Hi.

Welcome to my magazine!  Where we aim to challenge societies ideas on beauty through celebrating genuine Diversity.

The Ultimate guide to PLUS SIZE ALASKA

The Ultimate guide to PLUS SIZE ALASKA

Although Alaska did not officially become the 49th state until 1959, it quickly became ranked high on the scale of natural beauty. Home to 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S. and more coastline than the other 49 states combines, it's no wonder why people want to call this majestic state home. 

Living in Alaska, albeit beautiful, does come with it's challenges. Take a look at what a few Alaska locals have to say about living their best lives among some of the world's most breathtaking back drops. 

Anneka

Southeast Alaska - @booksandbras

IMG_8642.JPG

Eat, Drink, and Be Happy!

Do you have a favorite local spot that you frequent?

My FAVORITE restaurant is Zerelda’s Bistro! The food is absolutely incredible, and the owner/chef Abby is so kind and creative.

What makes it comfortable for you?

For me it’s not so much the physical comfort of the place. It could be a bit roomier, but it’s a nice atmosphere.

What things are important to you when choosing your local hangout? Staff that makes you feel welcome? Seating that is plus-size friendly?

I think seeing as I’m a “Lane Bryant Fat” size fat girl (around size 20-22), I don’t have to think about plus-size seating as much as self-proclaimed “superfats” or “infinifats” do. While I’m seen as “very fat” by society, I know I’m still privileged do not have to worry too much about seating. I think nice staff and good food are the deciding factors for me. There is one bar in town however that I like, (The Narrows) but the bar stools are even smaller than usual, and they’re so difficult and uncomfortable to sit on with a plus size bum. There are some softer chairs and couches in the back, and I only like going there if I’m able to sit there.

Did you use specific resources while making your decision?

I’ll check the ratings of places on Facebook usually, and look at the pictures they’ve posted of their food and the place itself to see if I want to go there.

Breakfast: Zerelda’s Bistro or The Sandpiper Café

Coffee: I’m more of a tea drinker, as I can’t have much caffeine, and I LOVE The Northern Tea House!

Lunch: The Rookery Café (the best burgers in town!)

Dinner: Zerelda’s Bistro

 

IMG_3310.JPG

Health and Beauty

Have you found any salons (hair/nail/tanning/waxing) that accommodate and/or make plus-size women feel welcome?

I don’t really go to salons that often, my hair is long and I only cut it about once a year. Celia at Salon Cedar is great though, when I do get my hair done. The salon is modern and comfortable, and the chair was big and sturdy enough for me. J Also, this isn’t a salon really, but for more spa things I really like Adara Skin & Beautique. I got my first facial there a few months ago and Kathy was awesome! I didn’t feel too big or uncomfortable at all, the table was large and sturdy. I don’t think its set up for bodies above maybe a size 26/28, but that’s just a guestimate…

Does your women’s healthcare provider (gynecologist, primary care physician, etc.) provide extraordinary care without a negative focus on your body weight?

I’m very lucky that my provider, Dana Richards, PA at Southeast Medical, focuses very little on my weight, and when it’s a topic she is very respectful and aware of the person as a whole and complicated histories. I have history with bulimia, binging, and orthorexia, which she is aware of, and she has said several times she doesn’t want to talk about diets with me, just some healthy habits and overall health and wellness.

Can you recommend a local gym/yoga studio in your area? What is it about this particular place that keeps you coming back?

I do CrossFit at Crossfit Juneau, but I know that isn’t a good option for every plus size person. I have to be careful to stay in a mentally healthy mindset about working out, and I also have respiratory issues that have been preventing me from going much lately, but I never get chastised or made to feel like a slacker when I go back after a few weeks away.

Entertainment

Are there any particular music or sporting venues that you avoid because the seating is not comfortable? You know, I’m kind of a homebody and I don’t really go to big events that much, not that there are many venues in our town anyway. The seats at the movie theater vary in size a bit, not so much that it’s really obvious when you look but enough that if I get one of the small ones, it hurts my hips to sit down. I try to get there early so I don’t get stuck with one of those, which unfortunately happened on opening night of the most recent Star Wars, and it made me uncomfortable throughout the whole movie. There aren’t really any sporting events in our town except for high school sports which don’t interest me. The high school auditoriums are where the symphony concerts take place that I often go to, those seats are relatively comfortable, but they probably wouldn’t be for above a size 24/26. Most of the jazz is just in small bars, and the choral/other classical is in churches, but more often than not I’m performing and I don’t have to worry about the hard pews or anything. Perseverance Theater is the only theater I’m aware of that isn’t associated with the school district. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I don’t recall having any problem with the size of the seats.

