This First-of-Its-Kind Resort Caters Specifically to Plus-Size Guests
Body-shaming has no place at this secluded Caribbean resort.
Wearing a swimsuit can be a daunting experience for anyone-but for those who are plus-size or struggling with their weight, the fear of being body-shamed can be enough to make a "relaxing" beach vacation feel like the exact opposite. (Related: Model Tess Holliday Just Bashed the Hotel Industry for Catering to Smaller Guests)
James King realized this was a problem while working at a resort in Grenada, Spain. On one occasion, he witnessed a woman fall through her lounge chair on the beach and get completely humiliated by other people's stares, and then charged $150 for the destruction of hotel property, King tells People. Rather than just brushing off the incident, he decided to do something about it, and spent years researching how to create a plus-size-friendly resort.
The result: "The Resort"-a secluded getaway located on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, boasting five miles of private beach. The only difference? It caters specifically to plus-size guests. Yes, that means beach furniture specifically manufactured not to break, King explains. But most importantly, it's about creating a body-shaming-free "safe haven." (So while The Resort is specifically marketed as "the world's only plus-size friendly resort," they welcome guests of all sizes.)
"Be respectful of your fellow guests," The Resort's Facebook page reads. "They, like you, are just looking for an opportunity to free themselves from the pressures of the real world and judgment of others."
While The Resort has been open for over two years, the media is just hearing about it now thanks to a new British reality show called My 18-30 Stone Holiday. Unfortunately, rather than praising the resort for their size-inclusive approach, a lot of coverage has focused on the buffet options and the weight allowances for chairs and beds.
One news outlet referred to the resort as "the first plus-size hotel, where the beds are reinforced with steel bars and every chair is a meter wide." Another described it as a place where non-straight-size people can "let it all hang out" and how the property's sturdy beds provide the opportunity for "worry-free sex."
According to King, The Resort has been booming with business, with many repeat visitors. "It's people who have lived similar lives with the same issues, and all of a sudden most of the stigmas are gone, because nobody's staring at them. They just feel like they can identify," King told People. "A lot of people who come have never met, but after just the first night it's like they've known each other for years."
Facebook users also seem to be enthusiastic about the concept. "FINALLY somewhere a lady like myself can go on holiday without all the name calling and giggling behind my back and to my face," one woman wrote on Facebook. "You're doing a wonderful thing," said another. "Sick of all the body-shaming...Positivity goes a long way to making life bearable!"
While we wish fat-shaming didn't exist at all (after all, it has serious and long-lasting mental and physical effects), creating safe, size-inclusive spaces seems like a pretty great solution in the meantime. Because at the end of the day, *everyone* should be able to live their best life on a beach without fear of anything bringing down those chill vacation vibes.