Gabrielle Deydier: what it’s like to be fat in France

This article appeared in last Sunday’s Observer, sister newspaper to The Guardian (link below.)

I just wanted to say that when I went to my favorite clothing store the other day, Massimo Dutti, in search of a dress I had seen on their website, the store – all of the French stores, in fact – did not carry it in my size.

On the British website the dress is available in size 14 (my size). But not on the French website. When I went into the shop on the Champs-Elysées and found the dress, it only came in two sizes: Small and Medium.

“Do you have Large?” I asked the salesperson.

“No,” she replied frostily, sizing my body up and down.

“Why not?” I said.

“Because we just don’t.”

This attitude is in sharp contrast to the response I used to get in the 1990s when I was a slim, svelte size 8. Back then saleswomen fell over themselves wanting to sell me clothes.

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