Plus-size women’s clothing store Addition Elle is apparently a little touchy when it comes to the word “fat.”
The retailer fired an Edmonton employee who used the adjective as part of her job status on Facebook. It read: “Conquering the world, one well-dressed fat lady at a time.”
“According to my boss, this was not OK,” Connie Levitsky wrote Tuesday in a now-viral post on her page.
“I was fired because I had ’embarrassed the company.’ Because I had used the word ‘fat.’ Because I had potentially lost some clientele who would be offended by the word. Because the word ‘fat’ does not exist in the company’s vernacular.”
Her district manager told her “‘fat’ is a swear word” in her house.
Levitsky explained in her post that it took her years to come to terms with the word, which she now identifies with and prefers over “euphemisms like curvy or shapely.”
“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 refuse to let a three-letter word define the course of my life, or how loud my voice is.”
The company apologized for the “unfortunate situation” on Facebook Monday night.
“We took the word ‘fat’ out of its context,” the company admitted.
“We believe that anyone should use whatever words they are comfortable with when describing themselves and whatever makes them feel empowered.”
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Addition Elle reached out to Levitsky and offered her her job back. She told Global News she’s chosen not to accept it.
“I feel it would be disingenuous of me to do so, considering the backlash the company has received, as well as the outpouring of support that has been directed at me. It’d be insulting to those who have stood by me if I were to return,” she said.
The Edmonton woman posted a video addressing the feedback her story has generated.
“My main goal,” she said, “was to cast the word ‘fat’ in a positive light.”
“I really hope this is really the start of something positive, for all of us — no matter how we identify.”
With files from The Canadian Press