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Primark Body Shaming

(78 Posts)
TheMumInsider Wed 23-May-18 23:19:10


On Thursday 17th May, I visited Primark to purchase some new clothes after giving birth to my first baby. I chose some different sizes of tops & jeans to try on to find my current size (whilst I work on trying to get back as best I can to my previous size 10!)

After receiving a curious look from the lady at the changing room desk, I explained myself & she said ‘that’s what happens when you have a baby’ & that I shouldn’t ever expect to fit in my normal clothes again.

I was offended by her comment as I have always worked hard to stay slim & have found it very difficult coping with my increased body size, suffering with postnatal depression following the birth. Her remark caused me to break down into tears in the cubicle before I even tried the clothes on. After realising none of them hid any of my residing ‘mum-tum’, I returned them to the woman on my way to exiting the changing rooms & explained they were too small. Her response: ‘Well, what did you expect?!’. I expected not to be spoken to like that. Who is she to make a comment on my expectations of my body after giving birth? I have been left back at square one, feeling unable to leave the house for lack of suitable sized clothes.

After seeing posts on the Primark media pages about body confidence & plus sized girls, it made me feel like I could visit the shop without being judged or made to feel completely disgusting about myself but I was left feeling just that. It seems ironic that she should pass comments like this during mental health awareness week. What should have been a morning spent enjoying purchasing some new clothes to restore some lost confidence in myself has completely shattered what confidence I had left.

I have contacted Primark who have since offered me a £20 e-gift card as a means of dismissing my complaint (which I found insulting & didn’t accept) & explained that I also want an apology from the woman & an action plan to stop this happening to anyone else. I want to make sure that nobody else is left crying in a changing room, embarrassed about how they look & to raise awareness of just how much someone’s comments can hurt. I dread to think what might have happened if she’d said this to someone in an even more fragile state of mind.

Bodear Wed 23-May-18 23:24:26

I’m sorry you’re having a hard time and I think the assistant was a bit insensitive but I think you’re being a bit OTT. What kind of action plan do you want them to implement?

Atalune Wed 23-May-18 23:26:42

Get a grip

Zucker Wed 23-May-18 23:26:54

A curious look from the woman!?

They mostly don't have time to wipe their noses I doubt she was overly concerned with you trying on stuff.

NapQueen Wed 23-May-18 23:27:04

The sales assistant was probably just saying from one mother to another "yep it doesnt go back" in a chatty manner. It isnt her fault you have hang ups. There was also no need for you to exain why you had various different sizes.

JoyceDivision Wed 23-May-18 23:27:54

she said ‘that’s what happens when you have a baby’ & that I shouldn’t ever expect to fit in my normal clothes again.

Hi op, so did the lady say all of the above or the part in speech marks? The part in speech marks seems like general chat as you say you were talking about trying lots of different sizes after your baby.

The second part, well, it might have been a light hearted comment, I know I can't fit in my post baby clothes, but the tone would convey the intent.

I'm sorry you were feeling upset, it can be difficult dealing with a new arrival and the many emotions s and feelings. How are you doing generally?

JacintaJones Wed 23-May-18 23:28:16

Are you sure that she wasn't just sympathising that immediately up to six months post partum most of us don't fit in to our pre pregnancy dress size?

That is what happens to most of us when we have a baby.

LooseyInTheSky Wed 23-May-18 23:28:34

I actually think she was trying to make you feel better. Often bodies don't return to their pre-pregnancy state and this isn't something to hate yourself for.

Are you ok? Are you getting help for the depression?

MargotLovedTom1 Wed 23-May-18 23:29:23

How dramatic! Surely most people would tut inwardly at her first comment, and just say a quick " None of these, thanks," when giving back the clothes which were too small.

Forget about it! She's rude. Move on.

