Dear Outdoor Divas,
I found out about your site from an ad that popped up on my Facebook author page. I’m the author of two fitness books for the world at large, Slow Fat Triathlete and Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete, so I was interested to see what kind of great gear you had for women in the outdoors (and indoors).
Imagine my disappointment when I found that your online store does not offer one single item in extended sizes. Your “about” page states that “Women are not small men.” This is extremely true. It is also true that not all women are small, and not all active women are small. An estimated one-third of American women wear size 16 or larger. The teeny-weeny sizing associated with most women’s fitness brands won’t even fit an average size 14. Do you really want to exclude 33% to 40% of the entire female gender from being a part of your “group of passionate, active women (and men) who love being outside in every season”?
As an endurance athlete whose “racing weight” is well above 200 pounds, I can’t help thinking that your view of an outdoor diva might be a little narrow. I’m a cross-country skier, a cyclist, a triathlete,a swimmer, a paddler. I’ve engaged in yoga, salsa dancing, marathoning, backpacking, strength training, sea kayaking, disc golf, and open water swimming, just in the past four years, and I’ve needed technical clothing that fits me well for a lot of those activities. I’m happy to spend money on good gear, though I want fair pricing.
And you know what? There are thousands of women out there just like me, who just happen to wear sizes 1X-4X or larger.
Until you broaden your horizons and expand your perspective on what outdoor athletes might look like, I will continue to shop at Team Estrogen, REI, and Junonia for my fitness wear. And (sigh) wear men’s fitness clothes too.