A Canadian woman has reported she was fat shamed at a Winnipeg nail salon and was denied beauty treatments due to her size.
Kimberly Adie, 27, has accused the parlour in the Canadian city of denying her a pedicure service because of her body weight. Adie says when she along with her fiancé walked into the A1 Nail Pampers on Saturday (29 March), the women working just stared at her.
They agreed to serve her fiancé, but refused her, saying she couldn't "fit in the chair", Adie said. "I was so stunned they told me I wouldn't fit in their chairs and yet they wanted to take my fiancé."
"I felt so ashamed of myself and so embarrassed about what I looked like," Adie said. She said she got support from her partner and decided to go public about the incident so that no one in the future would have to face this kind of humiliation, the BBC reported.
Many people have come out in support of Adie and appreciated her for speaking out. "They're glad someone was able to step up and voice what happened, instead of hiding behind a curtain and just accepting (it)," she said.
Ximena Ramos Salas, managing director of the Canadian Obesity Network, also appreciated Adie's step and said, "We live in a society where more people have larger bodies than not. That means we have to start accommodating for people who live in larger bodies.
"That means businesses need to change, airlines need to change, everyone needs to start changing."
Obesity, like diabetes and high blood pressure, is a chronic and often progressive condition, according to the Canadian Obesity Network. Its report says that one in four adult Canadians and one in 10 children are clinically obese, which means nearly six million people in the country are living with the condition.
The Winnipeg salon owner, Kim Lam, later apologised after the incident became public. She told CTV News Winnipeg that she felt ashamed for what happened and added that her service is open for everyone. She also said she wants to make things right.
Lam further said that because of the super busy schedule at the time Adie came in, they couldn't entertain her.
But Adie said, "The damage is done", and she was in no mood to forgive. She added that she might file a human rights complaint.
Under the country's Human Rights Code, discrimination in services available to the public – which includes stores and restaurants – is prohibited.
"Discrimination is defined as treating a person differently on the basis of one of the characteristics in The Code (such as age, sex, disability, ancestry etc.) but also as failing to reasonably accommodate the special needs of a person where those needs are based on one of those characteristics," Isha Khan with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission said.
However, this is not the first time something like this has happened. In 2013, a US woman and her daughter, Rachel Bascue, were turned away from a nail salon in Arkanasas because they were deemed too large to fit into the chair.
There are reportedly a number of salons in the US that charge clients extra for being overweight. A parlour in Georgia had even admitted of charging US$5(£3.9) extra from its overweight clients as a kind of insurance to pay for any damage to the amenities, the BBC said.