelled extensively in both countries, from experience I would say this is a cultural difference between both countries, rather than Vancouver-based. 

not only the licqour laws...

....vancouver itself is asinine!

I am incredibly sorry to hear

I am incredibly sorry to hear about the challenges you have faced in this city with regards to your weight. The sad truth is that there are several categories in which Vancouver could do a lot better in. Although I'm not overweight, I am a strong, independant woman and it has taken me 11 years to finally find a man strong enough to approach and date me in this city. Apparently I am attractive, but in a unique way - men love to look at me but it never seemed to go further than that. I went on the dating sites...hardly a hit. This city needs to learn to respect and accept people who are different, unique and not "perfect". We can't all be blonde, big boobed and skinny.

There's an awesome store...

...on the Sunshine Coast now, but it used to be on Main Street - they do have online shopping though. (And it's just in Gibsons so a lovely place to visit and I guarantee a welcoming environment.)


It is called Bodacious, and it's run by an absolutely wonderful woman named Lorna. Back when it was on Main Street, I got to know the ladies and I eventually wrote a piece on them and the store for the Globe & Mail. Oddly, even though my editor had accepted my pitch and granted me an assignment, when I filed the story, the editor said something about the photos not working out, and she killed the piece. (I had written about 20 pieces for them before, so it's not that it wasn't G&M-worthy.)

It was a great mystery to me why it was killed, and quite embarrassing. I ended up starting my own online magazine and I published the story there.

Their site is www.bodacious.ca, and I do hope you will get in touch. Lorna would LOVE to hear from you! And if you'd like to read my piece, I'd be honoured. This will get you the downloadable pdf: www.delishmag.com/Delish_LEARN_fall_2011.pdf.

Good luck. Dammit, we'll miss you. Vancouver does NOT need to lose another nice, rational, smart person.

 

It's not just you ...

Hey, I'm a size 10-14 depending on the year ... and you know what? It's STILL impossible to find clothes in my size as they seem to only carry small sizes that fit rich, small, Asian people around here ... places like lululemon only make clothes that fit you if you're size 12 or under (and their 12 is like an 8). Why don't they realize they're missing out on a large market share?  And the men do seem to mostly think they should all be dating supermodels, no matter their own physical attributes, so I've met my share of jerks. Best of luck to you ... believe it or not, there ARE normal people around here, too ...

Self control through therapy

Assuming your unhealthy weight is not caused by a medical problem, which is true in the majority of cases, get help for your insecurities. As your self confidence grows so too will your ability to take control of your weight. Just "accepting" you're obese and wishing everyone treat you a certain way is running away from both your problems and the solution. Stop the denial and see a therapist.

Not just Lululemon

Hi, 

It's not just Lululemon (and as an Asian in response to @Sherry, I don't think that company's just catering to Asians: they'd go out of business if the market was that narrow. We're not all into yoga).

High-end designer clothes, if I'm not mistaken, also don't really do sizes larger than 16 UK (which is actually not that big). Read this story from the UK about an average-sized woman being turned out of Chanel and Louis Vuitton because apparently, super-rich women don't get fat: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1176973/Too-fat-fashion-How-Tanya-Gold-size-sixteen-shunned-designer-brands.html

Obesity Acceptance Movement ?

Why in the world would you think anyone would accept that a person is trying to kill themselves with food? Or that a person's psychological problems are being broadcast with every step they take? Seek help! Gain self awareness and strength through counseling. As a person's self respect increases so too will the ability to manage weight.

Wow, superstu

Just...wow. You really don't see anything wrong with what you just wrote? Just when I get all homesick for Vancouver, something like your comment appears to remind me of what I don't miss, and why I rarely strayed outside of East Van. So, you know, thanks for that, I guess.

Plus Size Retailers

Just wanted to respond from the retail point of view - I opened a store 3 years ago with the intention of selling a full size range, from 2-22. After seeing that most boutiques carried up to 8 and *maybe* 10, I was determined not to make women feel excluded, and to offer them something that was fun, flirty, and confidence-inspiring. I put on fashion shows and used a lot of plus size models in them, who everyone said were the most fun to watch, with their sexy struts and attitudes.

My store was in Gastown, called Planet Claire, and unfortunately I have recently closed it (until the economy becomes friendlier for small businesses here), but I do underground pop-up shops, and sell online (the site is need of a major update coming in July, but I do offer free pick up/delivery if it's convenient to meet in the Gastown area). The concept of the store is sustainable, ethically produced clothing, and while I do my best to keep the prices reasonable, I also offer a selection of vintage and consignment clothing of all sizes, at very good prices. So while I don't want this to come off as self-advertising, I do want you to know I feel your pain, sista(s)! And there are options for you here in this beautiful and sometimes very shallow city. 

You can find out about the next pop-up shop, and such things through my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/planetclaire.clothing

And my website: http://www.planetclaire.ca/

Thanks for writing such a brave and straight-up article.

claire lindsay burke

[email protected]

I'm truely sadden by the fact

I'm truely sadden by the fact that you're experiences in Vancouver have been only satisfactory because how you've been treated by the general public. With that said, there are many individuals and groups here and Vancouver that do not judge a person's self worth in accordance to physical appearance.

I feel that most people are very insecure about their looks so they belittle others to feel better about themselves...on the other hand, people who are already sensitive about their appearance preceive any comments (whether intentionally negative or not) or things regarding their looks as a hit to their ego.

When it comes down to it, people can be very petty. There are much more important things in life to dwell on besides "looks". Take everything in stride.

 

I'm going to have to say that

I'm going to have to say that I really don't feel terribly sorry for her. Being a little overweight won't cause most people any trouble, but being really overweight means 1: you are obese, as doctors will tell you and 2: you are probably in more of a minority than you care to admit. What are the rest of us to do just because you can't lose weight? Sorry, this may be cruel, but I think I speak for most when I say you have little reason to grumble.

Dress sizes

Emily - a very well written personal story that asks some pertinent questions, the most important how we wrongfully judge people by appearances. And I agree with Juechi's comment above, it's more to do with our obsession, fueled by fashion design houses, to be thin than with racial clientele. I hope you take away more than these bitter memories. Good luck!

resonse to fat in vancouver

I lived in Vancouver most of life and now live in the Okanagan ,I have to say people are very different here a hell of a lot nicer and accepting.it's obvious form the negative fat comments on here that there will always be those that judge based on our looks.Sad yes but it's their loss for not having you and me and all those others that don't fit the "Vancouver" image in their lives.Be proud of who you are and what uou have accomplished and smile as you walk down the streets and show them all you are happy being you :)

Its different somewhere els?

Thank you for writing this article, it's brought tears to my eyes and really touched home, because I thought this way of living was normal.... You mean other places in the world bigger girls are accepted??? The part about being skeptical of any positive attention is my way of life, I shrug men off who are being nice because thats what I assume their intentions are, just to be nice :( your lucky to have been able to move somewhere els and experience somewhat more acceptance than you met here. Hopefully one day I will be able to experience the same acceptance.

I don't think that you're

I don't think that you're actively being discriminated against in not finding plus sized clothing.  A lot of Vancouverites are fit people and so it could be that there just isn't a big market for larger clothing sizes. I  mean, how would a store stay open if most of the population couldn't fit into their clothes? I am sure stores would carry larger sizes if they sold-out more often or there was a large demand.  Usually stuff on sale is 10 or 12+..I rarely find smaller sizes.

If you have medical condition which contributes to your weight, it's very unfortunate, but if clothing size is based on something such as market demand then yes, going to the U.S. to purchase clothing is what you may have to do.  Also, I have seen overweight women really own it - they take the time and effort to find what clothing works to them and their frame and they look specatular. (But yes, it does take a lot of time and effort).  

 

I'm fat Vancouver, get over it.

I am so sad that the author of this article, and other people, have had to put up with this unecessary unkindness.  What is wrong with people today, that they have to make sure to share the meanness in their hearts with others, especially those they don't know?


Think about what you say and do, and how much it could hurt other people!  Aren't you lucky, that you don't have a weight problem.  And yes, it is luck more often than not.  Nobody wants to be fat, and it isn't as simple as you might think.

clothes that fit

That's kinda funny- Vancouver is where I bought the only pair of jeans I've ever bought new in my life, because they're the only pair of new jeans that fit me.  In Kits.  I have 48" hips.  I must have had an odd experience.

(Mavi, if you're looking.  Not cheap.  But they fit! my god!)

Fat

Stop being fat, fatty. Eat properly, exercise and get into that size 8 or whatever you consider thin. Dammit are we at a point where being fat is some sport of disability??

A bit much

I grew up there, i am not a small girl, i am definitely plus size. Have a felt insecure at times? yes. have i felt insecure in other cities? yes.


although you say there is no where to buy clothes that is over the top because there are many places to buy clothes and not look like your in mom jeans!

 

Give me a break

So Vancouverites are all bad for being fit - wtf? Last time I checked EVERY place had some sort of discrimination or racism and most people have had their fair share of hardships, be it because of being obese, race, homosexual, gender...etc and although I'm certain it's hard to deal with, they do without making their life about how others treat them. You act like you’re the only person who has ever been made fun of and it's Vancouver’s fault. I do feel it's cruel and wrong for people to be disrespectful and hateful - I don't condone it. As for stores and their clothing sizing, I just want to understand this - you want Vancouver retailers to specially order you clothing to accommodate your needs - I mean don’t you think they order the sizes that are in demand? Fact Richmond has the lowest body fat percentage per capita in Canada, with only 5% of people from there considered obese - I don't think Vancouver is far off that mark including how you feel apparently supports it too (Vancouver’s obesity rate is 6.2%). If you feel that there is a need to make plus sizes, it's called entrepreneurship - start a business....I hear Portland has a market

actually...

[quote=Celie]

I don't think that you're actively being discriminated against in not finding plus sized clothing.  A lot of Vancouverites are fit people and so it could be that there just isn't a big market for larger clothing sizes. I  mean, how would a store stay open if most of the population couldn't fit into their clothes? 

 

 ~Actually it has a lot more to do with the cost to businesses, and what their philosophy is.

As a business owner that catered to a full size range (2-22/XS-2X), that meant I had to purchase 50% more and carry double the amount of stock. Most stores would rather sell to a smaller, 'exclusive' client base, that tends to be sucked in by media images of skinny = sexy = fashionable.  I don't like the idea of 'segregated' stores for "fat" or "skinny" chicks - I wanted an inclusive and respectful environment for women to shop in and feel good about themselves. And guess what? You can still be a 'fit Vancouverite' at a size 12 or 14.

Completely Agree

I have experienced so much of this here in Vancouver too. I have been stopped as I walk into stores and advised "nothing will fit you in here" by the people working there. I have had a hairdresser scream out "there goes fatty" on Davie street as I walked by. I have been stopped by people on the street who feel the need to tell me "You are so fat".

Funny lesson that Vancouverites need to learn is that skinny is not healthy and fat is not always equivalent to lazy and overeating. I have a metabolic disorder that sums up to everything I eat turns to fat, I can maintain it somewhat through diet but losing weight is about 5 times harder than most people. When I was seeing a personal trainer twice a week, working out 5 to 7 days a week and running, I still weighed over 200 pounds and I am 5'4. No matter how I restricted my diet or worked out, it was not good enough for anyone. 

