The Short of It
When a sales clerk told her 13-year-old daughter she needed Spanx, this mom fought back.
Wichita, Kan., teen Lexi Harris was excited to try on dresses for an upcoming school dance during a shopping trip to Dillard's with her mother, Megan. But what should have been a girls' day they'd never forget, ended up being memorable for all the wrong reasons.
According to Megan, while Lexi was trying on a long, red dress just for fun—she'd already picked out another one that she wanted—a sales clerk entered the fitting room and proceeded to call her "fat" and suggest she buy the slimming garment, Spanx.
The girl's mom says the mean-spirited comments were completely unsolicited, and she told BuzzFeed what was going through her head at that point was, "I have to get my daughter out of here before I scream." Um, or slap the sales clerk!
Meanwhile, Megan says Lexi wasn't nearly as bothered as she was and handled the verbal assault more maturely than she would have at her age. "[Lexi said], 'You know, I know that dress wasn't for me; I just don't know why she had to say that.'"
Megan reached out to Dillard's about the very upsetting experience, and heard nothing back. So, with Lexi's blessing, she posted the story to Facebook, in an effort to help other girls who may feel badly about themselves. She wrote in part:
"Dear sales lady at Dillard's Towne East Mall... This is my teenage daughter who wanted to try on dresses for an upcoming formal. I found this dress and asked her to try it on. She told me this was not her style, but tried it on for me... Right after that, you entered and told my daughter she needed to wear SPANX if she wanted to wear this dress... I told you that she was just fine without SPANX. You continued to argue with me. We left soon after. I wish I had told you how many girls suffer from poor self image and telling them they need something to make them perfect can be very damaging. Girls of all ages, shapes and sizes are perfect because that is how God made them. If they feel good in a dress, that is all that should matter. My daughter is tall, she swims, runs, dances and does yoga. She's fit. She's beautiful. She did not need you telling her that she is not perfect. I hope this is shared and gets back to you so that you should not say something like that to a girl ever again. You never know what negative or positive thoughts they are thinking about themselves."
The mom signed the missive, "Mother of a beautiful girl."
Since the post has gone viral with more than 450,000 likes and more than 78,000 shares, Megan has heard from Dillard's.
"They said they were going to use [the incident] as a talking point for their salespeople," she told BuzzFeed.
This story struck a chord with me because I had a similarly upsetting experience while getting manicures with my three daughters. One of the manicurists walked over to us, unsolicited, and told one of my girls, "You are the prettiest sister." What? Unfortunately, they all heard and felt upset. "They are all beautiful," I informed the lady, but she wasn't getting it, and repeated her hurtful comment.
It was an experience my daughters talked about for weeks after; that is how much of an impression it made. I felt so angry that someone thought they had the right to say something like that. Those words are now forever etched into my girls' memories and may impact them for the rest of their lives. It's ridiculous! Deep breath. I'm fuming all over again, just as I'm sure Megan in Kansas is every time she remembers what was said to Lexi.