Clear you mind. Ask yourself: what are the first things that come to mind when you think about Victoria’s Secret?
Now, let me guess. Gorgeous models, sexy lingerie and #fitspo goals, all featured, right?
Yep, the lingerie empire has garnered an international reputation for being the most-watched runway in the world. And, while we religiously tune in to gawk at the slew of long-legged models strut their way down the catwalk in smokin' hot lingerie every year, we also acknowledge that the brand painfully underrepresents body diversity.
Such discrimination is something 20-year-old Abbie Walsh-Greenfield recalls experiencing first hand in the VS store by one of the brand’s very own shop assistants, Wales Online reports.
But rather than pretending the unpleasant encounter didn’t happen, Abbie took to her blog to write an open letter to VS, recounting exactly what a happened when she walked into the store with her friend.
“I didn’t go into Victoria’s Secret looking for anything in particular,” Abbie recalls, until her and her gal pal, “spotted the exact same lacy-pink, dreamy bed shorts, they were stunning.”
“I flicked through with determination… looking for an XL and flicking through again for a L when the XL was clearly one of those ‘order online’ sizes. I found my L, (the only L on the rail, may I add) and turned around to see my friend a few meters away, wandering around the bras.”
Here is where things started to go downhill.
“I turned around with the large lacy, pink, baggy, elasticated bed shorts in hand, and went to head for my friend to show her my ‘might-fit-me-might-be-tight-but-worth-it’ bed shorts, when,” a shop assistant standing nearby said, "‘Hi.. Are you aware of the sizing in this store?’”.
Yep, it was a legit ‘you can always try Sears’ moment IRL.
“I shuffled away, with my tail between my legs,” Abbie said. “I didn’t even want to hold the shorts anymore. I walked over to my friend, who was being helped by a lovely lady, and I stood there in silence for about 10 seconds. Before walking back over to the rail that I picked up the cutest bed shorts ever from, and I put them back down.”
“I am a very open minded person. I rarely jump to conclusions,” Abbie explains. “I don’t actually know what the sales assistant meant by her comment, but surely theres no two ways about it.”
Maybe the shop assistant was told she had to ask every customer the question. Perhaps it the woman didn't realise how offensive she was being. Either way, it was not cool.
Of course, Abbie was a total champ about the whole thing.
“I just think that it’s important it happened to me and not anyone else. Who knows what could have happened if this passing comment from her, had been said to someone with extremely low self-esteem, someone who couldn’t handle it?”
“I am more than happy with myself, although there are some things that I would like to change, I’m in no particular rush to look any certain way,” she explains.
And power to ya girl!
Victoria’s Secret have since released a statement responding to the claim stating, "Victoria's Secret expects that all customers be treated with respect. We are reaching out to the customer and will take the appropriate actions as we're committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcome in our stores."
The takeaway? Ain’t nobody got time for rude-ass shop assistants, but if you do come across one, a viral open letter is one way to get that shit sorted, stat.