I had my daughter almost four years ago and have been unable to lose weight despite exercise and a diet that would make anyone want to cry. I became gluten intolerant after my pregnancy and to be healthy live a low sodium and low preservatives diet with restricted dairy because of dairy sensitivities. I don't eat refined sugars or drink pop and ice teas. I am healthy in every way according to my doctor, except my body refuses to lose weight. Even with my daughter I average walks and hikes per week of around 20km.

My mother is american and so whenever I go down to the states I am flirted with and treated as a normal person. I agree that it is hard to accept and there is always this voice asking what they are after because they can't possibly be attracted to me, no one ever is. I buy most of my clothing from the states as everything up here is over priced and often not easily accessible.

I work actively towards changing the opinions of people but it is an uphill battle every day.

I'm obese and have lived in Vancouver for almost 10 years, but I also spend a significant amount of time traveling--and sorry, I don't find Vancouverites treat me any differently than I get treated anywhere else. If anything, I'm likely to get fewer comments or dirty looks here, based solely on the fact that Vancouverites are in general cold and less inclined to make eye contact with anyone. Yes, there aren't many plus sized clothing stores--but there isn't a high proportion of these stores in most world class cities. Vancouver is by its nature a very fit city, and one thing I have found somewhat frustrating are the lack of available treatment options for obesity in this province, which doctors have told me is directly related to the fact that there just isn't a huge demand for it--but I can hardly fault and demonize this place for being healthy. Society is hard on those that are obese, it is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination, and that extends far beyond Vancouver.

I'm obese and have lived in Vancouver for almost 10 years, but I also spend a significant amount of time traveling--and sorry, I don't find Vancouverites treat me any differently than I get treated anywhere else. If anything, I'm likely to get fewer comments or dirty looks here, based solely on the fact that Vancouverites are in general cold and less inclined to make eye contact with anyone. Yes, there aren't many plus sized clothing stores--but there isn't a high proportion of these stores in most world class cities. Vancouver is by its nature a very fit city, and one thing I have found somewhat frustrating are the lack of available treatment options for obesity in this province, which doctors have told me is directly related to the fact that there just isn't a huge demand for it--but I can hardly fault and demonize this place for being healthy. Society is hard on those that are obese, it is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination, and that extends far beyond Vancouver.

Try this shop!

I completely relate with this article... I have struggled finding clothes to wear in the common shops around Vancouver and the lower mainland. I did happen to stumble upon the most magical store though, which is called New World - in Gastown. The owner, Heidi, spent hours with me, giving me her opion while I was trying on so many dresses that I needed a break! I must have tried on 20 dresses, and left with 4... the shop caters to all sizes up to a 2x... which fit me and I'm about an 18-20. She can also special order dresses in if you need a different size that is not in her shop. She altered my dress in the store, and I left feeling like I was on cloud 9. I get more compliments than I have ever recieved before and I know its because I feel confident while wearing quality clothing that fits me properly.


To hell with what all these people are shouting at you. I try to remember that as long as I know my true value their opinions are none of my business.


Support these awesome local business that cater to ALL women, even though the prices may be a bit higher its better than buying the same pair of pants 4 times because the thighs keep wearing out.


Head high all of you women, regardless of size <3

 

Tacky

Wow, so rude. All she's asking for is size equality in the stores. As soon as you cross the border they carry larger sizes in almost all of the shops, why is it not the same in Canada.

 

Say it sista!

The message of this article is clear: your prejudices suck and it would be great if you didn't have them, but if you must have them then keep them to yourself and don't go out of your way to be mean to someone just because they are fat, skinny, tattooed, punk-ified, short, tall, or whatever. 

Like the rest of us normal folks, deal with your emotional baggage elsewhere and not by inflicting cruelty on others. Why the fuck do you care that someone is fat? Why should that offend you? 

I can tell you something that is actually offensive: the nauseating bullying that Ms. Walker has experienced her whole life and the pathetic insecure cowards who are the bullies. Grow up!

Back in Toronto now...

I lived in Vancouver from 2008 to 2010. You have expressed exactly how I felt while living there. I am back in Toronto now where I am from and I never have an issue with things like clothing in my size and men. I remember I once traveled 2 hours by bus to a Penningtons in North Van, it was worth it to get a cute jacket but then it started raining and I had no umbrella. I wondered why I had to suffer, just to look cute and buy feminie clothes that fit me or that were stylish? Not one store catered to plus size woman Downtown Vancouver except deparment stores and that was hit and miss. I wish Vancouver would smarten up! So glad to be back in Toronto now. I loved you Vancouver, but this girl speaks the truth. You only love certain people back!

Ignorance

Bob from Surrey wrote:
Stop being fat, fatty. Eat properly, exercise and get into that size 8 or whatever you consider thin. Dammit are we at a point where being fat is some sport of disability??

Thank you Bob from Surrey, you actually legitimized the point she was trying to make. By showing how ignorant lots of people in Vancouver are. 

 

where to shop plus size

http://www.kingsgatemall.com/

 

you can buy plus size clothes in kingsgatemall 

there are some shops there which selling plus sized clothing

goodluck

 

Van is a really provincial town

I used to live in Van in fact i grew up there. While I totally believe what you're saying, bear in mind that while Van LOOKS like a big city it isn't, it's a small minded small town without a lot of class. It seems strange to say that, but most people in Van just are not sophisticated enough to know how to behave. It's a city cut off from the rest of the world, and they never had to grow up, remaining in a state of permanent adolescence (hence the puerile and boorish male behaviour, and rudeness of the Kits types). Your fatness is of course your own business but the good people of Van are too  small-minded to understand the difference between your business and their nosy desire to interfere. That, and the absolutley loathesome (and ridiculous) self-complacency that abounds  in that town. I hasten to add not everybody is like this but even a sizeable minority of boors can spoil a city.

I remember how good it felt to move to Toronto and be with people one could have a conversation with. Oh yeah, and while Van is multiracial - in a way - being Black is still seen as weird and worthy of a gawk.

I still go back to Vancouver now and then to see siblings who elected to remain (and who seem pretty well adjusted aware folks) and it's always pleasant but I would never, ever live there.

My story

Once upon a  time, I was 225. I was a size 24, buying clothes was hard, I was very unhappy. Last year, I decided to do something about it.

I changed the way I ate, I started exercising and now I'm 159. Still have another 54 pounds to go but I'm feeling great. 

My experience is limited in

My experience is limited in living anywhere else, but as someone who has been both plus sized and not plus sized... I noticed a complete behaviour switch from the public. Yes, doors are held for me more now. People offer their seats more often for me now. Men talk to me more now. Is it Vancouver? Is it society? Either way, it's a thing.
People should be allowed to feel good about who they are.

 

Too true, unfortunately

As one who spent over 22 years in Vancouver, I have to agree - mostly - with this article.  Being there from my mid 20's to late 40's, I went from "model material" (or so many people said) to technically "obese" (due to some medications, and other issues, like having Fibromyalgia).  So I saw both sides of the coin as a single, dating woman, and I certainly had many similar experiences. Even after spending a very enjoyable night with one guy (calling him a man overestimates his maturity), he had the gall to casually say that, despite enjoying being with me, he couldn't see me anymore, because I was too fat!  (This was when I had just started to put on some weight, and wasn't very fat at all!)

However, I DID find men who found me attractive (and not "fat fetish" types) - which is more than I can say in the 12 years I've been living back in my native Nova Scotia.  (Inexplicably, however, here there is a higher percentage of fat people here, both male and female, and all ages, I'm sure.  And lots of them are, it seems, happily paired up - so there must be some other variable going on too.  But now I'm too old to test it reliably, I think!  LOL)

So my question is - isn't North America like this generally?  The "thin is beautiful" view is so pervasive - and persuasive - that I am surprised you didn't see it in Portland, as well (it must be a rare city indeed.)  It is definitely true that, in all of Canada as far as I can tell, it is much harder to find decent fashionable and young clothes for larger women than in the US.  On-line shopping (or make them yourself) seems to be the only answers for us - which is just stupid.  For better or worse, this is a big, and growing market - why Canadian merchandisers continue to ignore it is a mystery to me.

Vancouver is a beautiful place, and I miss it - but there ARE a number of things that I don't miss at all.  I could easily have lived in Portland - it is a beautiful city, too.  I had no idea I might have found some good men there more easily, as well! ;-)  I hope you find the place you "fit" best, and I applaud you for being so positive and forthright in challenging one of the last - and least respected - prejudices.  And Vancouver - stop being so smug about your "acceptance of diversity", and vain about your "beautiful (i.e rich and thin) people".  You're ignoring and insulting a whole lot of "normal folks" who really make up your city, like everywhere else.  Get over yourself!

It's hard to "get over

It's hard to "get over yourself" when you're this pretty. ;)

I feel the same way in Vancovuer

I so feel the same way in vancouver. I live in the burbs but i still feel the same way. I get a lot of my clothes at Addition Elle, and I travel to the states to buy stuff at layne briant, and other plus size places... I just graduated from post seccondary and I got a lovely dress from www.meitiedress.com the lady who runs it is fab! She came down to a botique where she sells her dresses in maple ridge and came with a bunch in my size that the store dident have, and got me to try them on! Its fantastic! I love it! *hugs* from another Fat chick (one who got a "OMG your pregnate! Congraduatlations!" from a lady I dident know at the book store yesterday *and im not prego!*)

Proves the point well

Lindsay Dianne wrote:

It's hard to "get over yourself" when you're this pretty. ;)

Gee, I guess this proves MY point - it's apparently "hard to get over yourself when you're this shallow".  And I think that's a very UGLY side of Vancouver, and an awful lot of people who've never even bothered going anywhere else, so they seem to think "the world" sees them as so wonderful.  People like you need to use your brain once in awhile.  There are THOUSANDS of pretty places, if only you knew.  And, a lot of those pretty places are also SMART, more accepting of all differences, less materialistic and a lot more down to earth. But you go with pretty...and when all your trees are cut down, the pipelines have polluted everything, and there is nothing by condos as far as the eye can see, then see how far "pretty" goes.  

 

"Pretty" and Shallow!

Lindsay Dianne wrote:

It's hard to "get over yourself" when you're this pretty. ;)

Gee, I guess this PROVES my point - it's apparently "hard to get over yourself when you're this shallow".  And I think that's a very UGLY side of Vancouver, and there's an awful lot of people who've never even bothered going anywhere else, so they seem to think "the world" sees them as so wonderful.  People like you need to use your brain once in awhile.  There are THOUSANDS of pretty places, if only you knew.  And, a lot of those pretty places are also SMART, more accepting of all differences, less materialistic and a lot more down to earth. But you go with pretty...and when all your trees are cut down, the pipelines have polluted everything, and there is nothing but condos as far as the eye can see, then see how far "pretty" goes.  

I'm fat, Vancouver. Get over it.

