US & Canada

Canadian woman 'denied pedicure over size'

Kimberly Adie and her fiance Image copyright Courtesy Kimberly Adie
Image caption Kimberly Adie and her fiance

A Canadian woman who says she was denied a pedicure because of her weight says she went public about it because "everyone deserves pampering".

Kimberly Adie, 27, says staff at a Winnipeg nail salon turned her away because of her size.

She and her fiancé had gone to get a weekend pedicure together on a whim.

This is not the first time a nail salon in North America has made headlines for the way overweight clients have been treated.

A couple of salons in the US have been criticised for billing larger clients a surcharge on top of the regular bill.

In this latest incident in Winnipeg, Ms Adie said that when she walked into the salon, two women who worked there stared her up and down.

Then the salon manager told her they could not take her as a client, saying repeatedly she would not "fit".

Her fiancé was told he could have a pedicure.

"I was so stunned they told me I wouldn't fit in their chairs and yet they wanted to take my fiancé," she said.

Image copyright Courtesy Kimberly Adie
Image caption Kimberly Adie says she was left shaken after being turned away for a pedicure

Ms Adie and her fiancé went to another salon. By the time they arrived, she said she was in tears.

"I felt so ashamed of myself and so embarrassed about what I looked like," she recalled, but her fiancé cajoled her into getting the pedicure she wanted.

She has received many positive messages since coming forward from others who have had similar experiences.

"They're glad someone was able to step up and voice what happened, instead of hiding behind a curtain and just accepting (it)."

No one from the A1 Nail Pampers nail salon was available for comment on Wednesday.

But the salon owner told CTV News Winnipeg that she was sorry about the incident and that they had been unable to accommodate Ms Adie on a busy Saturday.

Image copyright Courtesy Kimberly Adie
Image caption Kimberly Adie eventually got the pedicure she wanted

In 2010, a nail salon in Georgia made headlines for admitting it added US$5(£3.9) to the bill for overweight clients as a sort of insurance to pay for any damage to the pedicure chairs.

More recently, a customer at a nail salon in Memphis, Tennessee claimed there was a sign announcing that people who were overweight would face an extra service charge.

The owner denied ever posting the sign but told a Memphis news station in March that he had considered posting one in the past.

Ximena Ramos Salas, managing director of the Canadian Obesity Network, says she hears similar "heartbreaking" stories a lot.

Ms Adie did the right thing by speaking out because it can help counter stereotypes around weight, she 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," Ms Ramos Salas said.

"That means businesses need to change, airlines needs to change, everyone needs to start changing."

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