When it’s the skier not the skis that are fat

Oh yes, I just went there. Why is it cooler to have fat skis than a fat butt? One size snow pants do not fit all.

Lord knows that a person’s body is no longer their own. Dare you to be skinnier, fatter, shorter, taller, darker or older than the norm and be prepared to be judged on and off the ski slopes.

A troll once cyber mocked me on my @misssnowitall Facebook Page. He said I was a sub standard skier and overweight, claiming to have witnessed my less than stellar skiing on account of my less than pert bottom and my offensively bulging thighs.

Thank god I kept the receipt for those 300 hours of private ski instruction that clearly didn’t work and those decades of dieting that, according to the troll, haven’t worked either. Maybe I can buy said troll a coffee (skim milk no sugar of course) to thank him for pointing out the error of my ways.

Now, whether he witnessed me skiing or not, how, pray tell does my size or skiing prowess offend him?  Have I taken up too much room on the mountain for you to get by? Have my thighs spread too far across the chairlift for your liking?

I have, in my lifetime, regularly swung between a size 8 and a size 16 and back again, though my legs have always remained short (I even wrote a book about it). Silly me has pounded my thighs for being too big, cursed my belly for growing and regularly wrestled with my ski pants around this time every pre season.

Shopping for ski pants pre winter for me is akin to trying on bikinis pre summer. One size does not fill all and one cut does not do all body types justice. Pants are often too long and I end up with shredded cuffs from ripping them in my bindings all winter. I think it makes me look hard core but it really just makes me look, well, short.

My thighs are solid but my calves are thin and my ankles coveted by supermodels. Ski pants by their very nature don’t show off said slender calves and few do much to slenderize those bulky thighs. If I get them too low in the hip then my muffin top, already trapped in my base layers, then roll over the top like uncooked baguettes, if I get them too high, well, camel toe (ewwww).

More fool me, really. Because when I ski I feel free, regardless of what size I am or am not when clicking into my skis. All that angst over my ski pants is forgotten on my first turn.

Being outdoors, moving my body, raising my heart rate, feeling the burn in my thighs, the wind on my cheeks and the cold on my teeth from smiling, makes me happy. Getting to that point is not always easy but when I’m there, in the zone, I feel good about the world. The mountain doesn’t care if I’m 50kgs or 500kgs, just ask a polar bear.

Whatever size you are, you can own the mountain and own your body while conquering it. Don’t let anyone, especially that starved little monkey on your shoulder and in your ear, tell you otherwise.

Sadly, though the great outdoors is free for all (unless you buy a lift pass) the clothing required to get there isn’t. I loathe the term ‘plus size’, I mean, is their a ‘minus size’ for those skinnier than the norm? But the lack of plus size ski clothing needs to be addressed.

I understand the thinking that those who choose outdoor activities for their holidays must already be fit and fabulous but truth is many are stressed and comfort eating or middle aged and enjoying the spread or simply fit and fabulous and a size others deem as fat. So, where are the clothes for them?

Some snow brands are starting to offer ‘extended sizes’ for different body shapes so try out some of these options below.

Those looking for ski gear in sizes that the mainstream brands refuse to acknowledge can head to PlusSnow.com.au a one stop larger sized ski and snowboard online shop from Monica Balon – founder of Ski and Board.

Columbia also offer Women’s Plus, Men’s Big and Men’s Tall ski wear and The North Face have some ‘extended sizes’ for women and men. While the crew over at Obermeyer have ski pants in long, petite and short up to a size 22. Kudos to them, I say.

Perhaps there is a gap in the market for good technical clothing with cutting edge style and fashion flare in both larger and petite sizes? Kickstarter, anyone?

Read more: To all the pants I have loved before

Read more: 7 things you didn’t know about Miss Snow It All

Read more: Plus sized skiers no longer left in the cold

WIN a ski holiday for two at Silverstar Mountain Resort in Canada. Enter here.


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Rachael is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN Freeskiing, TIME, Powderhound, Sydney Morning Herald, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast and more.

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