Letters show derision for overweight women
While the Lane Bryant fiasco may have begun from a tiff between the developer and the village board, some of the letters from fellow Oak Parkers show a derision toward overweight women and women in general. This derision toward overweight women stems from the adherence to Western beauty standards for women, beauty standards that historically grew out of valuing women almost solely for their looks and for their desirability to men. The derision shown in these letters reinforces these harmful beauty standards and hurts all women.

Emily Scott

Lane Bryant just makes us like North Riverside
The problem with Lane Bryant isn’t the clientele it serves-it’s the fact that another Lane Bryant store is just a 10-minute drive away in North Riverside. It’s just as foolish as renting the space to Victoria’s Secret, Steve & Barry’s or Wilson’s Leather-they’re practically in Oak Park already. I’d far rather see some stores lke Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma that are a 35-minute drive (and a parking nightmare) away. Or even something that isn’t already in the western suburbs, like a CB2 or C.O. Bigelow. We’ve got the nail parlors and cell phone stores on Lake Street already-Downtown Oak Park doesn’t need to become any more like North Riverside Mall than it already is.

Jane Jeffries

How about a Victoria’s Secret or Pleasure Chest?
We should have more diversity in our Lake Street shops. Our board of trustees and the developers should seek them out. I have two proposals which would not compete with existing businesses. They would attract primarily the size and shape of women which we seem to desire in Oak Park. They do not speak well for diversity, tolerance, and variety. They would attract customers from out of town, who would get absorbed looking at the merchandise, forget to feed the meter, and fatten the village treasury. These people would also bring sales tax money from other communities.

See recent Tribune items on Victoria’s Secret and The Pleasure Chest. It looks like your competition read your criticism.

Lewis Carmichael

Let the shoppers decide what stores to have on Lake Street
I have been reading that our village board has again decided that they know more of what is appropriate for our buying needs than the buying public does. If I remember correctly, it was only a few years ago when the leaders said Tasty Dog was not the kind of eating place we should have in Oak Park. I keep seeing new restaurants replacing the ones around Tasty Dog, but it seems to keep getting enough customers to be full most of the time.

Now they have decided that we should not have the kind of store which Lane Bryant represents. I don’t know, but Lane Bryant is as good or better than The Gap and many other of the similar stores we have here.

Why doesn’t the board just let the shoppers decide what store they wish to have around? They are the ones who will spend the money, not the village board. I happen to have two members of my family who have great difficulty shopping for clothes as one is short and the other is tall. Can we perhaps get an odd-size store here?

Also I see where they have decided that Petersen’s Ice Cream Store should now be Petersen’s Bar and Grill. I guess that the board would rather have the drunks eating here than let the oversized people shop here.

Edward Downs
A very longtime resident

Pope should explain why Lane Bryant isn’t good enough
As a former Oak Park resident who visits Oak Park once or twice a week, I remember not Lane Bryant but Nothing in Moderation, though I never shopped there. While I am offended that a village president gets to personally veto a retail business, the aspect of this story that really interests me is the “pre-approved” retail list. The fact that Avenue was on the list implies that it’s not about fat women, per se. What makes Lane Bryant different? I think the moment is long due for President Pope to explain his personal animus against Lane Bryant. Tell us, in detail, in what way this particular retailer is not of the kind befitting the village? And please hurry. I have some shopping to do and need this answer to decide where my credit card and I are welcome.

Bonnie Gibbons

Lane Bryant would be a worthy addition to Lake Street
I agree with Dan Haley in his article that the Lane Bryant saga is a new way to make Oak Park seem dumb. I think a Lane Bryant store on Lake Street would be a lovely way to promote business for oversized woman. It’s needed and would help many people.

I hear other people expressing the same view.

Alice W. Miller
Oak Park

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