I have spent most of my life with body image issues. But in the last two years, I have come to terms with my pear-shaped body and what is popularly known as ‘Thunder Thighs’.
I Manitasha Singh workout, walk, and love myself,
LONG STORY SHORT:
I was BODY-SHAMED at a reputed apparel store.
STORY AS IT IS:
I went to Levi’s, Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar to buy a couple of pairs of jeans. I entered, looked around, and went to this female salesperson, asking her for jeans, with an eye on the section that was on discount.
Before I could tell her about the size, colour, and fit preference, this comes up –
“Aapka size sale mein available nahi hai” (Your size is not available in the section on discount)
Okay, I have heard this before, but never without me telling my requirement and certainly not with such weird emphasis on the words ‘Aapka size’.
Taken aback for a moment and at the loss for words, I asked her what’s my size, and without even thinking once, she said 32.
I was dressed in a pair of straight-fit jeans with a fluffy jacket. I might have looked healthier than I am, I understand, but ‘Aapka size’ is still not acceptable, even if my size was actually 32.
IF YOU ARE IN AN INDUSTRY WHERE YOU KNOW YOU ARE DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS AND THEIR SELF ESTEEM, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEM (AND THEIR BODIES) AND BE SENSITIVE TO THEIR EMOTIONS.
I asked the woman for size 28, for which I got a very weird look, and was shown the topmost pair in 28 from the sale section, which was not as per my colour requirement. But, till this point she did not ask me my fit requirement.
So, moving on to the fresh section, she showed me a pair. I stuttered a bit while asking the fit, and very rudely she told me the price, feeling very confident that this was what I must be wanting to know. I questioned about her the fit, picked up a couple of pairs and went to the trial room.
I was completely miffed, so angry that I could have cried. I tried on the pairs, liked one, but decided to buy from some other store instead. I left the store to grab a cup of coffee and reflect on what had happened. But then my friend, who had been trying to console me asked me to go back and talk to the store manager.
We went back and asked the person at the billing counter for the store manager. He asked if he could help us. So, I and my friend went on ranting about the incident. Without being offered as much as an apology, this person volunteers to help us with our shopping. We were there to solve the matter, and not create drama, so we calmed down and followed him.
Another sales person came up to help him and asked me ‘Size 30 chahiye?’ I guess it would been more polite if he could have asked me my size instead of playing this guessing game. Feeling hopeless again, I somehow decided to put up with the thing a little longer. So, I tried a couple of fits and didn’t like a High Rise waist and told the duo about it. And boom came another shocker, the salesperson informed me that it will shape my tummy and hide the fat. Did I ask you to hide my fat??
Too frustrated to continue, I left the store on the verge of crying. My afternoon was ruined and it took a while for me to get out of the mood.
Body shaming feels pathetic. It takes away your confidence and destroys your self image. I think clothing brands of all should know how to behave with patrons. It is the duty of the brand to train their store staff how to behave with the customers. My confidence will recover soon but I today I felt bad about my body and needed reassurance from my loved ones and my mirror yet again.
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