One woman in Edmonton is hoping to make the city more inclusive for plus-sized people, taking to social media to get her message out. Marielle Terhart, 29 years old, has long been an advocate for plus-sized people. She’s posted many photos to Instagram, and hopes that people become more aware of her cause.
“When you start to be aware how larger bodies are discriminated and marginalized you start to think about all the situations that you kind of size out of being able to take part in,” Terhart said. She says that local businesses don’t often carry larger sizes, and that there are instances of certain tables and desks being too small for plus-sized people.
“There aren’t a lot of local boutiques or stores that carry garments in my size despite me so desperately wanting to support local stores,” she added. “I would say that after XL, so at about above a size 16, the availability of being able to shop with ease in our city is almost non-existent.”
Terhart adds that “There is so much money to make if we hate our bodies,” saying that the clothing industry capitalizes on people not being comfortable with themselves. “It’s really a problematic issue because people have changed,” she said. “The way we eat has changed, the way we stand has changed. What we consider to be ideals of beauty is getting more diversified but the quote unquote standard hasn’t changed.”
Terhart isn’t alone in her feelings, with one student at MacEwan University saying that plus-sized people are discriminated against. “This seems to be the last form of socially accepted stigma that we have,” said Connie Levitsky. “All across the board, it seems that weight bias does play a part…It’s having to defend yourself over and over again. What I eat is none of your business. What I do for exercise is none of your business. But unfortunately, when you’re overweight, people make it their business. And that’s unfortunate, because they’re not seeing me as a person.”