That time I got told I was too fat for a dress...


Yesterday I experienced something really really really shitty. Something that I hope none of you reading this, ever have to experience. It left me feeling like crap. And actually, it left me really angry. You see, I was in a store. I am not going to call out the store, because it was an isolated incident and I am not writing this to negatively publicise a business. I had been browsing for about 10 minutes. I had a couple of things to try on. Two dresses and a top. I went into the change room, and you know, did my thing. Tried on the clothes, um’ed and ah’ed about whether I wanted to buy them. Got dressed back into my clothes and walked towards the counter.

As I put the items on the counter, the assistant asked me how I went. I replied that I was going to leave the dresses. Now you guys, don’t get me wrong, they were cute, and they fitted nicely, but I didn’t really need them, and with $120 and $150 dollar price tags, they weren’t exactly ‘cheap’ items I just couldn’t justify the expensive, especially before we go on holiday. It was her response that floored me. As I handed the garments over she simply said “Doesn’t surprise me, they wouldn’t have fit you anyway”. I am not paraphrasing here. Those exact words came out of her mouth. I didn’t actually know what to do. I didn’t say anything. I put the top down on the counter, the one I was going to buy, and just looked at the ground and walked out the door. I have not felt that awful in a long time. A stranger, someone who’s job was to assist me and ultimately sell to me, basically told me I was too fat to be in the store and I shouldn’t have wasted my time, or hers.


I get it. I am not skinny. I am not a size 10. I am not even a size 14. But I am not an idiot. I don’t try on many clothes in stores, because it’s not normally a fun experience for me. Things often don’t quite fit right; my hips and ass are big. So are my boobs. I have a big wobbly stomach. I am self-conscious enough when I walk into a store that I am usually pretty cautious in any selection that I take into the changing room, because I don’t want to allow myself to feel rubbish about not fitting into something for no reason. So when someone makes a snide remark like that, about something that actually did fit perfectly fine, and looked pretty cute actually, I just felt like I wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there for a while. And then I realised that what she said, actually said a whole lot more about her, than it did about me. What gives her, or anyone for that matter, the right to make an assumption about someone, based on appearance? She probably didn’t even realise how snarky that comment was. She was just simply observing what she thought to be the truth. These comments happen all the time. I am guilty of it, although I am making a much more concerted effort to stay away from those conversations on a day to day basis. We have no idea of peoples stories. We have no idea of the struggles, or the background. And making snap judgements, and then vocalising them, can be really hurtful, and have a much bigger impact that we think from the outset.

Now that I have calmed down a little bit, I realise I probably let this whole experience affect me more than it should have. But I guess that’s just who I am. I am sensitive to that kind of stuff. I have body image issues that I am working through, I am trying to lose weight, I am trying to get healthier. But that doesn’t mean that I deserve to be spoken down to, or dismissed. Body shaming, fat shaming, bullying or whatever the hell you want to call it, is not ok. Not in any situation. If you hear it…call it out. If you see it…stand up against it. And if you catch yourself doing it, just think, how would you feel if it were directed at you?

12 comments:

  1. I hate that we live in a society that teaches us to place value judgments on women based on their outwards appearances. We are all babes x9000 and the comment probably says more about the sales assistant than about you! You aren't being over sensitive, that's awful service & I really hope you complain to management ♡ sending a big hug xoxo

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    1. Hey Doll! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I have sent an offline letter to the management to let them know about the bad service. More because if it was my business I would want to know how I was being represented!

      I am feeling ok about the whole thing. It was her perspective and while it was incredibly rude, I am over it. I really wanted to write about it because people tell me all the time that this kinda stuff doesnt exist and no one cares about weight. I think, like you say, society really does teach us judgment about people based on outward appearance... and its not ok!

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  2. I am so angry that this happened to you. I don't think it's your burden to do this, but I hope you'll consider contacting the sales associate in some way to let her know how hurtful her response was so that she thinks twice before doing it again. Unbelievable the shame, stigma, and judgment that women have to endure. I'm sorry that you had to experience this, Tillie. You are beautiful, and I'm sure the dresses looked fantastic on you.

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    1. Thanks beauty! They did look pretty good... but $150 for a dress.... when I could spend that on cocktails on holiday... I know where my priorities are HAHA!

      I have written to the management offline, so it may be bought to her attention. I just hope she was having a really crappy day and she took it out on me, rather than that being her attitude to anyone who walks into the store. Lucky I'm pretty tough when it comes to this stuff so have bounced back just fine!

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  3. You handled that much better than I would've. I would have bitched her out so quick.

    You're so much more beautiful inside and out than she is.

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  4. Tillie, you are an absolute fucking babe and you will wear what you goddamn please. No assistant is going to tell you any different.
    This woman clearly has issues. She probably stands there all day judging other people and has forgotten her filter. Her judgment is her business and not yours.

    I'm sorry this upset you (it is a shitty thing to happen) and that you allowed it to effect you so badly (it would have done the same to me) because you are honestly so much more than your dress size. You are a bubbly, energetic person with so much love and happiness to share. I've never met you but your tweets and blog posts brighten up my day from a whole different country. So next time someone makes you feel bad about yourself, you read your amazing blog comments and remember that not everyone is an asshat.

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  5. If this would ever happen to you again, you face this person look them in the eye head high and say. Who do you think you are talking to? After the surprised open mouth stare, calmly say..a person respect right here please.
    Works every time.

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  6. Hey Tillie, me and my work mate just read your post and we are appalled at how you were treated. No one deserves to be treated like that and whatever you wear is none of her god damn business! I am glad you have written to their management and I hope they will educate the said person.

    You don't judge a book by it's cover, neither should you judge someone's dress size.

    Stay cool Tillie :)

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  7. This makes me so sad! This shouldn't be happening, but it does.

    Something similar has happened to me once, however. I was at the doctors and they were doing a regular check up etc. for my new contraception prescription (take note, I wasn't seen by my regular doctor). And when I jumped onto the scales, (something which I loath and I personally know I'm not a very big person), the doctor looked at me and said, "I hope that's your winter coat". Erm? Excuse me!? I just walked out and cried to my mother. It was so rude and insensitive! Guess it's safe to say, I never saw her at the doctors again...

    So don't feel alone in this situation, it happens. But please remember; you are kind, you are smart, and you are beautiful!!

    Don't let another persons insecurities bring you down! <3

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  8. What a horrible hurtful cow. As per another commenter, you handled things much better than I would; although in saying that I probably would've walked out of the shop without saying anything because I hate confrontation. I hate clothes shopping at the best of times, I am not a size 8, I have curves (big fat ones that I wish would shrink) and I have odd proportions (I can be anything from a size 12 to an 18 depending on where I’m shopping and what I’m trying on). 9.9999 times out of 10 items of clothing I try on look better on the clothes rack than they do on me. I sometimes think I'm kidding myself going into certain shops cos they won't have anything that will fit. I've not been acknowledged in shops before, possibly because of my size, when other smaller women have been spoken to. Shop assistants need to buck their ideas up, shopping isn't always an enjoyable experience and insenstive shop staff doesn’t help. I hope your letter makes them think about how they treat their customers and I hope you included the fact that you were going to buy something until that female said what she did.

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  10. Reading this was really shocking. But honestly Kudos to you for your thoughts and reflection. I one hundred percent agree with you that it is more a reflection of her than it is you. Your post was beautifully-brave and daring, as I am sure you are. I am also really glad I stumbled upon your blog honesty and integrity will get you a long way, and no matter what the number on the scales say, I think you're pretty top notch for starting on this journey. Encouragement is key, so if you ever need it flick me a message, one stranger to another. :)

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