Vancouver promotes healthy lifestyle 0
Does Vancouver discriminate against overweight people, or does our city just place high value on health, wellbeing and fitness?
The recent article I'm Fat Vancouver, Get Over it, and its author's claim there is an institutional dislike of overweight people in our city, hit a nerve. Is it true? Are Vancouverites unkind and unwelcoming to people of the plus-sized variety? I'm not sure I agree.
Emily Walker cites examples of how she has been discriminated against in Vancouver because of her size, including "mothers walking in Kits who point at me and think I can't hear them when they tell their kids they'll look like me if they keep playing their Xbox all day."
Goodness, I'd like to know who these mothers are. Aside from this being rude and obnoxious, this is just bad parenting.
Walker continues, suggesting Vancouverites shouldn't ". bother offering me (a) seat on the bus, thanks, I'm not pregnant." Maybe she was offered a seat because she is a woman? Chivalry (on Vancouver transit, it seems) is not dead. I am often offered a seat on the bus. Do I immediately become defensive, thinking the person must think I am pregnant, a senior or disabled? No . I think they are being polite.
Finally, Walker tells Vancouver retailers that she'd ". like to buy some jeans in this city without looking like a mom in the '80s. Sorry to shock you, but XS is not the norm."
The truth is retailers carry the sizes demanded by the demographic they serve. I can empathize with someone who comes to a new city and feels that they don't fit in or look different from the "norm," a feeling that you aren't welcome or liked can set in. Pair that with a city's reputation for being difficult to meet new people (sorry, Vancouver, it's true) and you have a recipe for quashing anyone's self-confidence - no matter who they are.
However, I don't think that the case here is that Vancouver discriminates against overweight or obese people, yes, there are people here who do (and shame on them) . but not the city as a whole.
In Vancouver, we have a culture where people are encouraged to take care of themselves and their bodies. Should Vancouver apologize for this? I say, absolutely not.
Want to share your opinion on life, dating or current issues in the Lower Mainland? Send 400 words to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll consider publishing it in our guest spot.