IMG_7480.JPG

Are there any great parks/hiking trails near you that you would recommend to others? What makes this recreational area stand out from others in the area?

This is Alaska, there are tons of trails! I don’t do as much hiking as the average Alaskan, but there are a few I really like. Most people in Juneau will already know all these, but if someone is new to town or just visiting, here are some of my favorites! The Nugget Falls trail at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center is the most well known, and pretty flat, so if you’re looking for an easy mile walk, that’s a nice one. The Dredge Lakes trails are all flat, and go between lots of little lakes. I love it there in the winter when the lakes are all frozen. The Gold Creek Flume Trail is another great flat one, it goes along the creek and much of it is boardwalk. It’s all in the trees, so it’s one of my favorites when it’s sunny out, because I’m mostly in the shade but the sun is still streaming through the trees. The Airport Dike trail (technically known as the EVAR [Emergency Vehicle Access Road], but everyone calls it the Airport Dike trail) is fun, it’s not really in the wilderness, but it’s still pretty. It’s flat, and goes from walking under the flight path at the end of the runway (kind of fun), to the treed area by the pond where all the floatplanes take off.

IMG_8466.JPG

Local Style

Tell us about your local stores that fit your style and carry a variety of sizes for the plus-size community.

This is a difficult one, Alaska isn’t really known for its plethora of fashion boutiques, and it’s even harder as a plus size person. The one place that really consistently has at least some plus size options is a little shop called Pretty Please. They usually have several options of tops in 1X-3X. I also love the lingerie/maternity shop called Bustin’ Out Boutique, it’s where I get almost all of my bras and undies, and sometimes I’ll find a skirt or something there that might technically be maternity, but it works well enough for me. One skirt I can think of is one of my classy staples, 3 years later I’m still glad I got it. My favorite purse is also from there, technically it’s a diaper bag but it just looks like a really classy large purse! My favorite shoe store is called ShoeFly; they have some clothing as well, but nothing in plus sizes. I also wish they had more wide calf options. Even so, they have the best footwear in town. There is a well-known consignment shop in town that I have not had much luck with, which is a bummer.

What is their style aesthetic? Pretty Please is geared more toward teens, college age, and young stay at home moms (lots of leggings, tunic type tops, in all sizes, and cute dresses in mostly straight size last I checked).

Bustin’ Out is lingerie! Mostly flirty lacy pretty stuff, but they also have sports bras and maternity/nursing clothes.

ShoeFly is very chic. Everything I have from there I would be proud to wear on the streets of NYC.

Do you typically find full outfits or random pieces that you can incorporate into your wardrobe in order to express your personal style?

Individual pieces. There is no place in town where I would be able to buy an entire outfit.

How does the quality compare to the price?

The pieces at Pretty Please are relatively inexpensive, with equal quality; the shirts I’ve gotten there are around $30, so they’re not investment pieces but they will last more than 2 washes. Bustin’ Out Boutique is a little more pricey (bras in the $55-85 range, undies around $20-35), but the quality is worth it. They have some things that I would consider investment pieces. ShoeFly can be expensive, a lot of their shoes and boots are over $200, some over $400, but if you are patient you can usually find sales and deals that bring prices under $75.

IMG_1231.JPG

Danielle

Southwest Alaska

Danielle3.JPG

Eat, Drink, and Be Happy!

Do you have a favorite local spot that you frequent?

I actually live in a rural village of about 450 people located in the Bering Sea that is without restaurants (crazy I know!), but does have a local bar that I frequent. There is only one airline that flies to and from here four days a week. It’s a Saab 340 aircraft that brings up to 17 passengers at a time and the only destination it goes to is Alaska’s hub city Anchorage, so I do travel there frequently. When there, I love to go to Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria , Tommy’s Burger Stop, and Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse.

If so, what makes it comfortable for you?

The environment of all places are great and uniquely Alaskan. Tommy’s Burger Stop is a little hole in the wall that has the best burgers. The seating is very limited, but you can order to go if you aren’t comfortable with what they have to offer. The other two places host a variety of musical events and also serve local craft beers, which are delicious. It’s also a plus that seating is comfortable so not having to worry about that puts my mind at ease.  

What things are important to you when choosing your local hangout? Staff that makes you feel welcome? Seating that is plus-size friendly?

Great customer service, a good friendly atmosphere, live music, and comfortable seating is a must. That last thing I want to do is be physically uncomfortable while my friends are having a good time.

Did you use specific resources while making your decision?

Word of mouth and recommendations from friends mostly, but sometimes I will get on Yelp and look at photos to see if the seating is going to be plus-size friendly too.

