Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fat: We don't deal with those kind of people

I was flipping through channels last night waiting for a phone call and saw this most recent episode of What Would You Do? It's an interesting hidden camera program that puts people in really awkward positions and films how they would react. For example, the clip above, showing a hoity-toity boutique in New Jersey where the sales lady is being really rude and offensive to a size 14 girl. The sales lady and the girl are actors, and so is the size 4 best friend, but the customers are real and their reactions are very real.

The first lady that they showed who walked over and said, "I'm a customer, but if you come with me, I'll show you some lovely things..." I just loved her. By the end of the three minute segment, she was in tears because she was so angry on behalf of a complete stranger.

I think it hit me even more because I've been in this situation. I was at Nordstrom Rack near Salt Lake, and had quickly noted that there was nothing in my size. So I went rack to rack looking for my sister, who is much smaller than me, and was approached by an employee who simply said, "You won't find anything here for you." She said it with such a tone of disgust and superiority that my whole face flushed in embarrassment and my whole body shook with indignation. I was too humiliated to speak, but I think I managed an apologetic, "I'm not looking for me." She sniffed and walked away and the whole time I just wished I had told her off. I quickly found my sister and hid behind her the remaining tour of the store.

What would I have done if someone had overheard and actually stood up for me? What if I had stood up for myself? I guess I will never really know.

There are times when I enter a new store that I would like to save myself the embarrassment altogether and walk straight up to a clerk and ask, "Do you carry this size?" And if not, walk right out if they say no. I have never had the gumption to do it, and normally just stick to shopping where I know I can find something to try on.

At the beginning of this segment, the narrator talks about how fashion caters to the smaller sizes and for the average American woman, it's hard to keep up and be fashion forward. That much is true. I always say that I would dress much differently if I were smaller (and wealthier), because the things I like vs. the things that are available in my size are very different. I pretty much hate my entire wardrobe. But in the end, as a consumer -- while we are supposed to wield the power with supply and demand -- we have to purchase the things that are available to us. This means a lot of ugly prints, stupid sayings, and more polyester than should ever be legal. It's not like we can walk around naked in protest... Although, maybe we should?


  1. When I worked at the University Mall, sometimes girls did come in and flat out ask if our store carried plus sizes. (It didn't. And the sizes ran small, at that.) So we would apologetically say, "No, sorry..."

    It wasn't that the store was trying to be snobby or something; we ordered a bunch of stuff from importers in Los Angeles, and most of it wasn't even available in plus sizes. They also sent us batches of different items, so we didn't always choose the sizes that we had--a package of one particular skirt might have two of each size, or like, 1 XL, 2 L, 3 M, 2 S, 1 XS. Usually there wasn't even an XL though.

    That surprises me that Nordstrom Rack doesn't carry larger sizes. And that they were rude. Typically in my interactions with Nordstrom employees they are excessively polite. But that's dumb that she was rude, anyway.

  2. Since I have gained some weight I have problems finding clothes/jeans especially in the trendy stores... I just try to joke about it and in 3 stores I said don't you have any clothes for large people like me... One said, let me see if we have any in the back and brought out all that they had ha ha... Most places here do not even go up to size 14

  3. I love your posts! Sorry I don't comment more on them- but do know that I read them all! =)

  4. That is horrible!! I can not believe people sometimes.

    Everyone's always told me how nice Nordstrom employees are but I always feel like I'm being judged because I don't have the hairdo, makeup and attire that screams I can afford $200 jeans (well, and now I can't--that's beside the point).

    My problem is finding anything for post pregnancy weirdness shape--ha, no store carries that :(

    Of course from the sounds of it, Alaina's workouts will have you walking in there saying "I'll take two of these... but I don't buy from rude people"


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