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The Shopping Diaries: Discrimination?

I am a true lover of shopping. Not just spending money, although that’s fun too. But, I am completely happy “just looking” in a mall filled to the brim with fashion, beauty products, shoes, and accessories. Even without buying a thing. I’m not talking about window shopping. I need to actually feel the merchandise and check out its quality. And not just plus size stores either; I make my way into any retail space. Until a few weeks ago.

I was at a Los Angeles area shopping mall and was stopped dead in my tracks before I even stepped foot into this high end boutique. It’s like I just froze. I couldn’t walk in.

Maybe it was the sales associates who eyed me up and down as I peered into the store. I know I haven’t felt this way since I was a teen. I was visiting my uncle who worked at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. There was this sense of knowing that you just don’t belong in there. I have always prided myself of being a confident curvy woman. But, how could I be intimidated? What was I worried about? Not being able to afford anything in there or just the fact that I don’t fit into their clothes?

Then I started to think. Maybe I’m just worried about being judged by those in the store. Whether it was the discriminating sales associates or the platinum credit card carrying customer, no one wants to be judged. But, after all these years of curvy shopping…why now? Am I the only one who has felt this way?

I haven’t been back since, but I know that the only way to get over it is to just walk in and act like I own the place. I’m not going to let this “shopping while fat” get to me. I have as much right as anyone else to be in that store. Maybe my confidence did take a little dip that day, for whatever reason. But, I know in my heart that I can’t I let someone elses prejudices stop me from being who I am.

Remember to “Stay curvaliscious, confident, and courageous.”

FYI: I’m wearing the Evolution by JMS™ Smocked Chain Top ($13.99). Courtesy of Just My Size.

  • Mrs C

    Snap!I only feel confident in "that" type of store if I am with my "thin" friends. Stupid I know!! Love the post x

  • thomessa

    I know how that feels. When I do get the guts to walk into a store where I can tell I'm being judged, I go straight to the accessories and shoes.

  • ashe mischief

    Ouch… I remember those feelings all too well, whether thinking it was based on what I was wearing, what size I was… how my hair was cut/dyed/styled. It's a horrible feeling, and I hate that companies encourage such an atmosphere.

  • RETRO REVA

    that stinks.
    The 'salesgirls' are just a bunch of snobs if they treat anyone differently for any reason!!!!
    I know a 'kinda wealthy' man ( though I'm not at all ) and he purposely dresses like a rag-a-muffin when he could buy anything he wants ;)
    He likes confronting 'snobs' and then whipping out his platinum (like in Pretty Woman….)
    xXx
    Reva

  • ThicknGorgeouz

    I know all too well the feeling and it does take a while to get back. take the bull by the horns and liberate yourself. Who cares if you can't fit or buy anything, take a look and feel it out and come back! It's scary, it feels awful having eyes on your back the whole time but in the end you'll feel better and happy you did. Loved the post!
    xoxo Mayra

  • CurvyEveryday

    I used to hate going shopping with my girlfriends who loved boutiques. I would do the same thing as thomessa, straight to the accessories. Sometimes a nice sales girl would chat me up because i think she knew how i felt (i love when people are sweet like that) I dream of the day of a high end plus size boutique where skinnies lust after the clothes and have the feeling oh nothing in there will fit me ; )

  • Cid Style File

    Oh girl you are not alone, I use to get those looks and feel the same way. Now I just give them looks back. Having worked retail I know most of these people are not making the big bucks and probably can't afford to shop at the places they work them selves, with out their discounts. Some people just need to feel supirior to other, because they have low self esteem. She probably saw how cuvey and gorgeous you are and couldn't stand it! LOL
    All I gotta say to you is "pretty woman" you remember that scene where they tell her to leave then she comes back and they kiss her butt! LOL I love that scene, that will be us one day Mo, soon very soon! :)

  • Thicker Than Your Average Girl

    WoW that is something horrible to feel I personally haven't dealt with that I guess because I don't go into stores I know i cant buy nothing from but accessory's and maybe a hand bag that sucks and sorry you felt this way Girl I wish some one would look at me crazy am such a big mouth great post chica

  • Allie O’Bannon

    oh gosh, i used to get that feeling all the time & sometimes still do, as much as i hate to admit it.

    it was terrible when i was in my teens because most of my friends were skinny girls & going to the mall with my friends, where there wasn't a single store i could shop in where something off the rack would fit me, was my worst nightmare.

    i say you go back in there & own it. don't let snobby salespeople or customers let you forget your own self-worth.

  • LaCara

    I hate that feeling, but it's happened twice in my life.

    The first time is when I walked into an Evans one day, and the sales assistant laughed at me the whole time. It was the most embrassing situation, and the fact that it happened in a "plus size" store made it worse.

    The second time is when I walked into a store called "Next", and the sales people were looking at me up and down, and had these shocked faces, that I was in the store. Needless to say I walked straight back out.

    It was a long time before I got over those two occasions and to an extent it's still in the back of my mind when I go into a store. But I've realised I have every right to go into any store I please, regardless of my size! So I agree with you 100%.

    <3

  • Ouidad Blog

    Stay confident and be who you are! Who cares what strangers think about you… it really doesn't matter. Do what you want to do! Go back to that store and own the place.

    Katie for Ouidad

  • vain319

    ugh! I HAVE WORKED RETAIL FOR 7YRS..SO B&*CHES LIKE THAT..I LOVE TO ABUSE IF THEY LOOK AT YOU CRAZY STARE BACK!!OR THEY TRY TO "HELP YOU FIND SOMETHING,BEFORE U EVEN LOOK" I MAKE IT A POINT TO EMBARRASS THEM WITH THEIR OWN RUDENESS..LIKE SAYING YEAH IF U LET ME LOOK FIRST.LOL..AND THOSE HOES CAN'T EVEN AFFORD TO SHOP THE VERY STORE THEY WORK AT..AND I REMIND THEM,THEY ARE THERE TO SERVICE ME..THE CUSTOMER..FROM WHOM THEIR VERY JOB DEPENDS ON..HAHA BITCHY? MAYBE..BUT PEOPLE LIKE THAT NEED TO BE RETRAINED!!

  • Anonymous

    I have a skinny sister, cousin, mom…needless to say, I take after my husky dad. I was shopping once with my sister and cousin and they wandered into Abercrombie and Fitch. As they were browsing, I was just looking at a table full of sweaters when a small, skinny, blonde salesgirl walked over to me with a gigantic grin on her face. As I opened my mouth to say that I was just looking, she speaks first: "I don't think you'll find anything in YOUR size here." Still with that grin on her face…I was so shocked and upset that I walked out of the store. Then, a few minutes later, I found my nerve and walked back in, right up to her, and said "F*** you, B****." I think she deserved that.