Kit Steinkellner
February 04, 2016 7:45 pm

Meet fashion blogger Shiann Friesen, known as ShiCurves in the fashion-y corner of the interwebs:

Shiann was shopping in Walmart, ready to try on some clothes in the dressing room, when an employee stopped her, insisting that Shiann would not fit into the clothes she was planning on trying on.

Specifically, the unnamed employee grabbed the hangers out of Shiann’s hands, and told her not to “push it.” When Shiann asked for clarification, the employee told Shiann she was “trying to put on something that is obviously not going to fit.” She then told Shiann she didn’t want her to “stretch” the clothes Shiann wanted to try on.

The footage is upsetting. You can hear Shiann’s voice tremble and crack as she speaks to the Walmart employee. It’s completely unreasonable for this employee to surmise that she knows Shiann’s body better than Shiann. It’s also hard to imagine that this employee would have snatched clothing away from a thin person, claiming that she was worried a smaller customer would stretch the merch. From where we stand, this is a pretty clear cut case of discrimination.

According to Shiann, she did tell the Walmart employee that this behavior was discriminatory, and as Shiann explains, the employee’s response to this was “I’m just trying to protect our clothes.” To which Shiann replies, “But you can’t discriminate against people because you’re trying to ‘protect your clothes,’ because if I came here and wanted to try on a dog collar, you couldn’t refuse me that.” The employee’s response was that this was Walmart’s policy and that she, the employee, had to “protect the clothes at all costs.”

But when Shiann investigated the issue further, she discovered this was not Walmart’s policy at all.

Shiann also explains that she witnessed two men who wanted to try on women’s sweaters, and this same employee refused to let them try their choices on, because they were men and the sweaters had been designated as women’s wear.

Shiann makes the important point that you can’t refuse to let someone try on clothing based on their size or gender. While we are so sorry that this happened, we’re glad that Shiann stood up for herself and is now raising awareness about this kind of discrimination.

Shiann’s video below, the footage begins at the 2:58 mark:

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