After reading this article, you don't have to be from out of town to feel exactly how this person feels. I used to live in Vancouver and yes, it's catered to all the asians that are a size 0. In fact, every mall is catered to them. I myself born in Vancouver and raised in Richmond, found clothing to be hard in difficult to find as well until I ventured out of Richmond/Vancouver and going to places beyond Surrey. I found the further you venture out for clothing, the sizing wasn't so manipulated. A plus size in Vancouver isn't the same as a plus size in Abbotsford. I also found that I was feeling alot better as well as I suddenly found that the sizes were loose on me. And let's not forget that most clothing I've seen are made in China. I never wanted to order plus size clothing online as I don't really like the hassles of sending things back. I have also ventured across the line to buy clothing as well and well that experience is alot better. Not only does it fit, the size is lower, the quality is better and the price is alot cheaper even with the tax! Makes me think why buy here in BC???? Vancouver is rude as well. I've never come across anyone that says "Hello" to a stranger and just being friendly. People on Vancouver Island are way nicer than mainland people. It saddens me to think that people do get joked at and yes, that is a form of bullying to me. Those young guys should be careful as these days it just takes one person to record it and post on YouTube or better yet send it to all the newstations. And guess what? It's on there for life! Another form of an employer to look you up prior to hiring you. It's not nice to bully someone who is fat. We should be more careful and understanding of others around us. 

Take it or leave it...

Vancouver is quickly becoming obsessed about all things green, and beyond environmental concerns, that includes healthy eating. People are at the same time becoming more and more conscious about appearance, and many have made a concerted effort to lose weight. Now I don't condone people treating you rudely because of your weight, but I do take exception to the fact that you expect a multiplicity of plus size stores in a city where there is little demand for them. This is Vancouver, where HEALTHY and FIT is in, take it or leave it.

I would love to read an

I would love to read an article on plus-size clothing options in Vancouver...

what you think so shall be !

I think you are a bit sensitive ! first of all the dating issue in Vancouver has nothing to do with size.... most of my very beatiful friends with any size and shapes looking for a guy which doesn't not exist in Vanocuver .... most of my serious relations was with the guys who either were visiting vancouver or met them elsewhere ....so stop blaming yourself or Vancouver

Believe me if U have the perfect fitness, you will find someone who find something in you to criticis and it is not only Vanocuver !

I lived in Vancouver for more than 10 years, and living in Europe at this moment , traveled a lot in States ; there is one sad truth ! You can find people who love to help you and care for you almost everywhere and the vice versa ... the people who are willing to go out of their way to put you down just to make themself feel better as well ... what you think will expand so think positive about yourself so you only notice the loving ones around you 

what you think so shall be !

I think you are a bit sensitive ! first of all the dating issue in Vancouver has nothing to do with size.... most of my very beatiful friends with any size and shapes looking for a guy which doesn't not exist in Vanocuver .... most of my serious relations was with the guys who either were visiting vancouver or met them elsewhere ....so stop blaming yourself or Vancouver

Believe me if U have the perfect fitness, you will find someone who find something in you to criticis and it is not only Vanocuver !

I lived in Vancouver for more than 10 years, and living in Europe at this moment , traveled a lot in States ; there is one sad truth ! You can find people who love to help you and care for you almost everywhere and the vice versa ... the people who are willing to go out of their way to put you down just to make themself feel better as well ... what you think will expand so think positive about yourself so you only notice the loving ones around you 

as you think so shall be

I think you are a bit sensitive ! first of all the dating issue in Vancouver has nothing to do with size.... most of my very beatiful friends with any size and shapes looking for a guy which doesn't not exist in Vanocuver .... most of my serious relations was with the guys who either were visiting vancouver or met them elsewhere ....so stop blaming yourself or Vancouver

Believe me if U have the perfect fitness, you will find someone who find something in you to criticis and it is not only Vanocuver !

I lived in Vancouver for more than 10 years, and living in Europe at this moment , traveled a lot in States ; there is one sad truth ! You can find people who love to help you and care for you almost everywhere and the vice versa ... the people who are willing to go out of their way to put you down just to make themself feel better as well ... what you think will expand so think positive about yourself so you only notice the loving ones around you 

After reading through your article I have to wonder if we're living in different cities... I've lived in Vancouver my entire life and have never been skinny or the stereotypical body type, and sure it's easier to find clothing for thinner people but I don't have trouble finding clothes, I just have to look a little harder... but by no means is it impossible nor do I resort to importing clothing. And I have a swimsuit that fits nicely, it was expensive but it's lasted me a few years and was worth the price.

Likewise on the dating front, I've had no trouble there, you just need to know where to look. If you're searching for men in places where models frequent, you're likely going to only find men who are looking for models...

I've not found that I'm discriminated against for my size in general, I do envy those who are thin but unfortunately not everyone can be that way... most of the uncomfortable feelings about my size are in my own head.

In summary, I think you should be more resourceful before being so quick to judge my lovely home :)

It never ceases to amaze me

It never ceases to amaze me how cruel some humans can be. I mean calling out degrading cat calls to larger women? That is just low. I am terribly sorry that you have experience this, but I commend you for writing this article. 

Retailers carry smaller sizes because thats the general demographic of Vancouver and businesses dont need to take a loss so they can cater to the minority. Simple economics.

Do something about it. Dont go on the internet and whine about it. The time you took to write this couldve been spent exercising. Not only is it good for your general health, you're working you way into solving a problem, not running away from it like you said you will.

At this point, fat people are probably thinking of an excuse. Too busy, genetics, etc. That's just it. An excuse. I personally have exercised off 40kg using the beautiful Vancouver features you have mentioned. Grouse grind(not for starters though), beach trails, bike lanes, etc. The "amazing food" can wait for later.

Its about discipline, if its such a big problem for you, why must you indulge yourself in high calorie food or eat above your daily threshold. It's simple science really. Less calroies = weight loss.

To me, fat people are not attractive, not because of their looks but the simple fact that Fat = unhealthy and they are not doing something about it. OP is leaving Vancouver because despite loving the land, she would rather run away from her problem -- yes it is a problem fat is unhealthy -- than face it straight on.

Also, there are a lot of health freaks in Vancouver. It is the general demographic, 80% of the people I know go to the gym, and the general interest of the people is healthiness. Do something about it.

Petty Issue

Teaflower is correct, this is a petty issue.

Let's stop dwelling on looks and start caring about each other...

 

 

plus-size shopping in Vancouver

Reitman's  has a stylish  line in jeans and tops , Additionelle, while it is a good way out of Vancouver (at Market Crossing on Marine Drive in Burnaby) has very stylish, well fitting clothes (I am a 22, XXL) I make a trip out there 2 or 3 times a year.  

huh

stop making excuses for yourself and hit the gym. fuck

 

Continued from 2 posts above.

I also love how she mentions that people wont accept her for who she is but she is "waiting for friends at the bar," "all the great friends I've made here."

Got mouthed off in Downtown while walking by a pub? That is really common. Too many times I have seen drunk guys wanting to start beef in DT. In fact, SKINNY guys would get mouthed off more in that situation. 

Who comes to vancouver, let alone travelling anywhere, without their own swimsuit? Also have you heard of online shopping? 

States that there are other reasons to being fat which include: medication, depression, chronic injuries, childhood abuse, or a bad card in the genetic deck.

    Except for chronic injuries, every one of those can be solved by exercising. Even depression. You just need that one push to start. Exercise creates dopamine.

 

 

Outstanding article!! All so true - I feel for anyone who isn't a size 2 - what am I saying, you can be a size 12 and be deemed a hippo in this place. I will never forget the afternoon I was heading home after getting off the bus when some guy put his head out the car window while passing me and yelled "hey hot stuff - Jenny Craig is that way!!"

So many things are wrong with

So many things are wrong with this article! First of all, as a Vancouverite, I feel like the fact that you're obese and made fun of has little to do with peoples' opinions of beauty, but more that it is NOT HEALTHY. It is dangerous to be obese, and while I understand and respect that there are medical conditions that cause weight gain, 99% of "obese" people are overweight because they take in more calories than they put out. In Vancouver, which is known for being an incredibly fit city, the majority of people actively strive to be in shape not because they want to be "skinny, blond and big boobed" like someone above posted, but because they want to be healthy. They do not want to have health issues as they age and want to live long health lives. That may be why you have a hard time in the dating scene: not because men don't find you attractive, but because they are looking for someone who lives a healthy, active lifestyle like them. A person's body type tells a lot about (in general, medical conditions not withstanding) their lifestyle. Personally, I would find it very hard to date someone who had a sedentary lifestyle, because I enjoy going for runs and working out and eating healthy. 

Secondly, it offends me that you would condone a city that I love because you cannot accept responsability for your own weight. If you hate the city so much and love the States so much, move back. No proud Vancouverite, or Canadian for that matter, wants to be berated for being healthy and seeing that as an acceptable norm. If being obese, a medical condition in itself that kills more people every year than many other unavoidable diseases, is the norm in the States that's fine. But it isn't in Canada, and shouldn't be. 

This makes me sad.

Why? Because of the excuses. I understand the pain & the judgment that makes you feel shitty.. But do you think that everyone in the city judges you because you're 'fat'? No, they don't. Everyone judges everyone, not just you honey.

If you're tired of it, why not just adopt a healthier lifestyle. I'm a plus size girl myself that doesn't feel right in my plus size skin, but I don't get the same judgments from people. Maybe it's how you carry yourself? Who knows.

Also, it's too bad that you're just running into the wrong guys. 

Get over yourself, seriously.

You come off as a bitter, whiny American.

Do you know WHY you find clothes in the US?

Because there are more obese people in the US!

 

We get it: you're fat. Good for you. I don't give a rat's ass one way or the other. Even if you were skinny, I wouldn't consider dating you... you have a piss-poor attitude. 

You're fat. And it's because of the choices you made in your life. I'm not exactly skinny, myself - I need to drop 30. I hate how the fat around my gut makes my back hurt. 

But I don't hold ANY delusions whatsoever as to why I'm fat: my lifestyle choices.

Which of the following

Which of the following options is easier:

A) Lose some weight

B) Change the culture of a city that has over half a million people.

The author is incredibly lazy and entitled. 

You're complaining people bully you for being fat - but look what you're saying about thin people. If the demographic in the area is one that is smaller, then there's a reason for clothing stores to cater to that demographic.

Did you stop to think that skinny people get picked on too? More than you, probably? 

No one tells a fat person "you're fat, stop eating", but they certainly make no hesitation to tell a thin person "you're skinny, go eat something".

 

This image is a great one regarding the bullying against thin people that goes on: http://i42.tinypic.com/a2pvk3.jpg

 

It's not just you and your fat. Everyone gets picked on. Now it's your turn to get over it and stop blaming a city for your insecurity.

Fat

Perhaps if you lost some (a lot) of weight, you wouldn't be having these problems?

 

Being fat is a choice, and if its causing so much negativity in your life, perhaps you should change.

 

Bravo Vancouver!!!

We need to import whatever Vancouverites are doing into the States. This fat acceptance BS is insane...


As for your problem, solution is simple: Lose the weight finally!


But oh no, you have a 'medical contition' preventing it, like 60% of Americans. Interesting that in Japan or France this condition is about 6 more rare...

 

fitness hell

Oh give it up, fitness freaks. You are not going to live forever anyway. You can quit smoking, quit eating, live in the gym, have a nasty go at all the fatties out there, run all day long and you will still DIE. The vast vast majority of you wll die in obscurity; will never contribute one iota to the wellbeing or the culture of Canada or this planet. If you care so much about the environment go and tie  yourselves to a tree and stop the tar sands exploitation. 

There's a reason almost nobody of any note has hailed from Vanocuve rin recent years: narcissists are useless. Even your film industry just makes branch palnt crap for Hollywood and you are the workers. Where are the directors screenwriters? The creative? Not in Van that is for sure. Just the narcissists pumping away on their exercise machines, worshipping themselves.

I would rather be Orson Welles than you any day. Yet i wonder how many of you even know who Orson Welles was.

 

 

I'm over it...

Nobody cares that you're fat - there's nothing to get over.  Just stop insisting that we like you or be attracted to you in spite of your fatness.  I think you'd agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Given that, stop telling us that you're attractive - we'll be the judge of that.

Get over it Vancouver!

My daughter lives in Vancouver - she's 5'7" and weighs 125 and says that even she feels huge when she walks down Robson Street. I'm a curvy size 10 and when I was in lulu lemon i was given the stinkeye and told that there was really nothing in the store that would fit me. How pathetic if the only way you can feel good about yourself is by hurting someone else?

large and in charge

beasts,every one of you. you're are right; I  intolerant.

Alcoholics regularily cause physical problems for themselves by overconsuming an item.

We continually mock and demean alcoholics and make jokes about them.

We proactively are mean to, rude to and avoid alcoholics.

In some places courts even mandate that alcoholics be treated.

Obesity is no different. In fact it's an exact equivalent. Someone killing themselves by what they put in their mouth.

You might say "oh oh, but some people have a disorder" - and to that I will say "same with alcoholics". There are plenty of studies that show some people are genetically prone to alcoholism. We still don't feel sorry for them when they get drunk, climb on a bridge and jump... or when nobody wants to date them or be their friend... (except other alcoholics)

 

Victoria wrote:

You're complaining people bully you for being fat - but look what you're saying about thin people. If the demographic in the area is one that is smaller, then there's a reason for clothing stores to cater to that demographic.

Did you stop to think that skinny people get picked on too? More than you, probably? 

No one tells a fat person "you're fat, stop eating", but they certainly make no hesitation to tell a thin person "you're skinny, go eat something".

 

This image is a great one regarding the bullying against thin people that goes on: http://i42.tinypic.com/a2pvk3.jpg

 

It's not just you and your fat. Everyone gets picked on. Now it's your turn to get over it and stop blaming a city for your insecurity.

I can vouch for this. As a formerly fat (and now ripped fitness model physique) I am continually told by fatties I need to gain weight. I am continually harassed, pinched and told to "bulk up" despite the fact that technically I am at the top of the normal BMI range (all muscle, little fat).

I see skinny girls continually harassed by fat girls who tell them they look "bony", "frail" and "curve-less". 

I mean I could write 10 pages on all the bullying thin people face from fat people, but I won't, I think people get the point.

 

You Go Girl!

You Go Girl!

I'm tired of hearing people

I'm tired of hearing people try and comfort those who choose to be big. It's one thing to be a few pounds over weight. I myself am about 25 lbs over. But to be 100lbs or more overweight? You are right! These people may be overeating due to depression or some other medical condition. So why are others trying so hard to make you feel better about being FAT?

If you are depressed, get counseling.

If you have a medical condition, see a doctor.

If you just dont like to excercise and eat a lot, thats your issue. Dont expect me to accept it and make you feel good about it.

Alcoholics drink for many reasons:

They may be depressed, have a medical condition or simply like to drink. But I will never accept their behavior as being healthy and will definetly not try and make them feel good about themselves.

If you choose not to be healthy, thats your choice. Just dont expect me to cheer you on with your unhealthy choices.

 

Strange Complaints...

You're upset about the following?

1) Vancouver retailers don't feel like the plus-sized market is profitable. Clearly, we don't have enough plus-sized citizens to make this worth their while? And that is somebody's fault?

2) You met drunk douchebags in Gastown?

3) You met judgmental yoga-moms in Kitsilano?

I mean... come on. If personality types in certain areas rub you the wrong way (Robson, Gastown and Kits annoy me, too, despite my lack of plus-sizedness), don't go there. I could rage against the giant losers that frequent Granville and the club scene, but I prefer to spend my time in areas where I have fun and enjoy the people.

You should, too.

Misplaced blame

I'm sorry, but I really think your anger with Vancouver is badly misplaced. There is nothing wrong with Vancouver. Vancovuer is a very tolerant city, you don't have to travel very far outside it to receive copious abuse for being the wrong skin colour or being attracted to the wrong gender.

Fact is, Vancouver (and lower mainland in general) has the lowest obesity rates in Canada. The culture and attitudes reflect it. There are jerks in every city who will call you names for whatever perceived reason. But whether justified or not, you feel Vancouver sticks it to obese people more than others.

If you really feel the clothing market is underserved here, you may have found a business opportunity. Except, on further inspection, you would realize you are wrong. There have been plenty of plus size fashion stores that have had to close or relocate because they could not make rent. I imagine there is a reason for that. I feel compelled here to mention that other minority fashion groups have had, or still have, trouble shopping locally. Tiny Asian women being the obvious example that jumps to mind. Did they feel their home cities had it in for them? No, it is a simple fact of market forces.

And in case you're wondering, trendy, fashionable clothes for skinny people are expensive too.

Vancouver in general

Vancouver is a major international city, unlike Bellingham or Portland, with thriving fashion and fitness industries.  We also have a high percentage of wealthy people who tend to be fit (statistically, rich women are thinner than poor women in north america), and Asians who tend on average to be thinner than Caucasians.

For these reasons and more, it's certainly less acceptable to be fat in Vancouver than in other cities. I work in the fashion industry and I'm a size 12 woman (I'm tall and fit -a bit overweight but definitely not obese) and I get judged for my size all the time.

Also, the author doesn't mention this but it is MUCH more accepted here for men to be overweight than women (not necessarily fat, but overweight).  It's practically expected for Caucasian men. My husband is skinny and fit but not muscular, and he has openly been called "wimp" and "geek."  My brother is overweight (almost obese) and has never had anyone make any negative remark, and his wife is a size 4 Asian woman.  Whereas in London where my husband is from, men are judged for being overweight just as much as women (and he was never mocked there for being skinny).  

Apparently in Vancouver we have a much higher percentage of females so that may be why women have more pressure to be attractive and slim.  And since Asians in generally tend to be smaller and slimmer and there are lots of Asians in Vancouver compared to other Canadian cities, the standard for female size is skewed smaller.  By the way, I've heard from lots of Asian women that it's much less socially acceptable among Asians to be overweight, especially for women, and once they get to a size 8 they are considered "fat" and can't find clothing to fit them overseas or in Asian stores.

I believe the author that she's had a much harder time here and felt unattractive, but I'm just pointing out that Vancouverites are not any more judgmental or cold than residents of any other city.  But yes, it's tough to be a woman here if you're not slim.

Good god you're a disgusting

Good god you're a disgusting lard! When I saw your picture I immediately put my shades on to sheild my eyes from your grotesque form.

I found this through Tom Leykis. Where is your tag and tracking collar?

 

You're cool! It's great that

You're cool! It's great that you are voicing your opinion in such a way, and hopefully you can get more of the media channels to carry your message.  You have my respect.  Have a good one!

It not a Weight issue...

Everyone has flaws you're most obvious flaw is you're wieght well actually body composition some people just carry more fat no matter what even if they're starving .

People use this information(flaws or noticeable things about you) to engage you , you simply have to recognise oh you see me and want to talk ,then instead of getting defensive change the subject to see if you actually like them.

If you were thin people would insult that 

if you were tall 

if you were perfect 

There is no escape from the unimaginitive . 

Fat Isn't Always OK.

I'm not going to hold your hand and tell you it's perfectly ok to be obese when you can't even fit into the clothing the stores in your city has to offer. If you CHOOSE to be lazy and fat, that is YOUR business. However, when you take it to a public forum, you need to realize YOU are the one who put yourself in this situation, no one else did it to you, and YOU are the only one who can change your situation. (When you can show me someone who is a size 18 (22, 28) who can run a half marathon but can't lose a single pound, I'll feel sorry for them and them alone.)

Women in Vancouver

I just heard you on CBC as well. As a curvacious woman in Vancouver, I can say that I feel horrible that this has been your experience and I am so sorry. I am married now so the dating scene is um, back on the shelpI can absolutely relate to the shopping nightmare that is this town. I have tried to find things but it's super 'hit or miss'. For some reason there is a notion that if you rock a 16 you want to look like either 'Ms Mom' or that you would really like to only be draped in a tent. Sigh. Is anyone actually watching 'Mad Men'? Cause since the Joan effect came about I am trying to quiet the voices and just rock out my body.

ahem, back to the story... Any store that does carry up to say a '16' or '18' or 'XL' is inevitably sold out or doesn't carry, the NERVE, that size. I often cast dirty looks at the 'larger' girls on staff knowing that they probably put any larger sized items away while the store only ordered say, 1 in that larger size. But can you blame them? GRRRR!

Anyway, don't listen to any of the rubbish from those around you in this city. Maybe the ridiculous housing costs have meant that there is an 'anti-large' factor going around? That or more likely, they are stupid. You are a beautiful woman and you know if it wasn't this, there would be another thing they would throw out. Thanks for putting it all out there, it has resonated with everyone it seems. Chin up, steady on, give them twice what they give you.

 

Women in Vancouver

I just heard you on CBC as well. As a curvacious woman in Vancouver, I can say that I feel horrible that this has been your experience and I am so sorry. I am married now so the dating scene is um, back on the shelpI can absolutely relate to the shopping nightmare that is this town. I have tried to find things but it's super 'hit or miss'. For some reason there is a notion that if you rock a 16 you want to look like either 'Ms Mom' or that you would really like to only be draped in a tent. Sigh. Is anyone actually watching 'Mad Men'? Cause since the Joan effect came about I am trying to quiet the voices and just rock out my body.

ahem, back to the story... Any store that does carry up to say a '16' or '18' or 'XL' is inevitably sold out or doesn't carry, the NERVE, that size. I often cast dirty looks at the 'larger' girls on staff knowing that they probably put any larger sized items away while the store only ordered say, 1 in that larger size. But can you blame them? GRRRR!

Anyway, don't listen to any of the rubbish from those around you in this city. Maybe the ridiculous housing costs have meant that there is an 'anti-large' factor going around? That or more likely, they are stupid. You are a beautiful woman and you know if it wasn't this, there would be another thing they would throw out. Thanks for putting it all out there, it has resonated with everyone it seems. Chin up, steady on, give them twice what they give you.

 

Women in Vancouver

I just heard you on CBC as well. As a curvacious woman in Vancouver, I can say that I feel horrible that this has been your experience and I am so sorry. I am married now so the dating scene is um, back on the shelpI can absolutely relate to the shopping nightmare that is this town. I have tried to find things but it's super 'hit or miss'. For some reason there is a notion that if you rock a 16 you want to look like either 'Ms Mom' or that you would really like to only be draped in a tent. Sigh. Is anyone actually watching 'Mad Men'? Cause since the Joan effect came about I am trying to quiet the voices and just rock out my body.

ahem, back to the story... Any store that does carry up to say a '16' or '18' or 'XL' is inevitably sold out or doesn't carry, the NERVE, that size. I often cast dirty looks at the 'larger' girls on staff knowing that they probably put any larger sized items away while the store only ordered say, 1 in that larger size. But can you blame them? GRRRR!

Anyway, don't listen to any of the rubbish from those around you in this city. Maybe the ridiculous housing costs have meant that there is an 'anti-large' factor going around? That or more likely, they are stupid. You are a beautiful woman and you know if it wasn't this, there would be another thing they would throw out. Thanks for putting it all out there, it has resonated with everyone it seems. Chin up, steady on, give them twice what they give you.