EnglishGirlApproximately Wed 23-May-18 23:30:15

I honestly don’t think you’re going to get an apology from the person involved OP, companies just don’t do that with individual employees. I agree it was insensitive of her but I imagine that she was trying to be jokey. Of course that’s not great and I think letting them know is the right thing to do so they can feed it back but I’d leave it at that. Do you think an insincere apology that someone’s forced to make is going to help OP? flowers

C0untDucku1a Wed 23-May-18 23:30:18

Oh ffs how ridiculous. The issues are yours. How old is your baby?

Oddish Wed 23-May-18 23:32:22

Congratulations on your new baby OP. I’m sure the sales asst meant no harm, and primark have so many staff that they’re hardly trained to be brand ambassadors so I’m not sure it’s fair to equate this with any body positivity work primark have done.

DoneAdulting Wed 23-May-18 23:32:39

You're being overly dramatic

C0untDucku1a Wed 23-May-18 23:32:44

Ok baby is 9 weeks old. Thats not much. Dont try to go shopping for new clothes yet. Your body is still changing. Are you breastfeeding?

MayFayner Wed 23-May-18 23:32:46

I wouldn't have thought she meant to hurt your feelings. She was probably just trying to relate to you but missed the mark.

Devilishpyjamas Wed 23-May-18 23:32:49

Are you sure you didn’t assume she was thinking something she wasn’t. Sounds like you may have been projecting a little?

I would have seen her first remark as friendly. The second maybe a bit off, depending on how it was delivered.

I’d take the £20 tbh.

FWIW I contacted virgin years ago after seeing a shop assistant roll her eyes at and be extraordinarily rude to someone with learning disabilities. Didn’t get anywhere.

sycamore54321 Wed 23-May-18 23:34:02

I am sorry you feel bad. At the same time though, if you're uncomfortable, why did you raise the subject not once but twice with a perfect stranger? You could have just taken your changing room ticket and ignored any curious looks, whatever they are. And you could have simply returned the clothes with a "no thanks".

You really are overreacting here.

Having said that, post natal depression like you mention is incredibly tough and I hope you are getting all the help and support you need. If you are struggling, ask for more. Best wishes.

ObiJuanKenobi Wed 23-May-18 23:34:38

Way OTT reaction OP. Try having twins and a dressing room attendant asking how I could be so far pregnant again already? Nope not pregnant just struggling to shift the extra 3 stone - people say stupid things, it sucks and I feel for you but you can't hold on to these things or they become all consuming!

allforequality Wed 23-May-18 23:35:50

It sounds like you might not quite have a balanced perspective on what happened. I still don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes and my first baby is 15 years old! Just sounds like possibly ill judged chit chat, nothing to get worked up about. Maybe make a GP appt to chat about PND support 💐

ichifanny Wed 23-May-18 23:36:36

Sorry OP I think you are projecting your issues onto the woman in primark you act like it’s the worst thing in the world not to be a size 10 , maybe the changing room woman didn’t give a shit about body size and was tired listening to you moan about your body , she should have kept her mouth shut but really your body is your own issue .

ichifanny Wed 23-May-18 23:38:47

I think I wore loose dresses and leggings or pyjamas for about a year after my first .

Ummmmgogo Wed 23-May-18 23:40:43

ok I'm sorry you feel bad but you need to get over this. don't try and get some poor woman fired that's mean. she was just trying to be nice. loads of people told me I would never lose the baby weight. took fucking ages but I did it and you will too x

bonnyshide Wed 23-May-18 23:40:56

Well...actually your body will never be the same again after pregnancy and childbirth. You are not the first new mum to weep in the changing rooms.

Give the poor woman a break.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Wed 23-May-18 23:50:37

I hate this bloody shaming bollocks. Not every remark addressed to you is an attempt at shaming, ffs! Some people could find offence in someone telling them what the time was.

ikeepaforkinmypurse Wed 23-May-18 23:53:43

I feel sorry for the poor woman, she was just trying to make conversation. You tell her your life story and she didn't say the right thing. Move on.
You are being ridiculous if you feel judged. Primark stock sizes up to 20+, and many pregnant women buy normal cheap clothes to accommodate their bump. No one is judging you. If you don't fit in your maternity clothes for whatever reason, just buy a few item at a bigger size for now.

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