Being plus-sized has its ups and downs. On the one hand, the body positivity movement has come a long way. People are supportive of plus-sized bodies, plus-sized fashion is becoming more and more mainstream, and there’s now more representation (just look at the fabulous Tess Holliday).
On the other, plus-sized individuals still face an uphill battle, and unique challenges. So if you’re a plus-sized woman living in Montreal, then you’ve definitely faced at least one of these daily struggles.
1. So Much Walking = So Much Chub Rub
If you’ve never experienced chub rub- which is when your thighs chafe together in a horribly uncomfortable way, normally when you wear a skirt or a dress- then you’re beyond lucky (or, somehow, you have a thigh gap). It can be a regular occurrence for plus-sized women, especially for those living in Montreal. Not only does the humidity contribute to chub rub, but the rolling hills can make life tough too. If you’re heading up Mount Royal or walking up the enormous mountain to get to class at McGill, you may want to stock up on baby powder (or wear jeans, whichever).
2. The STM Seemingly Hates Plus-Sized People
We can’t say they hate plus-sized people for sure, but it’s a pretty safe guess if you’ve ever seen the size of their bus seats. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to fit a large number of people into one bus, there is a problem with making the seats so small that me, and the person next to me, become one. And you think you sweat a lot on the metros in the summer? Try being plus-sized. Not fun. At all.
3. Good Luck Dieting In The City Of Food
We live in a city with poutine and 24 hour food service, and yet plus-sized individuals are expected to go on diets, live off of salad, and are shamed for eating food in public (which is awful and humiliating). It’s not even that healthy eating is impossible in the city, just that it’s hard as hell and “cheating” (if that’s what you’re so inclined to call it) is gonna happen.
Photo Cred - Griphy
4. Bixi Bikes Were Designed By Satan
If you thought you had to worry about showing your ass to the city while you're biking in a skirt, just wait until you're 250lbs in a mini dress going down a hill at breakneck speeds. Not fun. There’s also nothing worse than sweating through your clothing while on the way to work. Ugh.
5. Montreal Is The Fashion Capital Of Canada... Unless You're Plus-Sized
On the one hand, it’s great that you’re in the fashion capital of Canada. On the other, if people would actually sell clothes that were designed for plus-sized women under the age of 85, that would be swell. It seems like plus-sized clothing is harder and harder to come by in Montreal, and what people are selling are ugly, even by grandmother standards. And if you do manage to find something cute, you better be ready to dole out fat stacks.
6. Everything Is Outside
We have festivals all summer long that take place outside, in the grueling heat and humidity… which means even more sweat than normal, even more chub rub than usual, and sticky skin that makes everyone wish for air conditioning. Because plus-sized clothing can be hard to find, it can be difficult to find light summer outfits for all these festivals (meaning you can stay home or bake alive in your long-sleeve shirts and jeans).
7. It's A City That Loves Skin
The fashion in Montreal tends to show everything, and if you're not comfortable with your body then it can be difficult to find styles you like to wear (which goes for people of any size). If you are comfortable in your skin (in which case awesome!) and able to find something cute that reveals some skin, you’re then forced to deal with crowds of fat shamers. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
8. Narrow Streets And Too Many People
Let’s face it, Montreal is a narrow and crowded city. From parking spots, to city streets, to sidewalks, everything’s pretty narrow. It can be especially frustrating if you’re a plus-sized individual as every Montrealer walks into you when you’re taking a stroll through the city. It’s especially bad on St Catherine's street and in the Old Port, aka where people seem to think they own the road and can’t be bothered to make space.
Photo Cred - Giphy
9. Our Body Culture Can Be Rough
Montreal can be a rough city when it comes to how it views bodies. From gym culture (which pushes people to work out all the time), club culture (which encourages women to be thin and to dress provocatively), and our heavy emphasis on fashion (think the normalization of dangerously thin models). As much as Montreal’s an open and accepting city, it’s obsession with body culture- and body shaming- can be hard to deal with if you’re plus-sized. Just remember that you’re beautiful no matter what your size and if people have a problem with you, well, fvck ‘em.