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No Skinny Chicks Allowed

Aeryn Lynne

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:

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.

Like it? Share it!

Aeryn Lynne

The Geek at Geek Life
Living in Superman's Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, fights for fashion-equality, squees over comic art, and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.
Aeryn Lynne

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13 Comments on “No Skinny Chicks Allowed

Shari Goss
April 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I love your note added Aeryn! I feel like while I don’t get all the issues you may face, I see how hard it can be. I’ve also helped my sister try to find cute fashionable things to wear and have been horrified by the crappy selection. I think it’s something we all need to fight for together.

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Aeryn Lynne
April 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Together sounds like a plan! 🙂 I have a list of great shopping sites (unfortunately mostly online), and am working on getting that live on this site to help plus size gals shop (and even guys if I can find some good stores for them too.) If you sister is ever in a rut for finding a good place, let me know! *hearts*

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Suesan Hoffman
April 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

What store is it that carries wide calf boots? Please Please Please!

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Aeryn Lynne
April 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Addition Elle carries them in season (I’m not sure if there’s any available right at this moment. And if you’re in Toronto, or will be visiting, Big Sister’s Closet also sells wide calf boots when she has them in stock – you would have to call ahead, ’cause they obviously go quickly! Karen, the owner, *may* even ship them to you, but don’t quote me on that! 🙂

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Brandy InsaneMamacita
April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Shari. Apparently you can’t win if you are “skinny” or “fat.” People will still treat other people horribly. It is quite sad in my opinion. Why can’t be all just get along and treat each other with the respect we all deserve.

And I love how Addition Elle is now advertising on television with a plus sized model. She is absolutely beautiful. Nobody should be made to feel otherwise.

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Tammy L Bell
April 4, 2013 at 7:29 am

thanks for sharing this story. I have experienced this myself. I never did go back to the store. I was looking for a job, not to purchase..That was years ago when I was skinny, now If I was to go to that store, I would probably be greeted with smiles and offers of help.

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MBA Mama
April 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I had a similar encounter, although not quite as severe. I, too, am the skinny one. However, I do purchase gift cards for my sister and mother, and happen to find the jewellery at a lot of plus size stores to be absolutely fabulous. I actually had a sales associate ask what I was doing in her store – didn’t I know that nothing here would fit me? I asked her if she didn’t think I was allowed to wear the jewellery or if I didn’t know any plus sized people? She kind of skulked off and I left. It was absolutely ridiculous.

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NicoleRoanne
April 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Too bad people can be so shallow. I’m glad women are standing up for themselves more and demanding better treatment.

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Journeysof TheZoo
April 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

I think it’s great that you’ve highlighted the issue of prejudice and discrimination. Period. We all have differences and we all bleed. I hope that I am teaching my children to be accepting and compassionate of others.

A friend of ours was on medication and kidney dialysis and it caused her to gain a lot of weight (for her). She started to get stares. For her, it was either that or her life. I hadn’t seen weight gain in that light before.

Sorry that anyone has to deal with this in the first place.

Besos, Sarah
Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

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Aeryn Lynne
April 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

*hugs* Sarah! That’s probably one of the biggest issues of weight discrimination. Not everyone is born with a body meant to be thin. My whole family is athletic in nature, yet none of us have the stereotypical sleek athletic body. And sometimes health issues that come up later in life changes a person’s metabolism drastically (like thyroid for instance), but that won’t stop people from thinking that he/she must eat three burgers for breakfast.

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Debbie Bashford
April 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

wow never thought that plus sized stores would discriminate, goes both ways I see.

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Aeryn Lynne
April 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

I wouldn’t say *all* plus sized stores do. I practically live in a few
of them within Toronto, and you would never ever see such a reaction
that Shair has received. I really hate to say it, but I believe this
might be more common in areas where there are even fewer choices for
plus size clothing (ie only one or two stores around to cover an entire
town.)

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