A Boutique Took Down This Employee's Instagram Photos Because She Wasn't "Model Material"

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

Sherene Marie Zarrabi went above and beyond as an employee at Stillwater, Oklahoma's Dainty Hooligan boutique when she modeled the clothes for the store's Instagram account .

When boutique owner, Jessica Issler, saw the photos, she asked the store manager to delete them, saying, Zarrabi, 21, wasn't "model material." According to the Daily Dot, the email was forwarded to Zarrabi, who later posted it to her Facebook.

In the email, Issler explained her line of thinking:

Something I want to make sure you keep in mind. I want size small, the stereotypical "model" type to model our clothes. Please use our pictures of our models if Stillwater store can't find someone who would be considered "model material." 

Don't take it personal, all I ask for is really good representation. In exchange for the freedom, I ask you to take down pictures of anyone that doesn't fit the criteria.

Thanks,
Jessica

It's unclear what kind of "freedom" Issler is referring to — the freedom to be body-shamed by your boss? — but Zarrabi wasn't having any of it, and quit immediately. 

"I do not want to represent or support a business that has such archaic values and beliefs," a senior marketing major at Oklahoma State University, wrote in the post's caption. "THIS is the reason young girls have body issues."

Even after the outpouring of solidarity Zarrabi received on Facebook and Twitter, Issler, in an interview with the Oklahoma State student newspaper, the O'Colly, said she stood by her words. 

"I never meant to be mean or attacking, but I'm not apologizing for the unsaid fashion rule," she told the paper. 

And then this: "This girl has now created a hostile work environment because she has a sad body image of herself. She is not mentally healthy."

Soon after the O'Colly story came out, Issler doubled back and sent Zarrabi an email, this time apologizing for her insensitivity and saying that the whole ordeal had been a "humbling experience" for her. But Zarrabi was unmoved by the gesture.

"I am proud of myself for quitting," she told the paper. "What I really want is for young girls, like my sister, to know that you don't have to be a certain size to be beautiful."

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Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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