Rue 21′s Birthday Wishes Now Include Fat Shaming


When will retail outlets learn how not to create Pretty Woman moments? It never ends well for them, PR-wise.

A 14-year-old girl in Eugene, Oregon named Shelby Buster is standing up for herself after an employee at fast fashion chain Rue 21 told her she was too fat to shop there. Rude! According to Shelby, she was just minding her own business, shopping at the mall with her friend, pockets full of sweet birthday money, when douchebaggery struck.

“I walked in and the lady at the front counter said hey you’re too big to be in this store, I need you to leave,” she told local news station KEZI 9. According to Shelby, her mom went back to talk to the people there and they replied, “oh we’re so sorry.” Guilty, guilty. But just in case they hadn’t gotten the message, Shelby and her mom filed a formal complaint which the store said it would “look into.”

A few days later, though, the story made its way to the brand’s Facebook page, and Rue 21 decided to backtrack and imply that Shelby and her mom could be lying:

rue21While I understand that corporations like Rue 21 need to cover their asses, is it really the best course of action to imply that the kid made it all up for attention? I mean, I don’t know her, but 14-year-old girls do not generally invent instances of fat-shaming, thereby attracting a ton of additional fat-shaming, for fun. It seems more likely to me that the company is trying to buy some time while it sends this incident through the various steps of corporate action, or maybe trying to be vague enough about it that people will forgive and forget. Unfortunately for them, the story has quickly been gathering speed on the internet, and there are plenty of people who aren’t yet willing to let it go, if the numerous posts on Twitter and the Rue 21 Facebook page are to be believed.

(Via Buzzfeed/screencap via KEZI 9)

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    • Marissa

      It’s kind of a stretch to go from “unable to corroborate this incident” to “calling her a liar.” They couldn’t find any evidence of it happening, but if they did, it would be utterly unacceptable. Perhaps it wasn’t a Rue 21 employee at all, but another customer. I mean, for an employee to say that and actually ask her to leave strains credibility as it is. They’re probably aware of how business works and that you kinda need people to buy your clothes to stay afloat.

    • Sheshe

      I don’t think Rue21 was calling that girl a liar at all….drama much?

    • SonyaSchimmel
    • Fatties are ugly

      Kids fat plain and simple. Corporations don’t want their products to look ugly

    • funnyjello

      is anyone concerned about the health issues due to this girl’s weight? people shame and ostracize smokers to get them to stop. why is it unacceptable to criticize overweight people to get them to eat better and reach a healthy weight for their body type (not to become un-heathily stick thin)?

      • Anne Marie Hawkins

        Well, since she’s a complete stranger… no. I am not concerned about her health because literally the ONLY thing I know about her is she was treated poorly for her size – neither of us know her level of physical activity, her eating habits, or her medical history. And it’s none of our business. Smokers go out of their way to inhale carcinogens. Girls like her are just having a body. That’s why we shame smokers, not bigger girls.

    • plattworx

      It was STUPID for Rue 21 to post on Facebook that they were “unable to corroborate that the incident actually happened” which CAN be taken to mean “we can’t prove it ever happened, therefore you may be making this up.” I’m sorry, not only did it make this PR nightmare go from bad to worse, did they expect employees to say “YES! YES! I did tell a girl she was too fat to shop here!” COME ON! Who’s running Public Relations for this place?!

    • lina

      Fat shaming needs to be stopped. Jug Report tackles the problem of “bust shaming”: