First Urban Outfitters was under fire for encouraging girls to "eat less" with their trade mark scandal t-shirt, then Australian model, Robyn Lawley was labelled fat. What's next you ask? H&M, one of Montreal's most trendy and popular stores challenges the term "plus size"
In the plus size section of their latest catalog, H&M uses a model who's actually quite thin. "You should be ashamed as a company to say that THIS is PLUS SIZE!" a customer tweeted. "No wonder girls think they have to look a certain way," another one added.
As a response to the criticism, H&M filed a statement which claims that all of the models featured in the plus size section of the catalog were dressed in at least a US size 14. However, one H&M representative said that the models in this spread are open to "interpretation" and as to whether they should be classified as "plus-size"
H&M's home country, Sweden even felt some of the backlash from Emma Igelstrom, a swimmer and anti- bulimia advocate. "H&M needs to take responsibility for this, Igelstrom said. "They are sponsors to the Swedish Olympics team, but by calling this model plus size they are strengthening the idea that super skinny is the ideal."
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"I had such a visceral reaction to the ducks," she told MTL Blog.
"I immediately fell in love with them. It was a rainy afternoon when I stumbled upon the store and that discovery just made my day. I ended up buying a bunch of ducks for friends and family and I thought to myself, I’m going to open a duckie store in Montreal."
After opening in late spring 2020, Petropoulos thought her shop would be mostly popular with tourists, but with limited visitors to the city thanks to the pandemic, local Montrealers have become her best customers.
"I have been delighted and overwhelmed with the local support and enthusiasm for the shop and am very appreciative of how Montrealers have come, shopped local, and supported a small business like mine."
In its Instagram post, the shop said Frank & Oak "[continued] to promote this shirt on [its] Instagram page even after we had expressed our disagreement."
The family-run flower shop is a beloved Mile End spot with its signature colourful storefront and iconic owner, Tamey.
"Larger businesses that use small local businesses, like ours, to further their own agendas while ignoring the wishes of communities is not something we choose to align ourselves with," the Instagram post continued.
Dragon Flowers said it was "this lack of respect for our voice and space" that led it to write to its followers on Instagram.
The report compared key indexes of attitudes toward LGBTQ2+ people across 34 countries. Canada ranked seventh based on social acceptance, sexual activity rights, civil union rights, marriage rights, adoption rights and military service rights, as well as anti-discrimination and gender identity laws.
Canada ranks seventh, after mostly European countries
The top five countries on the list were in Europe. Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain made the top three.
According to the report, Canada's provinces only introduced same-sex civil union rights in the early 2000s, while Sweden registered same-sex civil partnerships in 1995.
However, Canada was faster than Sweden to adopt gay marriage rights. Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2005 — with some provinces legalizing it as early as 2003 — while Sweden legalized it in 2009.
Compared to Sweden's 94% social acceptance rating, 85% of Canadian society was found to be socially accepting of LGBTQ2+ communities.
Gender identity and anti-discrimination laws
Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain all have anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ2+ people, the report shows.
The report says that in Spain, since 2007, all documents can be amended to a person's 'recognized gender.'
Comparatively, in Canada, transgender people have been able to change their gender and name (but not their sex) since 2017 — the same year Bill C-16 came into effect, making gender identity and expression a Constitutional right.
'Conversion therapy' has been illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015, and Vancouver and Nova Scotia since 2018, according to the report.