Thank you to Doula Kaytee for sharing her thoughts and experiences. This post is a part of our efforts to honor Black voices in our community during Black Babywearing Week.
"Fair warning, this is kinda rant-y. But, all my opinions still stand.
Size inclusivity is still an issue in today’s babywearing world. Being a fat woman and a babywearing educator, I see this so much. When I’m teaching for my local babywearing chapter, I have to dig and make sure there are carriers with straps long enough to accommodate my size or make sure there are waist extenders. Why? Why does this have to be a thing? I shouldn’t have to go to extra mile to find a carrier that will fit my body. You should be able to find a carrier that fits your body, not fit your body for a carrier.
I recently became a doula and my first objective was to start teaching babywearing, but for larger bodies. There are so many pictures out there of thin people babywearing and I wanted a safe place for people to come try carriers that wouldn’t need to be modified to fit them. I wanted them to feel included and to learn with no shame attached.
I recently taught my first, personal class and it was amazing. People wanted to learn about carriers that fit their bodies. They wanted to know where to buy them. They wanted to know names so they could further support those brands. They had experienced struggles with society saying that they might hurt their babies if they carry them on their bodies.
[Image collage of a fat Black woman teaching a fat Black man to wear a baby carrier in front of a class of people. Please note that the word fat holds no normative value.]
Luckily, I do know of some companies that do put thought to size inclusivity and offer longer base size wraps, longer rings slings, and long straps for their buckle carriers. It matters, folks. Fat people have money too and they’re going to spend it on companies that care.
The shame toward fat bodies that comes from the retail world is louder than it seems. When companies make things that don’t fit large bodies, it’s saying they aren’t seen or valid. Inclusivity could be as easy as 10 additional inches. Let’s start including everyone when we make products for wearing."