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OPINION: Being comfortable in your work out clothes

The Henry Hype

As someone who’s been deemed fat by the fashion industry, it makes me angry every time a clothing brand releases a line of plus wear clothes and it’s met by people screaming that the move is promoting obesity.

If someone is a plus size, how is offering them clothes that will fit promoting obesity? It's a business trying to sell to a larger market, as plus sizes can be hard to find.

Take for example Lululemon.

The Vancouver-based clothing company announced in September they would be expanding to offer up to size 20, leaving out the fact it would only be in certain styles and colours to start.

This move is long overdue from a company whose founder, Chip Wilson, resigned as chairman in 2013 for telling their customers ‘it's you, not us’ when they complained of pilling after purchasing Lululemon’s pants, which go for $100 or more depending on the style.

I was introduced to the Church of Lulu when I was in high school. As I was trying to find workout clothes that wouldn’t rip, become see-through, and would actually be comfortable, I turned to the Canadian company I’d heard so many raves about. It was a relief for me when I found Lululemon clothes did in fact fit me and made it possible for me to work out. A lot of people obviously don’t have that same luxury.

As someone who has to wear clothes that are plus size (for the record I’m typically an XL) I really used to hate clothing shopping almost as much as I loathed going to the gym. There I would be, with my huge thighs, stomach, and chest, trying to squeeze into the largest size I could find and seeing the fabric stretched over my fat that would reduce me to tears sometimes.

I realize my size is totally on me, and I needed to make healthier choices, but walking into a store and having a shirt or a pair of pants fit really gave me the confidence I needed to head to the gym or sign up for that work out class. If I wasn’t comfortable in my clothes, I talked myself out of working out and I hated myself even more for it.

It’s why I don’t understand why people scream from the rooftops when brands like Lululemon start offering more plus sizes. I think of that teenager version of myself who needed that boost toward a healthier lifestyle that fitting into a pair of tights would give me.

I didn’t see anyone angry at Lululemon for offering XXXS, which is what their size zero is. If offering a size 20 is promoting obesity, what is offering an XXXS promoting? If the goal is to help someone start a healthier lifestyle, shouldn’t that be the case no matter what their size?

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle