What Would You Do If A Sales Clerk Told Your Daughter She Needs Spanx?
A Kansas mother’s open letter to a store clerk at a Dillard’s location in Wichita has gone viral based on the sheer disgust many feel as a result of the sale’s associate’s actions. While many women are fans of Spanx — the shapewear sent from on high making body con dress dreams a reality for all body types — most would balk at the idea of someone suggesting we wear one, and even more so if that unsolicited suggestion was handed to our teen daughter right in front of our face.
That’s exactly what happened to Megan Naramore Harris and her 13 yer old as they were shopping for dresses for a school formal. Harris was so upset by the experience, she told her entire Facebook community about the ordeal in a letter to the saleswoman:
Dear sales lady at Dillard’s Towne East Mall,
This is my teenage daughter who wanted to try on dresses for an upcoming formal. I found this dress and asked her to try it on. She told me this was not her style, but tried it on for me. I told her how grown up it made her look and she smiled, and told me this made her look too old but still, she let me take a picture. Right after that, you entered and told my daughter she needed to wear SPANX if she wanted to wear this dress. I told my daughter to go change. I told you that she was just fine without SPANX. You continued to argue with me. We left soon after. 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. Girls of all ages, shapes and sizes are perfect because that is how God made them. If they 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.
Mother of a beautiful girl
Even more sad than the exchange this woman had with the saleswoman– which I partially can’t even comprehend because there’s never an excuse for a store clerk to argue with a customer, especially about what she does with her own child — is the statement Dillards released on the altercation.
“At Dillard’s, our mission is to help people feel good about themselves by enhancing the natural beauty found in all of us. 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.”
In other words, this worker was just doing her job by trying to play off of insecurities to up-sell. Nice.
“Do you need help?” or “Is there anything else I can get you?” is about the extent of assistance I expect and desire from a sales associate when I’m trying on clothes. Unless I ask, “Does this look OK?” or “Do you think this is too tight?” At no point in time do I want to hear the word Spanx uttered. And if I’m with my child and someone has the gall to think she needs such an undergarment, they better whisper a question about it to me in my ear and not say a word to her because I’m the one responsible for the purse strings and my impressionable child’s self-esteem. As a woman, it’s sad this sales lady didn’t understand the magnitude of her actions and the lasting impression it could have on a teen girl. Thankfully, her mom knows exactly how to counter such negativity.
What would you do in this situation?