Throughout my eating disorder, my body has been in a variety of sizes. When my body was in a thinner body, I had no problem finding cute ski clothing to wear that fit perfectly. When my body changed into a bigger body, I found myself thinking, “I’m so fat I can’t even find ski clothes to wear.” The message I heard when nothing in the store would go over my thighs was, “If you want to have ski clothes, you need to lose weight.” Which translated in my head to, “I’m less of a person and can’t ski because I’m fat and fat is bad.”
This is what our culture and media does to us. There is a bias, unconscious or not, of “Why would we make plus sizes? Fat people don’t work out and they especially don’t ski/ride. And if they do, there isn’t a market. There are only a handful of fat people that ski/ride. Not worth our money to just make a few items.” The problem isn't my body. The problem is the bias in the ski industry. The athletic world is getting better about making body inclusive clothing. It’s started to boom in the past couple of years.
However, the ski industry is WAY behind. I’ve been told through the rumor mill that several popular outdoor/ski/snowboard companies do not believe there is a market for plus size outdoor/ski/snowboard gear. If you are from one of those companies, you need a new marketing research team. That is absolutely false! If you walk into any ski/snowboard shop and listen, I guarantee you will hear at least one person in a bigger body ask or complain about sizing. Another issue that comes up often is ski boots and individuals with larger calves not being able to find ski boots-that is a whole other post along with social justice issues in the industry.
A few weeks back, I happened to stumble upon a retail associate who told me about Obermeyer and their line of bigger sizes. I internally rolled my eyes. There is no way it’s going to fit. I took a few sizes in pants and a jacket to the dressing room. As the pants went over my thighs, over my bootie, and zipped, tears welled up in my eyes. The same with the jacket. I didn’t have to pull it over the top of my hips to barely zip, then push down over hips, and squeeze my boobs in and try to zip it up. Nope, it zipped right up like a jacket should. At this point I was smiling and crying! They fit! No maneuvering to get the clothing on. Not too tight, just perfect!
I finally skied in the entire outfit. I was so comfortable. I didn’t stress about taking my jacket off when I stopped for lunch because I knew it would zip up with no problem. It was freeing. I felt like a “normal” person and didn’t have one million insecurities and real issues about my clothing to worry about. Most importantly, I was comfortable as I was shredding the gnar!!!!!!!!!!
My next purchase will be these First Impressio Bliss Pants!
Thank you Obermeyer! See ya on the hill!
Edit 12.26.19 - couple of social media responses from Obermeyer and Burton Snowboards