Women of all shapes and sizes should love their bodies no matter what. To all the ladies reading this, you are beautiful and should embrace who are you are! This includes labeling yourself by whatever methods you chose. Thick, thin, curvy, skinny… as long as you are comfortable in your own skin, it doesn’t matter. The story of a student who got fired from a plus-sized clothing store is going viral after the company claimed she embarrassed them by using just one simple word.
Connie Levitsky was fired from Addition Elle for using the f-word: No, not that one. The word I’m referring to is “fat.” Levitsky updated her job status on Facebook with the description “conquering the world, one well-dressed fat lady at a time.” Her employer was not happy with her choice of words.
Her manager asked her to take the description down: The third-year MacEwan University student found herself without a job shortly afterwards. She was told the situation was cleared up and went in for a shift, only to be fired when she arrived. At first, Levitsky was confused.
She was told she had “embarrassed the company.” “It was explained to me that the company simply just does not want to be associated with the word ‘fat’ because of the negative connotation attached to it, and they prefer to use the words ‘curvy or shapely’ or other euphemisms,” Levitsky told CBC Edmonton.
Levitsky claims that there is nothing wrong with the word “fat.” In fact, she says that she finds the word empowering. After being fired, Levitsky wrote a long post on Facebook about her personal struggle accepting her body and why she would no longer shop at Addition Elle.
“If a company like Reitmans Inc. [the company that owns Addition Elle] will fire someone for… “… using the word “fat” to describe my place in their company what does that say about the company?” wrote Levitsky. “For me, it tells me that, despite the leaps and bounds of the body positivity movement, internalized hate and stigma against fat bodies still runs rampant. This is one less store I can shop at, not because their clothes don’t fit me, but because what they don’t stand for doesn’t.”
She continued to explain her own struggle with her weight: “I have spent years hating the way I look. The word fat used to cut me like a knife — until one day, I looked in the mirror, and accepted that it doesn’t matter how healthy I am eating, or how much time I spend in the gym. I’m fat. I’ll always have fat on my body, and that will never change. And I’m okay with that. I am okay with being fat. I’m okay with not hiding behind euphemisms like curvy or shapely. I refuse to let a three-letter word define the course of my life, or how loud my voice is.”
Levitsky now embraces her body, and encourages other to do the same: “I embody many identities. I’m a daughter, a sister, a student, a Hufflepuff – you get the drift. But in a world where even the places that are supposed to be made for bodies like mine continue to silence and demean those of us who love ourselves, the only identity that matters is the one that manifests itself as a number on a scale.”
Since posting the inspiring message… Addition Elle has publicly apologized on their Facebook page for firing Levitsky, claiming they took the word “fat” out of context. All women should be proud of their bodies and feel comfortable identifying with whatever labels they choose. Hopefully, the body positivity movement will continue to resonate with women of all sizes.
Share or comment your thoughts on Levitsky’s message!