I wanted to thank Aeryn for giving this non-full figured girl a chance to share my story.  We were discussing plus sized stores, and I shared this story, and she wanted me to share with you all.

I was glad to share because I feel like sometimes full figured ladies feel they are the only ones who get mistreated because of their size.  Believe me, I know it happens more often to you, but it does happen to us too.

A little background on me.  I am the “skinny” girl in my family.  The one that can walk into just about any store and find something that fits.  It really irks my family, I get it.  I’ve been with them through their shopping troubles, and feel bad that I can just walk in and pick anything I like off the rack.  And plus sized clothes seems to be an arm and a leg for anything that is fashionable and cute.  So I like to give my sister some money for shopping, or gift cards to her favourite plus sized stores.

The following has happened to me on numerous occasions, on different scales but this is the one that has stuck with me the most:

So coming up to her birthday, which is Christmas Day no less, I went into a certain plus-sized store with my friend; yes, we were both very thin back then size 3 and 0. We felt out of place, but wanted to get a great gift for my sister.

This sales lady comes up to us and says “You two should not be in here, you make me and our customers feel uncomfortable. We want to have a place where people like YOU don’t shop. You really have enough places to shop you don’t need to invade our space”.   I knew where she was coming from having been shopping with my family and seen it directed at them, but I was taken aback.   Plus I was quite angry.   We had a store full of people looking at us.

My response was “Fine. Clearly my money isn’t good enough for your store.” 

She responded with: We don’t have anything for your type here. 

My type?  That irritated me.  It felt very prejudiced.  I don’t believe in judging a person by their looks, I decide who they are by their attitude and the way they treat others.

So I was less than polite at this point (clearly not at my best ): hmmmm good to know that you don’t sell gift certificates to non-plus sized people, because clearly we don’t know any plus sized people.

I think at this point she may have realized that she was about to lose a very easy sale, and that I was pretty angry.  She really was stammering and trying to smooth it over.  The manager came over at this point and tried to smooth it over as well.  But I kindly pointed out that I clearly felt unwelcomed and didn’t want to shop there. I also pointed out that I take my sister shopping with the gift card I give her, and she uses this money and the money family give her to purchase clothes.  I wouldn’t be taking her to this store after Christmas for a shopping spree as I clearly wasn’t welcomed.

We did go to another store, and was treated nicely, although some of the other customers did give us looks like we were clearly in the wrong place. 

I think it is important to remember that no matter what size you are, what colour your hair/skin/eyes, your religious beliefs or whatever – we are all people, with opinions, feelings and struggles.  We need to support each other, not try to tear the other down a peg.

About the Author:

knitwitbyshair | Geek Life: Augmenting Reality Shair is the owner and writer of The Knit Wit by Shair, and loves sharing about her life as a mom of 3 boys, wife, knitter, and Dale Jr fan.

A note from Aeryn:

When Shair, myself and a few of our friends were discussing this issue just this morning, I really couldn’t believe it.

I would dare to say that there is perhaps one thing that every plus-sized person has in common, and that would be knowing what its like to be hated for being fat.  Whether someone sneered in your face while calling you “disgusting,” or you’ve read a ton of “acceptable” comments on other sites along the lines of “Why aren’t they concentrating on losing weight instead of what’s available for them to wear,” or another comic is talking about fat people with apples in their mouths; we know what hate is. We know how this feels, and perhaps in our fight for equal consideration, some of us are shooting down friends and loved ones, and generally some really nice straight-sized/thin people who want the same as we do.  Believe it or not, there are thin people who want plus sized people to have the fashionable clothing they want.  Both Shair and Jeanne Beker are two women right off the top of my head that want better for us “above average” people.

Yes, we’ve been mocked in the past by those with weight issues (that have projected those issues on us,) but could we not shoot first and ask questions later? Could we maybe also work towards not projecting our own personal issues on others. Please?  I know its a lot to ask, but if you could think of Shair’s story next time you see someone under 14+ perusing our stores, we could maybe take one more step towards that brighter, more fashionably equal future!

(Especially now that a lot of plus-size stores are carrying wide-calf boots!  This is an issue for many women of all sizes, and we just might find more smaller women trying to find a pair of boots that will actually fit them for once.)

Thanks for reading folks.