Justice

This Mom's Post About Her Teen Getting Body Shamed Is Going Viral

January 27th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

A Kansas mother named Megan Naramore Harris is gaining a lot of attention for her viral Facebook post about a Dillard's salesperson body shaming her 13-year-old daughter.

Several days ago, Harris went shopping with her daughter Lexi for an upcoming middle school formal. Harris asked Lexi to try on a long red dress, and Harris loved it so much that she took a photo of her daughter posing in it. Then a saleswoman came in and told Lexi that she would need to wear Spanx in a dress like that in order for the outfit to look good. Many people wear Spanx — a girdle-like undergarment — to appear slimmer in tight outfits. The suggestion infuriated Harris, who took to Facebook to complain in an open letter to the saleswoman.

"I told my daughter to go change," Harris wrote. "I told you that she was just fine without SPANX. You continued to argue with me. We left soon after."

 

Dear sales lady at Dillard's Towne East Mall, This is my teenage daughter who wanted to try on dresses for an upcoming...

Posted by Megan Naramore Harris on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

 

Harris added that many young girls have body insecurities, and that this saleswoman perpetuated negative body image by telling Lexi to don Spanx.

"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," she continued. "If [girls] 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."

Harris told ATTN: via Facebook Messenger that the saleswoman actually called Lexi "fat" but that she didn't want to include that in her Facebook post because she didn't want to embarrass her daughter.

"That hurt her and is what prompted the post," Harris told ATTN:. "It was not just a suggested sale!"

Harris signed off on the post "Mother of a beautiful girl," and her post has racked up nearly 450,000 likes, as of publishing. Many lauded Harris for the post and wrote that Lexi is a beautiful person:

Megan Naramore Harris Facebook comments

Julie Johnson Bull, a corporate spokesperson for Dillard's, told local news station KAKE that the company had reached out to Harris about the encounter. Harris confirmed to KAKE that Dillard's contacted her and their exchange was very positive.

“At Dillard’s, our mission is to help people feel good about themselves by enhancing the natural beauty found in all of us,” Bull said. “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."

Dillards

If the saleswoman is aware that her exchange with Lexi went viral, Harris hopes she recognizes that everyone is aware of their physical imperfections and that people don't need to be reminded of their so-called flaws.

Harris also told ATTN: that Lexi has been "sheltered" from the social media response to the Dillard's visit but that she is aware that many are talking about it.

"Lexi is pretty sheltered from all of this," Harris said. "I read her the good messages and delete the negative ones. She knows it's a big story, but I do not let her look at the news feeds and stories. She is happy that the message about being happy with who you are is out for the world to see! That you're beautiful regardless of size or shape! No one should ever be able to make you feel anything less than pretty!"

The body positive movement online.

Many young women suffer from body image issues, and this is particularly common among girls in their early teens, like Lexi, when their bodies are changing and they're experiencing puberty. The fashion industry, for the most part, perpetuates negative body image by even selling items such as Spanx, which inherently tell women that their shape is flawed and that this product can fix it.

Though body shaming is a horrible thing no one should face, many people have fought back by supporting the growing body positive movement on social media. Celebrities, such as model Chrissy Teigen, and non-celebrities alike have taken part in the initiative by posting natural, unfiltered photos of themselves on social media to embrace the way they look, even if their appearance doesn't fit with society's unrealistic beauty standards.