 

So true!

Thank you for writing this! I lived in Vancouver, got fat (went from a 6 to a 16), and realized how much vitriol was hurled at plus sized women there.  I got it from "friends", sales people and strangers. Not as bad as what you experienced, but enough for my self esteem to be significantly diminished. I'm back in California, and I'm so much happier. And oddly enough, losing weight. I just don't get the daily looks, comments about my food choices (anything more than a small salad was fair game), or made to feel that just because I "don't fit standard blanks" sizing (this was told outright to me) that I'm worth nothing. 

Jessie K. wrote:

I actually just emailed Lululemon because they've recently stopped carrying anything larger than a 12 despite the fact that they used to go up to 14. Even a brand that says they're trying to promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness won't help larger people by giving them good work out clothing.

This is why I will not invest in the company. Their largest market to expand in right now is the US where the average size is a 14. And some of their salespeople have been the worst offenders of making me feel unwelcome. But to be fair, it's only in Vancouver that I've been treated poorly.

 

You can weigh whatever you want

You can weight whatever you want it's your choice. You shouldn't expect stores to risk their bottom lines just to make you happey though. If less than 1% of their sales are to plus size persons it's not fiscially responsible of them to stock items in those sizes. You can do whatever you want with your life, you can't expect others to conform to you. It's their right not to care about you, and you can't force them to either.

Don't give me the maybe it's genetic line either, about 10% of people have a thyroid condition and 10% of those have sever problems. Most have mild to moderate thyroid issues. Even if you had a thyroid condition it can be treated and managed.

We all make our own decisions in life and we can't expect others to have to like or respect those decisions. I'm not talking about gender, race or any of that. That's something we can't control. Our weight is something we can control though.

You don't hear me whinning about how it's hard to get a date being a 27 year old man who walks with a cane. If people don't like me oh well there are plenty of women who will think my scars and cane look bad #. I chose to ride motorcycles now I live with that decision. You need to live with the body you chose to have.

Does it suck that people make fun of you or point at you? Probably, but you know what life sucks. There are plenty of people with far worse problems than finding dates or clothes that fit.

Grow up already.

Oh! and to the people who will yell at me and say I'm insinsitive. I don't care life isn't fair and neither am I. I'm a utilitarian, I believe form follows function. I really don't care what anything looks like as long as it can get the job done. Someone who is busy crying themselves to sleep over their own choices can't get the job done. That job? Life! So go ahead and yell, I don't care.

 

fatty faterson

Hard to believe this made it to "print", a raging tub of fat spewing vile hatred in the same fashion she detroys the toilet each morning.  Good for a laugh, but fatty should be ostrasized as punishment for their gross lack of self responsibility. Just like everything else in their lives, they take none and blame and hate everyone else.  When they should really just hate themselves.

I am sorry for the struggles

I am sorry for the struggles you have experienced throughout your time in Vancouver. No one deserves to be treated unfairly for something others deem as wrong or different. However, I can't help but wonder why someone would choose to live as an obese/fat person? I understand there are reasons to cause someone weight gain, and not everyone has an easy time staying slim, but what about leading a healthy lifestyle? I have a hard time believing that leading a balanced, healthy life will still result in obesity.  I agree with an earlier point someone made...get help with your insecurities. Maybe then you will be able to ignore the rude, disrespectful comments.  

The real issue

I certainly understand what people are saying, that it's not healthy to be fat, not attractive, etc. Sure, these points are all valid. The issue at hand is the intolerance she is being shown, as reflected in many of the comments. 

 

If someone decides to live in that way, we don't have to support or encourage it, but what right do we have to put her down as a person because of it? If she was my sister, I'd be angry every time some douche decides to make her weight their business, and rightly so. The fact that she doesn't have this experience to the same degree in other places says a lot about the kind of ambient intolerance that's throughout this city. Much of that probably just projection from people that are very insecure about their own body types - regardless of what their current physical condition is.

 

I find it sad that most people missed the point, and jumped right back into belittling her again.

I think this is

I think this is representative of life in Canada, not just in Vancouver.  I've lived in Halifax all my life, and none of this is surprising to me.  Fat women have 3-4 choices when it comes to clothing retailers in Halifax, and the odds of finding something non-mother-of-the-bride have only improved slightly within the last 5-10 years.  And don't even get me started on online dating.  In an attempt to avoid jerks, I stated clearly in my ad that I'm fat and I'd like to date only people who don't have a beef with that.  The responses I got back sounded like a Bob Hope routine:  "How fat ARE you?"  One guy added, "If I can't pick you up, I won't pick you up".  Charmed, I'm sure.

I'm sorry that you, me, and every other fat person out there has to deal with this kind of bullshit.  EVERYONE'S BODY IS FINE.

Wow...some commenters are just harsh.

At first I was a bit uppity because I get really annoyed with beople who hate on Vancouver, so I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this article. After reading it I was mainly ashamed of those who are giving my city a bad name... AND THEN I read the comments. Who are you people who want to leave nasty comments to a carefully written and obviously sensitive article such as this? You fat bashers SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!! Karma may strike you with some affliction, mental or physical that will leave you to EAT those cruel words. I am not plus sized, I am a size 6 sometimes a size 4, but I would never denegrate someone whose shoes I had not walked a mile in. For armchair psychologists to reply that this author needs help, or that she should eat better simply PROVES the point of how ignorant you are. Bravo to this author for having the courage to write this article, and on behalf of all the decent people of Vancouver I am sorry you have had a tough time.

Wow, this article could have

Wow, this article could have been written by me. I'm glad to find, after 10 years of living in this beautiful but horribly judgmental city, that I'm not the only person who has encountered this. The only time I didn't feel like this? After losing 75 pounds. The weight came back and then so did the insults and isolation. It sucks.

I think, from now on, every

I think, from now on, every time someone makes a comment about fat people, I'm going to point out their flaws. From recent memory.... short, big nose, closet smoker, two-faced liar, dishonest, dumb as a box of rocks. You people who hate on fat people obviously have self esteem issues, to think that you need to be in my business. My fat, my business. From now on, I'll be letting you know your flaws if you decide to get in my business.

I'm Fat Vancouver

Great article! Thank you! And so very true about Vancouver proper especially. Vancouver city proper especially tends to a narcissistic, judgmenta, superficial attitudes about looks, weight and exercise.  t's like the mountains, they are beautiful, but hard rock. There are a few places now with better options for dressing, finally but expensive as you say. (although Zellers is finally getting some. But most stores? Forget it.  and there are beaches I don't go to either. Sometimes further out in the burbs it's easier.
Chronic Fatigue, Stress, lots of things . . .Have a great life, and thanks again. 

Great work, Emily!

I know this is cheating because I actually know you irl and stuff, but I just have to say I think it's a very necessary piece and I'm proud of how far you've come as a writer. Honestly, I came to share this dominant mindset of "fit"ness as beauty when I lived in Vancouver. It's the sort of town where your friends hang up a banner about larger women being mopeds outside your door if you bring back a girl who they don't believe looks good, no matter how much you protest that dude, she likes metal too. There is a culture of shaming which I haven't come across anywhere else in the world that I've lived in. I can't help thinking that we might all be better people if we were exposed to your perspective more. I know I could have used it.

RE: Get in a gym

I'll get flamed for this but really, your upset? Learn to eat properly, exercise and call it a day. Watch the Biggest Loser?

I was 40 lbs oveweight one year, got upset and hit the gym, 3 months later, it was gone.


I am so tired of people crying over stuff they can change.

Ignorant

Bob from Surrey wrote:
Stop being fat, fatty. Eat properly, exercise and get into that size 8 or whatever you consider thin. Dammit are we at a point where being fat is some sport of disability??

I'm a vegan. I eat 1000 - 1200 calories per day, under the supervision of a nutritionist. I exercise a LOT. And I'm fat. What more would you have a person like me do, Bob from Surrey, oh wise and kind guru of all that is body weight?

 

hmmmm

I dont really buy the fat acceptance thing,. i dont think people should 'accept' being uncomfortableand unhealthy BUT the state of health is to be determined by a doctor not a fashion retailer or a busybody.

i was a chunky teen in Van and I could never find any clothes in down town either, thats way back in early 80s so its nothing new and it IS a van thing. Sometimes Lechateau had stuff. But when I grew up and moved away and then came back I saw that there arent a lot of really good stores in town anyway. no matter what size. people dress boringly for the most part. Men are the worst.

So what?

Fine, but this is basically just a rant about how you're fat and everyone is mean about it and there are no clothes. Really could have used some explanation as to why anybody should accept that, addressed common misconceptions about weight control / genetics, expert commentary on, I dunno, the urban psychology behind Vancouver's treatment of alternative body types. Something.

Without some insights like that, it begs the question: why would you continue to be so fat? Surely there's some defense for that, but you haven't explored it.

Sigh.

Sigh...it's quite sad to witness this debate over such a petty issue.

What is wrong with humanity? Have anyone no compassion, no pragmatism, no morale in what is most important? Why surround yourself and get worked up over such useless things or belittle others who are different from yourselves?

Human stupidity, pettyness, and apathy will always be infinite in this world.

Let's move away from selfish ego and focus on the deeper meaning of life. 

Vancouver Fashion

Taking weight out of the equasion, as a Brit I would say that Vancouver does not have the "thriving fashion scene" that some posters seem to think it does.

I was so excited to come to Vancouver and embrace everything about the city, but the one thing I cannot accept - the fashion.

Unfortunately here the fashion options seem to be limited to lululemon style work out cloths or something beige/cream, probably from Gap.

Vancouver is so far behind the rest of the world in terms of fashion. Where are all the high street stores? Where is all the colour?! Not every item you buy needs to be an investment. H&M is a great lower priced store but there really arent that many other options.

I have had so many compliments on my clothes over the last 8 months that I have been in Vancouver and the truth is - most of my clothes are not expensive! (Some are even from supermarkets and are STILL better quality/more fashionable!) The same goes for when my family have visited, so it goes for all ages and fashion styles.

At the end of the day, it is still more cost effective for me to purchase my clothes online from the UK and pay for international postage than to buy them in Vancouver. AND they are more fashionable, varied and I have more choice of what I buy in the first place.

Please stop trying to sell me cheap clothes, made from cheap materials, that arent even that fashionable at high end prices Vancouver - I'll just go elsewhere.

For anyone interested, great UK stores that ship here:

Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Top Shop, Evans (Plus sized), Very.com, Oasis, Miss Selfridge

(most of these also do shoes up to a UK size 10 for anyone looking for larger shoes)

Der Truth

juechi wrote:

Hi, 

It's not just Lululemon (and as an Asian in response to @Sherry, I don't think that company's just catering to Asians: they'd go out of business if the market was that narrow. We're not all into yoga).

High-end designer clothes, if I'm not mistaken, also don't really do sizes larger than 16 UK (which is actually not that big). Read this story from the UK about an average-sized woman being turned out of Chanel and Louis Vuitton because apparently, super-rich women don't get fat: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1176973/Too-fat-fashion-How-Tanya-Gold-size-sixteen-shunned-designer-brands.html

Guess why?
They make fancy, expensive clothes that are supposed to look really good. Nothing looks good on land whales.

