Born this way
Born and raised in the Bas-du-Fleuve (Lower St. Lawrence River) area of the province of Quebec, in Eastern Canada, I remember being constantly writing. From unfinished Tintin fan fictions to the longest fantasy essay in class. From “anguished” teenager poetry to rewriting my favorite pop songs. In French first, then in English. Writing has always been my thing, whether it was to share emotions, projects, or bring awareness to something.
It was no surprise when, after completing my college (CEGEP) degree in Literature & Cinema (2000), I enrolled & graduated with a Bachelor degree (B.A.) in Journalism (History minor – 2003) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM).
A new passion
In 2009, a new passion entered my life, after a week in New Orleans: traveling. After a few trips, it was clear to me that a travel blog was the next logical step to take!
That is when I created the blog The Plus-Size Backpacker in April 2013, mostly inspired by my struggle to find equipment adapted to my body size as I was preparing a trip to India. It was the first (English) blog to be entirely dedicated to the concerns of plus-size women travelling. As the “one-woman-band” behind the blog, I held the roles of Community Manager, Product Tester, Travel Organizer, Bilingual Writer, Webmaster and Plus-Size Travel Know-It-All for this new project.
In 2015, I started writing The Ultimate Guide to Plus-Size Backpacking (in French: Le Manuel des routards taille plus), which was released as an e-book in February 2016. The same year saw the launch of La Backpackeuse taille plus, the French version of The Plus-Size Backpacker blog.
The following year, my testimony on how hiking can contribute to unleashing plus-size women’s inner athletes in Big Fit Girl (by Canadian trainer & author Louise Green – 2017) alongside the words of World Champion weightlifter Sarah Robles and reality TV star Whitney Way Thore.
Good Thing Come in Threes?
After spending 4 years researching and writing about the concerns of female plus-size travelers, a newspaper article bashing Julia SH’s photographs of fat women triggered the activist fiber in me. Since July 2017, I have written numerous pieces about fat-phobia and the discrimination experienced by people of size. I have since developed a unique expertise that allowed me to speak about the reality of fat-phobia and weight stigma in many different media outlets.
The Big Step
In August 2019, after 2 years of occasional posts on fat-phobia on The Plus-Size Backpacker, I decided to launch Grossophobie.ca – Infos & référence, a web platform dedicated educating the general public on the discrimination experienced by fat people, diet culture and related topics. A one-of-a-kind website that combines static, reference pages and a blog featuring cases study, comments on current events and interviews, among other publications.
For a complete list of projects and accomplishments, see below.
Fascinated by cultural immersion, new acquaintances and extreme landscapes, I have now visited over 20 countries, mostly solo. (USA -Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona, California & Alaska, Cuba, El Salvador, Spain, Israel, Mexico, Guatemala, England, Scotland, Palestine – West Bank, Ireland, Northern Ireland, India, Hungary, Jordan Austria, Czech Republic, Peru, Poland & Bulgaria)
Projects, Personal Accomplishments & Collaborations
- Creation & launch of Grossophobie.ca – Infos & référence, the first Quebecer reference platform dedicated to the discrimination against fat people
- Public Speaker on Weight Stigma at the Francois-Williams High School
- Public Speaker at Derrière l’influence | Stories for change!, an Oxfam-Québec / Amplify Youth Voices event
- Public Speaker at the 40th Anniversary event of the Regroupement Naissance Renaissance (Knowing & Avoid Fat-Phobia)
- Guest Exhibitor at the Foire de l’Innovation sociale
- Invited Panelist for a Beer & Chat event for Arrimage Estrie (La grossophobie comment nous affecte-t-elle ?)
- Numerous interventions in different media outlets about fat-phobia, body diversity & size/weight discrimination
- Gave a variety of interviews to the academia & university students
- Elected Board member L’Euguélionne, feminist bookstore
- Featured in a Radio Canada Nouvelles report on size positive influencers
- Guest on the TV show Le Club Mel – “Can we be different and accepted in
- Experts Zone Panelist – Montreal International Tourism & Travel Show
- Guest presenter for a day of workshops on the theme of well-being beyond weight, organized by Imparfait et en santé by Jo-Anne Gilbert, PhD
- Invited Blogger at the Montreal Outdoor Adventure Show
- Extra on the Projet Stérone L-100 K-Lisse music video, dedicated to female body positivity
- Plus-size hiking contributor to Louise Green’s book Big Fit Girl: Embrace the Body You Have (Greystone Books)
- Public Speaker during a day of workshops organized by Imparfait et en santé by Jo-Anne Gilbert, PhD
- Travel Collaborator for Économies et cie (personal finance portal) and
Belles et Rondes (body positive blog)
- Invited Blogger for the Montreal International Tourism & Travel Show,
the Montreal Outdoor Adventure Travel Show & the Montreal National
- Body positive / travel guest blogger on numerous French Canadian
- Release of The Ultimate Guide to Plus-Size Backpacking ebook
- Guest Speaker at the Montreal + Fashion Week (Pack Small, Think Big!)
- Launch of La Backpackeuse taille plus (French version of The Plus-Size Backpacker)
- Featured in the #NousPouvonsEtre Campaign by Canadien plus-size sports retailer Sportive Plus
- Nominated in the « favourite body positive travellers » list of the British website Lifestyle Magazine