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:
While 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)