It's All in the Genes

That was a great article! I'm not a plus sized woman but even I have a hard time finding clothes in this city (Vancouver), I believe it's all the Asians that live here.  I'm not being racist, it is a fact.  They all wear size 00 to 1/2 so it seems like all the stores here cater to those sizes.  I've noticed that the plus size clothing sections at The Bay and Sears and Reitman's also seem to be shrinking.  I know this as my mom's plus size. 

I think people are so rude to fat people because they are in fact scared of ending up fat themselves.  As others have mentioned, sometimes it doesn't matter if you work out everyday and eat right, it's all in your genes.  Just look at all the Asian's as an example.  They can eat whatever, whenever and not gain a pound.  It's all about the genes. 

 

of course you'll miss

of course you'll miss Vancouver's food, fatty.

I feel you!

I feel you!  A country away and a past Vancouver-ish-ite I know your experiences all to well.


Your comment about being suspicious of people when they do pay you attention is so true.  How does a country that is reported to be a country of the nicest people on earth treat their neighbours with such disrespect?!  I am 30 years old, and I was at a club with a girlfriend, we were dancing and this play boy comes over to me, having been shoved over by his friends and he tries to dance with me.  I was like listen, I'm not interested.  He says, I'm the best you'll have all night.  I said, if we are measuring men against you, then I'd just as soon go home alone.  He says, still trying, how about a kiss for my birthday.  I said, listen, I'll buy your drinks all night if you go French kiss the overweight (male) friend of yours who bet you a beer to come and pick me up.  He was all shocked that I would say such a thing.  I can read lips and saw the whole conversation.  Further insult...he actually knew me through mutual friends and we had met on several occasions.  He knows my brother and some of my closest friends.  I suppose I could have been mature and ignored it, but to me that's like making it okay for people to behave like that.  So I stole a quiet moment later on and texted all our friends what happened, up to an including my brother.  I suspect words were exchanged by them.


You never know who you are sitting next to.  You never know what someones potential is.  I am sick and tired of being undervalued as a contributing member of society. 

Much like you said, if I lost 80 lbs I'd never be intersted in anyone, I'd still be suspicious that if I gained weight how would they treat me?  I don't want to live in fear like that.  I'd rather be me now and address issues head on.


I was talking to a guy just the other day; you just told me what you are looking for in a woman.  Personality wise, that's me to the letter.  It's a pleasure to meet you.  He says I don't date fat girls.  I said, that's ok I don't date superficial men.  I might be fat but sweetheart I have the endurance of a porn star, and you will never ever get the intense pleasure of experiencing that because you didn't even take a chance and get to know me.

My girlfriends travel to Vegas alot...they are always amazed at how many men hit on them.  They enjoy it, play with it, they have a blast.  But in my mind, I keep wondering what's the angle?  Canadian society has shaped my brain from the age of 13 till probably forever to believe that any time a man hits on me, he is after something and it's usually to josh around with his buddies.  I wish I remembered the boy who first asked me out in a positive light, but I'll never forget his snickering friends.

Emily, thank you.

Emily, I want to thank you for writing this. I felt an instant sense of understanding when I read this. I have written a response and review of your article, and have to commend you for your time spent in Vancouver. I barely made it two weeks, and you've made a life there. You are a strong, intelligent, compelling and beautiful woman - you make me want to be stronger.

My response can be found here:
http://j0scelyn.tumblr.com/post/27410594552/plus-sized-skepticism-about-...

 

I just finished reading this article and I couldn't disagree more with her take on Vancouver.  She speaks to the "perception" of others but how does she know?  The title itself speaks to anger. And perhaps some sadness.  I have lived in Vancouver, I spend a lot of time there.  I have a lot of friends there.  I have dated men from there.  I've shopped, I've hung out at the beach, I've gone swimming.  I have never EVER had any of those experiences she's talking about.  There may very well be a few bad apples in a city that size, who are out to degrade others, that goes without saying.  But I'm a firm believer in "we get back what we put out into the world".  I find it's about attitude.  I'm not talking about the type of attitude that tells people to go and f(ck themselves before they even have a chance to get close to you.  I'm talking about the "I am awesome" kind of attitude.  Sounds like she's so busy warding off the next bad thing that there's no time to experience the goodness.  Yes, I get the clothing argument. There are many stores who are behind the times, and who are missing out on the $$ of plus size women, but I've never had issue shopping in Vancouver.  Or perhaps it hasn't mattered that much.  Im' not sure.  But for her to blame an entire city for something that simply isn't true...that's just not responsible.

What we put out in to the world is what we get back. I agree, there are retail outlets that could start serving to a broader range of women, but to blame the city of Vancouver for a perception you don't even know is true...makes me cringe a little bit. 

Toronto and Vancouver

Sassyfrass wrote:

I used to live in Van in fact i grew up there. While I totally believe what you're saying, bear in mind that while Van LOOKS like a big city it isn't, it's a small minded small town without a lot of class.  I hasten to add not everybody is like this but even a sizeable minority of boors can spoil a city.

I remember how good it felt to move to Toronto and be with people one could have a conversation with.

I still go back to Vancouver now and then to see siblings who elected to remain (and who seem pretty well adjusted aware folks) and it's always pleasant but I would never, ever live there.

Having lived in both Cities, I can say you’ll find the same insular behavior in Toronto as well as Vancouver.  

You say how good you felt about moving to Toronto? To be honest, I rarely hear people talk about Toronto in those terms.  And that my friend, speaks volumes about your new City then the City you described

DO YOUR RESEARCH

The author's statement that there are no Plus size retailers in Vancouver is incorrect.  Both the Bay and Sears downtown have plus size departments. Winners also carries plus sizes.  There are both a Penningtons and Addition Elle, a short bus ride away on the North Shore as well as a Pennigtons location in Burnaby.  There is also a  Plus size designer stores on Granville and a plus size consignment store on Broadway as well.  A little research goes a long way. 

I love and I hate reading the comments section of any given article, but relented after hearing a close friend mention some of the idiotic comments displayed for this particular article. I only read a few and was initially pretty annoyed but then had a change of heart and laughed at most of the negative ones. What’s obvious is that most of the people who insulted her or commented negatively came across as completely stupid and are likely very insecure – after all the people who judge the most are the ones who are most insecure themselves. The point of this article is simple: Vancouver needs to be more accepting (not just towards "fat" people but in general). Accepting is not the same as liking. You don’t have to like anything, but keep your unsolicited comments to yourself. I could never imagine walking down the street and pointing out someone else’s flaws both to their face and for every other ear in the vicinity to hear. How old are you? Have you not matured since elementary? Or are you so deeply insecure that you have to point out someone else’s flaws in order to feel better about your own? Any because you feel so insecure yourself you feel the need to ruin someone else’s day? Get a life! Quite frankly I don’t care what someone else looks like. Why do you?

Understandable, but....

I completely agree with the clothing issue of this article. I am a bit over a size 20 and it is a bit difficult to find things in my size, but when I do I just stock up and remember these places. I frequent them often and I feel much better knowing I can go there and find something for myself. I also understand the attitude from the people in Vancouver. I have been called names from cars, people walking by...even my mother-in-law, who thinks I would look prettier if I was thinner. It all hurts. There is no other way to say it. It hurts when people are mean, rude, or ignorant. But, from someone who moved here just a year ago, I love Vancouver. I love the land, the buildings, and the feel of it. I have learned quickley to ignore rude people and focus on the people who care about me. 

I will say that I don't agree about men not being interested in bigger women here. I have a wonderful boyfriend of 3 years and we couldn't be happier. He is much thinner than me and even an inch shorter. He is quite handsome, and not just from my standards...many people have told me so, and he loves me. He thinks I am a beautiful woman and he treats me as such. There are plenty of men like him out there, and I know you will find someone perfect for you, you just have to feel beautiful to yourself and men will see that. 

As far as Vancouver being healthy and fit, It inspires me to lose weight. Not because everyone is thin, but they are healthy. I want to be a healthy person, not thin, no matter what that size turns out to be. I have Vancouver to thank for that. I'm sorry this is a bit long, but I wanted to reasure you that not everything is bad here. People are jerks...ignore them and move on. Clothing IS out there, I promise. And men aren't that hard...if you think you are beautiful, so will they. I hope things get better for you. I know they did for me, a fellow full figured gal. :) 

There's a livejournal.com

There's a livejournal.com group called fatvancouver that you might be interested in joining.  They are very fat positive and can probably direct you to some great places.

I lived in Vancouver for a long time and had the same problems as you.  I shopped at Adidtion Elle, Penningtons, Sears, The Bay, Winners and sometimes at vintage shops (there was one on Broadway called Rubenesque that had plus sizes).

I'm in Toronto now, much more selection.

However, some websites that are great:

kiyona

sexyplusclothing (here in TO, but they ship and she's great!)

Lane Bryant (of course)

Vancouver does suck for this

I totally agree.  I've always been (a bit) overweight and I have lived in Vancouver my whole life.  There is just a standard of thinness here that is rare in most places in North America.  I definitely have felt out of place frequently - at least in most parts of the city.  I feel that it's not acceptable to have some/alot of fat on one's body, and I don't meet alot of men either.  

I've had to learn to just up my level of self-confidence and not worry about this kind of thing.  Also, apparently it's hard to meet men in this city no matter what.  

There are groups of people (and men) here that are totally accepting but you have to find them. 

That said, I still want to move from here and some of my reasons are similar to yours! 

Thanks for being so honest and sharing your experiences. 

I don't want to sound harsh

I don't want to sound harsh but this is a difficult subject to broach without coming off as such.

To begin with, did you expect anything less of Vancouver? Did you not do any research before moving to another country and city? Vancouver is famed world wide for having one of the most health concsious and active cultures there is. 

People flock to Vancouver because they want to be part of this healthy and active lifestyle and thus the city continues to swell with people who value athleticism and are passionate about looking after their bodies. This was one of the big reasons that I moved here in the first place.

Whethor you think it is fair or not does not matter. When you move to someplace new it is your job to adapt to their culture, not the other way around. You don't see me moving to Dallas and starting an anti-hunting movement or to San Francisco and denouncing alternative lifestyles. 

Furthermore, people likely begrudge your choice of lifestyle. I certainly do. Why? Not because I really care that you want to destroy your body but because I have to help pay for it.

I have to pay higher taxes to cover the massively increased healthcare that you use in order to support your diet. I also have to pay higher prices for things like airfare because they have to make seats larger to accomodate obesity (and thus must have fewer seats per aircraft).

I have nothing against people that are a little over-weight but when we start talking about the dangerously, and morbidly obese realm I really have a tough time feeling sorry for you simply because you have CHOSEN to destroy your health and the act of you doing that has a negative impact on MY LIFE. 


As for the clothing thing. It simply comes down to supply and demand. Stores don't order plus sized clothing because the demand for plus sized clothing is very low here. Business is business and if the cost of stocking plus sized clothing exceeds the amount of revenue it brings in a business owner would be foolish to continue to carry it.

You came from an entire country where obesity is out of control and has made obesity and obesity related diseases the number 1 cause of human death worldwide to a place that takes great pride in being healthy and are surprised you don't fit in?

