What began as an emotionally charged shopping experience for an Old Navy shopper ended with a firm reminder: It's easy to forget that not everyone looks like you, but beauty really does come in all sizes.
On July 3, when Rachel Taylor, a 24-year-old wedding photographer from Monroe, Louisiana, was shopping at Old Navy and overheard a conversation between a woman and a teenage girl, according to her Facebook post. The two were poking fun at the size of a plus-size tank top with a design of the American flag on it.
"'Look! Me and So-and-so can fit in this tank top!' Her mom laughed and said, 'Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!'" Taylor reported the pair said. Her husband walked her back to the car where she sat crying for some time.
The good news? She eventually went back inside and bought the same tank. "It turns out, I look fierce in it!" she wrote on Facebook.
Recognizing all shoppers, even plus-size ones: Experiences like Taylor's, unfortunately, aren't isolated incidents for plus-size shoppers. Nicolette Mason, a prominent plus-size blogger, told the Huffington Post in 2014 that boutiques have often tried shaming her by insisting they don't carry her size. That marginalization is made worse when stores section off the plus-size clothing away from "regular" shoppers, charge more for clothing and only offer limited (and ugly) styles.
"It's an odd thing that you can't go shopping with your friends because your store is upstairs hidden by the tire section," Melissa McCarthy quipped to More magazine.
Or, you know, plus-size clothing isn't even stocked in stores at all.
Isolating plus-size women isn't only hurtful to the shoppers themselves; it removes them from everyone else's radar, creating an environment that invites total ignorance at best, and body-shaming and insensitive remarks at worst.
Luckily, Taylor's experience at Old Navy has been beyond well-received. Since she shared her post on July 3, the image has been shared more than 11,000 times and has garnered over 71,000 likes. Sometimes, we just need a reminder that all sizes deserve celebrating.
h/t Hello Giggles