The Terrible Reason This Store Removed an Employee's Photo From Instagram

February 5th 2016

Taylor Bell

A clothing store in Stillwater, Oklahoma is facing backlash for removing pictures of a store associate from its Instagram account for not being "model material."


A photo posted by Sherene Zarrabi (@sherenemarie) on

Jessica Issler, CEO and founder of Dainty Hooligan, reportedly asked that pictures of Sherene Zarrabi, a former employee at the Stillwater location, be deleted from the store's social media account, because Issler didn't think she was skinny enough to model the store's clothes. The store had been posting pictures of Zarrabi modeling the clothes since October 2015.

In an email forwarded to Zarrabi, on Monday, Issler criticized her appearance:

"Something I want to make sure you keep in mind. I want size small, the stereotypical 'model' to model our clothes. Please use our pictures of our models if Stillwater store can't find someone who would be considered 'model material'. This is not to put anyone down but to communicate expectations of presenting our brand. Don't take it personal. All I ask is for really good representation of the brand. In exchange for the freedom, I ask you to take down all pictures of anyone that doesn't fit the criteria."

In response, Zarrabi posted her boss’ email to Facebook and announced her decision to quit. Zarrabi had been working at the Stillwater location since September 2015, according to Refinery29.

This is an email I was forwarded earlier. I just want to start by saying this: I am fully comfortable with who I am and...

Posted by Sherene Marie Zarrabi on Monday, February 1, 2016

"I do not want to represent or support a business that has such archaic values and beliefs. THIS is the reason young girls have body image issues. This is disgusting. I quit immediately and I suggest that my friends and family do not support Dainty Hooligan. Love yourself, no matter what you look like."

Although the 21-year-old student was hurt, she was more concerned about what kind of message it would send to young girls.

"The main reason why I got so upset was because my 9-year-old sister is beginning to have body-image issues because of some of her classmates," Zarrabi told Refinery29. "A child should be more worried about playing with her friends, not wondering if she's beautiful enough based on what size she is."

Despite the negative feedback, Issler stood by her decision and claimed that Zarrabi has a case of low self-esteem.

“I am accountable for the email that was sent,” Issler told Ocolly.com. “I never meant to be mean or attacking, but I’m not apologizing for the unsaid fashion rule. My No. 1 priority is the safety of my staff, so the evil and lack of positivity is terrifying. This girl has now created a hostile work environment because she has a sad body image of herself."

Later, however, Issler apologized to Zarrabi.

"I received an apology email from Jessica, the owner of Dainty Hooligan," Zarrabi said in a Facebook Post. "She said after putting herself in my shoes, she knows how I must've felt. I appreciate that she took the time to reach out to me. But it doesn't change what she originally said in her interviews. She said some nasty, disgusting things about me. I haven't bashed Jessica in any way. I have no ill feelings toward her or Dainty Hooligan, I will just choose to take my business elsewhere from now on."