A Dillard’s employee in Wichita, Kansas told Lexi Harris, 13, that she needed to wear Spanx, KAKE.com reports.
This did not go over well.
Lexi’s mother, Megan Naramore Harris, told KAKE.com that they were shopping for a formal dress for Lexi. They had already found a dress that she liked, but she wanted to try on more dresses.
Her daughter didn’t want to try on another dress.
“Since she’s very tall, I begged her,” Harris told the news station. “She tried it on, and walked out. She said, ‘Mum, this is not my dress.’ I said, ‘Well you look so pretty. Let me take a picture.”
The picture is to the right.
But things took a turn for the worse shortly after.
“In walked the sales lady and suggested that the dress was not very flattering to her,” Harris said to the news channel. “I don’t want to say exactly what she said because it was extremely unkind. But, she said, she needed to wear SPANX.”
She was obviously not happy with this.
“I told Lexi to go ahead and go change,” she said to the news channel. “I told the sales lady that my daughter is perfect just how she is. This is how God made her, and she looked beautiful. We were just having fun. Again, she said some not-so-nice things about her body, her body type. I told her, ‘I disagree with you. She’s perfect.'”
Harris posted the story alongside a photo of her daughter on Facebook, and it’s going viral.
The post is written as a letter to the Dillard’s saleswoman, and Harris uses the letter to shed light on a bigger issue: body image.
“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,” Harris writes in the post. “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.”
You can see the full post below.
Dillard’s spokesperson, Julie Johnson Bull, released a statement to KAKE.com. “At Dillard’s, our mission is to help people feel good about themselves by enhancing the natural beauty found in all of us. We train our sales associates with the goal of creating a completely positive experience with each visit. It is certainly never our intent to offend our customers. We have reached out to this customer and her daughter, and we appreciate the outreach of so many of our followers and customers to bring this issue to our attention,” the statement reads. Harris told the website that she had been contacted by the retailer.
Business Insider has reached out to Dillard’s and will update when we hear back.
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