 

 

 

This isn't really a critique on the article or the author, who I think is brave for voicing her personal experiences and frustrations. However, I just wanted to put it out there that just because some people may feel stigmatized by a society that might be percieved as one which prides itself on achieving and maintaining a certain physical ideal, doesn't mean that they are then justified to "fight back" or "stand up for themselves" through belittling people who do happen to look a certain way. Being a supposed "underdog" because they don't feel like they measure up to certain ideals doesn't mean that society is rejecting them. Its more like they're insecure and therefore lashing out preemptively. 

I recently had my first* bullying experience at the ripe age of 26 by a group of larger women in a club. I thought it was just crowded or poor coordination and space management that caused them to continually bump into me by accident, so I'd keep moving back and make space for them until my friend who was watching the whole time came over and said that they were pushing me on purpose and looking over and laughing to each other about it. It was shocking to me because we're all adults and, well, who does that?

But this led me to think about all the other instances I'd brushed off as not worthy of mulling over. Why would looking a certain way or owning certain things allow some people to feel justified in assuming that they're snobby or superficial? I find it far more ignorant to assume that someone who's a size 2 is automatically a "skinny bitch", than to make correlations between obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices. but I suppose the whole nasty business of societal pressure, media portayals of beauty, and victimization runs far deeper emotionally adn subconciously than people are often willing to admit being susceptible to, and its much easier to focus on and lash out at whatever and whoever's nearest at hand.

Fat ppl are on the same level

Fat ppl are on the same level as downtown eastside crackheads.

PUT THE ICE CREAM BOWL DOWN, GET OFF YOUR ASS, AND GO RUN OUTSIDE.

Fatties bullying fit ppl

avy wrote:

I find it far more ignorant to assume that someone who's a size 2 is automatically a "skinny bitch", than to make correlations between obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices. but I suppose the whole nasty business of societal pressure, media portayals of beauty, and victimization runs far deeper emotionally adn subconciously than people are often willing to admit being susceptible to, and its much easier to focus on and lash out at whatever and whoever's nearest at hand.

Thumbs up there. When fit/skinny people are labeled superficial/snobby is seriously backwards. And actually I would argue that it is more common than fit people bullying fatties. Insulting fat people (or even hinting to the fact someone is overweight) has somehow become very rude and offensive. Hell talking about weight seems to have become more delicate than talking about race or sexual orientation.

We should be promoting healthy habits here.

I mean.. is there a cigarette smoker acceptance movement?

 

 

Preach!

You took the words right out of my mouth, only I always thought it was just me! I eat healthy, don't eat very much, and exercise, but just can't seem to lose the weight. I have come to accept my body for what it is and have stopped putting pressure on myself to be thin. Is it a challenge to walk the seawall or go to the beach when there are so many fit and thin people around? Absolutely!! Do I do my best to feel confident in my appearance? Yes!! Do I feel good knowing that I am bigger than I used to be but dress better than ever? Hell yea!! Still tho, does it break my heart when I'm walking down the street and I notice someone looking at my thighs in disgust ,or I hear a persons rude comments thinking that I can't hear them? Unfortunately, yes!! My boyfriend loves my body and doesn't understand how it feels. He thinks its all in my head, but I can tell when people are talking about me. When I first met my boyfriend I thought he was only interested in me on a dare. I thought there was no way any guy could ever want me this way, not because i was insecure, but because of the way I've been treated by others. It's so disheartening because I love this city and would never judge anyone but find myself being a victim of this treatment regularly. All I ask is to please think of the persons feelings first, before saying something. How would you feel if someone judged you the way you judge them?

You're FAT, get used to it

So some of my family smokes, I point this out to them everytime they light up. When they come in they get ragged on again on how they smell, how much it costs to light up, and how much it degrades their health.

You're fat. You should be constantly reminded of the fact because being fat, like smoking is NOT good for you. So you should be reminded of such every momemnt of every day, just like my friends and family who smoke, that lifestyle changes are needed.

Why would stores cater to you when you are a minority, especially in Vancouver? Have you ever heard of supply and demand?

Now, you should NEVER be made fun of. That's not cool. That is bullying. But, everything else you listed.. I'm sorry, but being fat is no better than a chain smoker.

size

I'm so sorry you have to go through this here. I know that there is a large cultural community that exists here from Asia, and historically their morphology tends to be smaller than other ethnicities, and maybe that's one reason why there's more small stuff. But, to not have anything in large or XL is silly. I carry XL at my yoga studio, since I know not everyone is tiny, and yoga is for everyone of all body types. You are right, Vancouver needs to smarten up and stop being so judgemental. Maybe it's all the rain that makes people depressed so they are just angry at the world. Whatever it is, more tolerance is needed. Thank you for your brave words. 

Head to the Bay's plus size

Head to the Bay's plus size floor. I can't believe how many plus women haven't even stepped foot up there. Tons of fashionable and affordable lines, from Jessica Simpson to Tahari- and often really great sales.

Sorry you're having trouble with the online dating, but I will tell you right now it isn't your size. I'm the same size as you, and mine is thriving. Have a friend read over your profile. You might be saying something in there that makes you come off as self concious or lacking confidence. Those are much bigger turnoffs than fat arms or cellulite. Trust me. I have both.

Size is the last "acceptable" prejudice, and this is sad and wrong.

It is as much a trait with which people are born as our skin color, hair color, eye color, sexual orientation (no, don't even TRY to argue on that point), height, etc.

I bought into the hate for a few decades. Like most sizable people, I fought with my body. Wasted SO much time on the obsession with food, with workouts, etc. Every time - lose five pounds, gain ten. Lose ten, gain twenty. My weight only stabilized when, about 15 years ago, in late young-adulthood, I stopped fighting with it.

I am healthier than most skinny people I know. And ... I am fat. Large. Sorry, your asinine hate is not going to change that. I am a wife, a mom, a successful business owner. But I've lost many years to the wrongfully imposed self-hate because of size ostracism/prejudice. Stop it now. And stop the "obesity epidemic" rhetoric, too. Make healthy food available affordably for all; make it easy to walk and bicycle and swim and run if you choose. And realize that sizeism is just as wrong as racism . We can't change our skin color, we can't change our body's inclinations. Yeah, a few people who decide to spend their life focused on nothing but starvation and over-exercise might be able to change their size temporarily. No more realistic for the rest of us than trying to dye our skin. Leave us be.

AMEN SISTA

I hear ya girlfriend! Props to you for writing this. I COMPLETELY agree. Shoot, if you even have larger breasts you can't even find a shirt to fit anymore. Good for you!

First World Problems

waaaaa, I have to go 15 minutes to the suburbs to find plus sized clothing! My life is so difficult!

waaaaa, some drunk guy at a nightclub was once insensitive to me! This does not happen to skinny people!

Twice!  When I lived in

Twice!  When I lived in Vancouver I was accosted twice by total strangers, who for some reason, felt it was their job to point out my weight.  Once at UBC and again at the frickin train station!  I am back in Alberta and will never again live in that pretentious, self-righteous, shallow town again.  The rednecks are beyond iritating but at least they have some manners.

I'm fat, Vancouver. Get Over It

I love Vancouver, mountains, beaches - geographically everything you want is here.

I'm with you on the fat subject as well.  However, there is good news; once you reach your 50's, you'll become invisible to men, so you won't have to put up with mindless insensitives because you're not size 0 - 10.

I've been thinking that perhaps I should move to another country where fat people are not insulted and being in your 50's is is, well, natural.

Thanks for your article.

We're all people

I work at a gym and a nutrition shop in Vancouver, and I shook my head at your stories.  Skinny does not equal fit, and fitness isn't the end-all-and-be-all.  It's really just a gift we give to ourselves - a form of self care and self love - not an indicate of a person's value or worthiness.   

Know that many the jock-type guys you might see in the VLM see you as a fellow being worthy of respect and love and respond to your character and personality.

And practically half my wardrobe is Lululemon, but I would like to see them walk their talk and be less exclusive and more empowering. (Heads up, Chip)

Much love, fellow Vancouverite.

 

My whole life

It's sad how much I've related to this article, you're such an inspiration. I've traveled different places with my family and people are so much kinder other places. People here shrug you off without taking the time of day to get to know you. It's truly sad. And a lonely feeling. Good for you!

Some of the comments are not really true. Canada has a really great plus size fashion industry. There are a lot of Canadian plus size bloggers. We have plus size fashion week. Most stores do have my size 16/18. Those clothes are cute, and stylish. I shop at Winners, Walmart, H & M, Forever21, Addition elle, Suzie Sheir, Guess by Marciano (a size 14-18 can fit in a lot of the size Large stuff), Bootlegger, Target (Yes, we have Target in Canada. All of the Zellers stores here are now Target.) Le Chateau, Bluenotes, a lot of other stores to name. I have not really found it to be an issue. People will be rude any place you go. A good example of that is 'The Beaches' in Toronto....yikes. You find a way to deal, and enjoy being plus sized. Most of North America is plus sized. Being plus sized does not = being a lazy, unhealthy person...That is sooooooo funny. lol So strange also. Look around you...There are so many amazing plus sized people who love healthy food, and working out. I do think some cities have a bit more attitude...not in a good way. Prejudice is ignorance. Here is a list of Canadian plus sized bloggers I know of. http://curvycanadian.blogspot.ca/p/canadian-plus-size-fashion-blogs.html

Fat women

So you moved to Vancouver and could not find Omar the Tent Maker to make you a dress?    You are fat and it is your responsibity to do something about it.  Stop complaining about other people.   Just do one push up a day.  Push yourself away from the table.    You want to know how to look?  Take a look at old movies.  Apart from Sidney Greenstreet, see any fat people?   Get off your lazy backside and get some exercise and stop consuming hamburgers for lunch everyday.

Manatee Laments:

Try negroes, I'm told they like hawgs.

I just wanted to check in and

I just wanted to check in and say you're fat.

the city of raised noses

Emily, I'm sorry you've had this experience. I lived in Vancouver for just over a year and a half and have recently moved to Red Deer, AB. I was expecting the worst from the people here - a mix of religious farmers and affliction-wearing (shitty brand name t-shirt company: think UFC meets Ed Hardy) rig pigs.... but I was wrong. I was so surprised and impressed by how nice and polite everyone here is. And at first I thought, "wow what a nice place."

Then I got to thinking about it and realized that it wasn't Red Deer, it was Vancouver. Red Deer is normal. A normal place where people work good honest jobs and respect their neighbours... all of their neighbours, no matter what they look like. This hit me a few weeks ago at a bar: I was standing in a kind of thoroughfare (between tables kinda thing) and a few guys my age were walking toward me on the way to the washroom… and a weird thing happened: they each said excuse me, noded and did their best to walk around me as I moved out of the way for them.

Now, the “weird,” thing in my anecdote here, is that that was a “weird,” thing to me at all. The reason it struck me as odd was because I was used to Vancouver, where the same situation almost always results in a ridiculous staring contest crossed with a game of chicken… see who will move out of the way first… who’s cooler… who’s dominant etc. Literally, guys (and girls) will expect you to move out of their way no matter what…even if they’re walking like 4 abreast down a sidewalk, for example.

Also, and I know this isn’t the same thing that you face whatsoever, but I drive a 2005 red Chevy Cavalier. That kind of car sticks out a bit in Van… cause it doesn’t cost more than $40K (in fact its closer to a tenth of that… but anyways…). I would get smug looks from people in Mercedes’ and BMW and what have you. I used to get sideways looks from people on the sidewalk when I would go to park… like “eww you’re poor.”

