07/09/15 by Rennie Detore
Have you ever heard the term "fat shaming?"
If you haven't, you've likely heard it now.
That's because a random Old Navy customer, Rachel Taylor, had her fat shaming story go viral when she was offended at the retail store when a daughter and mom poked fun at an oversized tank top that Taylor overheard while she was at the store.
Taylor was quick to thank Old Navy for carrying sizes that fit her frame, so this story isn't about anything Old Navy did wrong.
This is more about Taylor and her openly stating that she couldn't help but start to cry when a little girl held up this large sized tank top and told her mom that she and someone else could fit in it, to which the mom replied "that thing (the tank top) is huge."
Taylor's story was picked up nationally from outlets such as CNN and Yahoo, and dubbed fat shaming, although that really seems a bit off the mark as it relates to this story specifically.
The issue with Taylor isn't so much taking away or downplaying how she felt. She overheard something that was said by a daughter and a mom that struck a nerve with her, and no one is suggesting that she not be upset by the comment. She's entitled to have that type of reaction if that's how she felt.
If that's the story, then so be it. Taylor goes on to say that people should watch what they say, as comments like the ones made by the daughter and mom are hurtful.
The only problem is no one actually said anything to Taylor directly, nor were the comments geared toward saying anything specifically about someone being "fat" or even "overweight." The mom in the story said the tank top was "huge," never once mention that the person wearing it was obese or overweight. There was an inference to that degree, but saying that a piece of clothing is large could also be perceived as a factual comment.
If the shirt is big, then it is big. And a little girl suggesting that her and someone of her same size could fit inside that aforementioned big shirt also isn't unheard of as far as something that can or would be said at a clothing store by a child.
In no way is this suggesting that Taylor overreacted to the situation; she reacted exactly in the way that the situation struck her. But to call this fat shaming is a bit of a stretch.
Had either the child or mom pointed out Taylor specifically or commented on the shirt as being for fat people, then the comments might have a little more bite to them. Again, Taylor and others offended by what was said shouldn't simply laugh it off or not be affected by those words.
Taking the story and running with it as if it was malicious in its delivery or intent feels overblown.
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