The Business Case for Size-Inclusive Spas or How Not to Leave Money on the Treatment Table

A Black, plus-size woman in a size-inclusive day spa laughs heartily into the screen while wearing a white clay face mask and a towel in a turban on her head.

Why embracing fat-inclusive wellness will boost your business 

When considering inclusivity in your spa, what comes to mind first? Perhaps you think of wheelchair ramps, gender-neutral washrooms, or even LGBTQ pride flags posted on your door. But have you ever considered potential obstacles for clients of a larger size or weight in your business? This is where being size-inclusive comes in.

Fatphobia, or discrimination against people based on the size and/or weight of their body, can be subtle or unintentional, but no less harmful to your potential clients. From linens or robes that don’t reach around a person’s body, to massage tables too weak to safely support higher weights, many people are unable to access wellness services because of circumstances out of their control. 

We’re here today to help you consider the long-term benefits for your spa business to invest in size-inclusive equipment and practices for people of all shapes and sizes. Here are our main three benefits to embracing body diversity in your spa! 

Client Retention and Expansion of Customer Base

Building strong relationships with your customers starts with giving them a positive, impactful experience. Creating a safe, empowering space for visitors to your spa also fosters loyalty and repeat business. Once you have provided feelings of  welcome and appreciation at your business, customers are more likely to tell their friends, colleagues and family about your service — not to mention, they’re more likely to return, themselves! 

When a person of any size, weight, or ability can be treated to a positive, luxurious spa experience, you set yourself up to be talked about in a positive light, and attract more business from a wider range of communities. 

Ethical, Size-Inclusive Brand Image

Consumers have more information in the palms of their hands than ever before, thanks to online review sites, apps, and social media. When it comes to choosing between two businesses, consumers are increasingly more likely to patronize brands that demonstrate their ethics in practice. 

Embracing body diversity and combatting weight stigma in your spa reflects commitment to inclusive wellness. Furthermore, practicing intersectional inclusivity enhances brand image by demonstrating social responsibility. 

Legal Compliance and Risk Mitigation

The last thing you want for your clients and employees is for them to be unsafe in your spa! Having equipment that accommodates all kinds of bodies provides comfort and safety to your clients and technicians at your spa. For example, by investing in a higher weight-bearing massage table, you and your team will be able to work confidently with clients of more sizes, without the risk of injury, or its associated worry! 

Finally, making changes to include size in your inclusivity practice reduces legal risks related to discrimination. Higher body weight is a common side effect of many medical conditions, and for many is simply coded into their DNA. Disclosure of such conditions are protected by privacy laws under Canadian Human Rights law, which could result in human rights complaints or other legal consequences. An experience of fatphobia or weight discrimination can also lead to reputational damage, such as through online reviews mentioned earlier. 

To mitigate the risk of infringing on someone’s rights, or becoming engaged in any dispute about discriminatory practices, take steps to ensure that everyone is actually welcome, regardless of their size. 

In conclusion, embracing size-inclusive practices in your spa isn’t just about being politically correct; it’s about expanding your horizons and boosting your business in meaningful ways. By opening your doors to people of all shapes and sizes, you’re not only expanding your customer base but also building a reputation as an ethical and socially responsible brand. This will help with client retention! Ensuring legal compliance and mitigating risks adds another layer of protection for your spa. The road to inclusivity may seem daunting, but the rewards are boundless. So, as you envision the future of your spa, remember that embracing body diversity is not only the right thing to do; it’s also a smart business move that will have a lasting, positive impact on your clients, your employees, and your bottom line. It’s time to make your spa a place where everyone truly feels welcome, regardless of their size. The possibilities are endless, and your journey to success begins here.

Ready to get started? Access your FREE Larger Luxury Size-Inclusive Spa Checklist today. This essential tool is purpose-built for spa owners like you, designed to help evaluate the inclusivity of your business practices towards clients in larger-sized bodies. By applying the insights from this checklist, you’re well on your path to crafting a spa that exudes inclusivity, making sure every client, regardless of their size, feels authentically cherished and welcomed.

If you’re eager to discover effective strategies for reaching and growing your audience, attracting new clients, and boosting your revenue, see our blog posts on how to talk about bodies neutrally, and three easy ways to make your spa more inclusive.

When you’re ready to grow your business and harness the power of diversity and inclusion to expand your clientele base and boost your client retention, visit us at for our expertise and training. 

Kristin Michelle is a small-fat, feminist, freelance writer. She can be found reading, writing, and fibercrafting at [at]ramblereader on Instagram. 

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