And I alsowent through the online dating thing too… with no luck… I would say that I am a somewhat handsome guy and it was like playing tennis with a bowl of porridge as your opponent… hit the ball… thhhwuck… serve up another… thhwuck. So anyways the one date I did get on, the girl was visibly repulsed by my car! Since moving to Red Deer (and changing my dating profile to reflect that) I actually get messages, from really nice, sane, ambitious (and cute) girls. And when I send a message I almost always get at least a short reply… just a totally different ball game.

So I guess my point is: don’t feel too bad about it. It’s not just plus size people… it’s everyone who doesn’t fit that very affluent, lululemon wearing, granite countertop having, BMW driving, kits/downtown apartment dwelling persona that we know so well. And I think the more conspicuously one happens to not fit in, the harder you feel it. So I too, when asked how was Vancouver, have to tell the whole truth about it: beautiful city, ugly people!

 (As a side note, the irony about guys in Vancouver trying to walk right through you in shared public spaces, is that I only saw one bar fight in the year and a half that I lived there – I should mention that I avoided Granville street like the vapid, greasy plague that it turns into on Friday and Saturday nights - and in Red Deer I’ve already seen 4 or 5 since February. Translation: guys in Vancouver are complete wussies. Overly aggressive but never back it up with actions… unlike Red Deer, where people are polite until they have beef with someone and then they actually man up. PS I’m not condoning fighting… I dislike violence, but this illustrates the character of Vancouver men quite nicely)

Hmmm...

Good writing, but something about this doesn't sit right with me.

People have no right to be unkind to you just because of your weight, but the fact that most clothing doesn't exist in your size should be a wake-up call. Not everyone needs to wear a tiny, trim size two, but being obese is not a good thing - not for you, not for society, and not for the planet. Obesity should be treated the same as other medical issues: you shouldn't be bullied because of it, but you also should have medical attention to help you fix it, rather than sitting back and declaring, "I'm fat. Deal with it!"

I liked reading your article, but it bothers me that you refuse to address the root of your problem. It's not Vancouver that's making you unhealthy, lonely, and unhappy - it's your unwillingness to accept that you have a problem that is causing you to be obese.

In true Canadian fashion, I apologize if this offends anyone, but I cannot accept obesity becoming the norm. This is not okay.

It's all about Love

Dear Emily,

Thank you for being so open, to let your voice come out. From your words the sadness, the frustration, the pain are coming out. And I can really relate to that. I've been 40 lbs more than who I am today, I've changed friends, clubs etc to try to avoid that feeling of discomfort, feeling always observed and judged. But even when I did that, nothing changed. People are just people and you will everywhere find someone that will judge you.

My real shift happened when I realized that the problem was about other people, the issue was that I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH MYSELF. I was the one judging myself, I was the one calling my self fat, I was the one feeling uncomfortable with my body. I strongly believe that our external reality is just a mirror of our internal reality: If you don't love and accept yourself you will always here those comments coming from other people, what changes is how you relate to them.

And only when I started to love myself, than the lbs started to go away, and the more I loved myself the more I was happy and the more judment from other people are not relevant anymore.

It's not about Vancouver, it's about you.

Yes Vancouver is an amazing city, and people are more conscious about themselves.

I hope that you will start to take care of yourself.

Love and Blessings,

CoachMilla

Welcome to Vancouver - home of the rudanucks

Vancouver is disgusting when it comes to how badly they look down on people are different which is ironic since it's a city that is filled with people from all walks of life. It's awful being treated like how you're treated. Just know that there's people like me who don't judge you who live in British Columbia and think it's really messed up how Vancouver views people who aren't a XS. <3

I take a size medium and even when I go into stores, I feel like I'm overweight because they carry more of the XS and sell it quite frequently of the medium. Plus some of their mediums are like a small.

Sorry Vancouver for being an average size. Seriously!

Lack of education

Luna wrote:

Bob from Surrey wrote:
Stop being fat, fatty. Eat properly, exercise and get into that size 8 or whatever you consider thin. Dammit are we at a point where being fat is some sport of disability??

I'm a vegan. I eat 1000 - 1200 calories per day, under the supervision of a nutritionist. I exercise a LOT. And I'm fat. What more would you have a person like me do, Bob from Surrey, oh wise and kind guru of all that is body weight?

 

vegan diets are so unhealthy. Very low in fat and actual protein your body can use means you are always always carb crashing and signalling your body to store fat. Plus your protein source is probably soy which is loaded with estrogen which signAl's more weight gain. But no your right its totallbeyond figuring out and out of your control ahahaha. laziness physically and mentally and a lack of personal accountability. Am I a bad person for not wanting to build a life with people like this in it?

 

Wow, I thought those little

Wow, I thought those little voices nagging me in the back of my head were wrong, but you are so right! Thank you so much for this article!!!

I'm a 23-year-old grad student at UBC and I'm a size 16. Pretty average across the country, and average or even below average in other countries. I've been living in Vancouver for a year and I've been noticing the same things -- my friends find such cute buys at Forever 21 and many little boutique shops around the city, whereas I'm lucky if I find one very stretchy size large item. It's not just the lack of larger sizing, but also the fact that the sizes aren't consistent (a large at Forever 21 is at least one, if not two, sizes smaller than a large at Old Navy). This makes finding basics pretty easy, but if I want a really cute going-out top or dress, it's a big challenge (pardon the pun).

Same too with the dating scene. I wasn't meeting anyone in real life so I turned to a dating site. I had a few dates, but none of them stuck around for very long. Recently I received a message from a guy saying "I like me a curvy woman". Bad grammar aside, it got me thinking that guys in this city have to proclaim that they specifically like "curvy" women, whereas in other cities, we're just a part of the general female dating pool. Living in this city has made me more suspicious of guys when they give me compliments or if they're interested in me and that's not right.

Luckily, my time here is limited and when I finish my degree, I'll be shipping out too.

Racial Slurs

Would have loved to read more in the article or to read people's comments on the racial slurs angle. I am black and Vancouver is the first city I ever been in where I have been subjected to racial slurs. I have lived in most of the major cities in the US and Europe.


I know it is not an international city per se, but I always thought it would be much more cosmopolitan and cultured, and people would know to not voice racial slurs at strangers minding their own business. I am barely a size 6 so the excuse about hating fat people would not really apply here.

What's fat got to do with it?

What amazes me is how this woman has come up with the idea that 800,000 people might owe her an apology.  Ok you're fat, so what does that have to do with Canada's third largest city?  Are you thinking that people here are all slim haters of fat?  Or are you so involved with yourself that you have no responsibility for your life other than blaming people for your existence.  If I stink and walk down the street, I'm sure someone will let me know so I can clean myself up.  It makes more sense for me to have a bath than it is to convince 800,000 people that they hate me.

It definitely is a cultural thing.

Now that you live in a society with universal health care, take note that people who live unhealthy lifestyles are a drain on our healthcare system-- don't expect 100% support from your neighbours when it may appear that you're living irresponsibly.

Your "deal with it" attitude is not going to get you anywhere-- you're outnumbered by an entire city of health and fitness nuts who actually put a lot of time and effort into maintaining their health, superficially or not.

To sum things up, it's a supply and demand issue. Lots of obese people live in the United States, which is why you'll find those clothes there.

.........

Luna wrote:

Bob from Surrey wrote:
Stop being fat, fatty. Eat properly, exercise and get into that size 8 or whatever you consider thin. Dammit are we at a point where being fat is some sport of disability??

I'm a vegan. I eat 1000 - 1200 calories per day, under the supervision of a nutritionist. I exercise a LOT. And I'm fat. What more would you have a person like me do, Bob from Surrey, oh wise and kind guru of all that is body weight?

 

 

I stumbled across this article looking for 'skinny jeans' online LOL
I am disgusted with some of the comments from people, WTF is wrong with some of you??
Yes I agree, if you are not happy with the way you are being treated and not being able to find clothes, change, go workout, try to lose the weight, not saying be a size 2, however a healthier size may help you feel better and not be so negative.

Reason I quoted this particular comment is '1000-1200 calories a day' by a supposed nutritionist, are you freaking kidding me?!?!
No wonder you are not losing any weight, you burn more calories in a day than you are eating just from walking around, that is FAR from healthy.

To the person who wrote this article you're probably not even going to see this however I sincerely hope that you have a better outlook on life and Vancouver now than when you did writing this!!

Where are you frequenting

I am really curious to know the places you frequent in Vancouver. One of my dearest friends is very overweight and if I heard anyone say anything to her, or make snide remarks behind her back, it would end in a lot of yelling on my part.

She has always been scared that people judge her here, but no one has ever made a comment for the negative (she is 35). She has also never been asked out, but then again Vancouver is known as a really tough place to date.

True on the clothes, though. There are a small handful of plus sized clothes stores, and main stream stores carry a crap selection.

It's so sad that people would treat you this way, but know there are a lot of nice Vancouverites out there. 

Canadian plus size fashion for you

Loved reading your article and I can definitely relate. While it might be a little higher than your price range as a student, there are some great deals and trendy fashions to be found at www.sexyplusclothing.com. Happy browsing :) Cheers, Stefanie

Ignorance

I am astounded at the utter ignorance of some of these posts.  I am a 67 year old plus sized woman, who is extremely fit.  I can swim for an hour without stopping, climb steep hills, and work out hard at the gym.  After 40 years on insane dieting, which only made me fatter, I finally gave myself a break and stopped.  I eat a healthy, well balanced diet and my health is excellent.  I have been told I dress beautifully.  It costs a bundle, but it's worth it.  I shop at three local stores only:  Above Average at The Bay; Fashion Addition; and Laura Plus.  I also sew, which helps a lot.  I have been off and on a number of online dating sites, with very little luck.  I am well-educated (two degrees), very cultured, and very fit, but my size (16 - 18) is a barrier to most men in this city.  My best response has been from European men, who seem to be more interested in a woman's mind than her "culturally unacceptable" body.  As far as I am concerned, it's their loss. 

Stuck in between

I've stumbled across this article a few times while figuring out what the hell is wrong with Vancouver clothing sizes.

When I first moved here from Ireland I was a size UK 12 which is a US 8 but figured out very quickly that that's not true over here and quickly started picking 10s off the shelf. After gaining a few pounds (I'm serious, it's really not much at all - all of my clothes still fit me) I now find myself hard pressed to fit into a US 14 or 16!!

When I get home, I know that I'll be able to fit into a UK 12/14 again. It's absolutely ridiculous.

I wouldn't even mind so much but when I go to plus sized shops, the clothes are far too big on me, even the smallest sizes.

Where the hell can you get a good dress around here? It's driving me crazy. 

Yes and No

Amanda wrote:

Wow, so rude. All she's asking for is size equality in the stores. As soon as you cross the border they carry larger sizes in almost all of the shops, why is it not the same in Canada.

 


It must have taken a lot of courage to write this article, and I admire her for it.. But is the USA not known for it's high obesity? I certainly can't find this quote to be a reasonable arguement. Watching what you eat and excercising isn't neccesarily fun, but those skinny girls who you overweight ladies call anorexic and starving themselves work their butts off for a flat stomach. They are to be admired for their dedication as long as they are doing it in a healthy way, I am not quite where I want to be when it comes to my body but it is possible, and there's no reason to fight the fact that Vancouver is a healthy city and everyone should jump on board!