Breakfast: Gwennie’s Old Alaskan Restaurant

Lunch: New Sagaya Midtown Market

Dinner: Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria

Health and Beauty

Have you found any salons (hair/nail/tanning/waxing) that accommodate and/or make plus-size women feel welcome?

I always go to Angie’s True Colors Hair Design . Since they have always given me exactly what I asked for I haven’t bothered to look anywhere else. The staff is always very friendly and have never made me feel out of place. They also offer a shuttle service to pick clients up, which I think goes above and beyond.  

Danielle5.JPG

What is it about the salon(s) that give you that feeling?

I just want to go into a salon and get the same service that another person of a smaller size would get without any judgement. I never have heard of anyone I know ever being turned away because of their size before, but that to me would be an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, I think Alaska is pretty size friendly in most aspects.

Does your women’s healthcare provider (gynecologist, primary care physician, etc.) provide extraordinary care without a negative focus on your body weight?

I go to the Alaskan Native Medical Campus for my medical needs since I am Alaskan Native. I have never been shamed or given a hard time about being plus sized by medical staff.

Can you recommend a local gym/yoga studio in your area? What is it about this particular place that keeps you coming back?

Where I live locally, gym choices are limited. We have a workout center, but other than that most people tend to walk/hike around our gorgeous landscape to work out.

Entertainment

Are there any particular music or sporting venues that you avoid because the seating is not comfortable?

I used to avoid the Sullivan Arena because the seating was really uncomfortable and the armrests were stationary. They’ve upgraded since I last went, so I can’t say if it is any better now that it was before.

Do you have any tips for other plus-size locals when they are looking for a great venue?

I wish I had some advice to give, but venue’s in Alaska are few and far between, so if there is actually a concert or event going on, you’re going to eventually experience them yourself.

Are there any great parks/hiking trails near you that you would recommend to others? What makes this recreational area stand out from others in the area?

Danielle1.JPG

Alaska has so many parks/hiking trails you could probably go every week and find a new one every time. Alaska’s landscape is so vast, you will always have something beautiful to see. There aren’t many places you can take a hike and see glaciers. Locally, the terrain is rough tundra, but there are plenty of hills to hike and a lot of beaches you can comb to get fresh air and exercise. I love my hometown (St. Paul Island), and can honestly say that no matter where you go you will have breathtaking views and wildlife galore.


Local Style

Tell us about your local stores that fit your style and carry a variety of sizes for the plus-size community.

Alaska is very limited in clothing options for plus sized ladies. In Anchorage there is one Torrid store and probably only one boutique store that caters to plus sized shoppers. Since I live so remotely I do all of my shopping online. It’s not exactly ideal, but I do know which stores fit me best and can count on not having to send back items because I don’t like them or they are uncomfortable.

What is your style aesthetic?

I love to wear a lot of girly, frilly clothes. My go-to outfits are usually skater/flouncy dresses with tights, above the knee boots and cute cropped jackets. I love to shop from Torrid, City Chic, Maurice’s, Forever 21, Avenue and Charlotte Russe.

Danielle2.jpg

Do you typically find full outfits or random pieces that you can incorporate into your wardrobe in order to express your personal style?

I think that 90% of my wardrobe is from Torrid. I love to get whole outfits from there, and most of my main pieces like my dresses, pants and shirts and then I will go other places for cute jackets and sweaters and boots to put a whole look together.

How is the atmosphere/shopping experience?

Since there is only Torrid, I can only speak for that store. I love going in there. Not only are the staff very friendly, but even the other customers always seem to be very nice and freely give out compliments. I always leave there feeling better than when I walked in.

How does the quality compare to the price?

In my personal experience, quality always compares to the price. Torrid is expensive, but the quality is great. I love to shop at other online retailers that have really great prices, but have noticed that the items I buy tend to rip quickly, seams give out, and colors fade very quickly. I know in the long run that spending more is worth it since you get a longer life out of the items.

There you have it! THE ULTIMATE PLUS SIZE GUIDE TO ALASKA- straight from the mouths of a few residents. We would LOVE to hear from other Alaskans who have tips and tricks for living life to the fullest in their home state. Comment below or email voluptwo@yahoo.com. 

 

Writer, Wanderer, Workaholic - Interview of Jamie Cole by Velvet d'Amour

Writer, Wanderer, Workaholic - Interview of Jamie Cole by Velvet d'Amour

Sofie Hagen - If this isn’t fun for you, then what’s the point?

Sofie Hagen - If this isn’t fun for you, then what’s the point?

Powered by Squarespace