A Kansas mom has expressed her fury after a Dillard’s salesperson insisted that her 13-year-old daughter needed to wear Spanx in order to fit into a dress.
Megan Harris, 36, from Wichita was shopping with her daughter Lexi, looking for a formal dress for the teen to wear to an upcoming middle school dance.
But instead of getting to feel excitement over watching her little girl grow up and get ready for a special occasion, Megan was left hurt and outraged when a salesperson offered some insulting unsolicited advice.
Sending a message: Lexi Harris, 13, tried this dress on at a Dillard’s store and was told by a sales associate that she needed Spanx
The mother-daughter duo were at the department store in Wichita’s Towne East Square and having fun picking out something fancy for the May formal.
Lexi was having a hard time finding something she liked, so Megan urged her to try on a long, red JS Collections gown with a short slit up one side and embellishment around the collar.
‘She told me this was not her style, but tried it on for me,’ Megan wrote in a Facebook post after the incident. ‘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.’
But their smiles only lasted a moment. That’s when a salesperson came into the fitting area, and told Lexi that she needed a pair of belly-smoothing Spanx if she wanted to wear the dress.
Megan was infuriated. She told Lexi to head back into the fitting room to change, leaving her alone with the salesperson. She then told the offending woman that her daughter looked just fine without the Spanx.
Rather than taking the hint, though, and understanding that her criticimsm wasn’t welcome, Megan said that the salesperson actually continued to argue with her.
Back off! Her mom, Megan, took to Facebook to express her disappointment, adding that the sales associate continued to argue even after Megan said that her daughter was fine without the Spanx
Playing dress-up: Lexi said the dress was too grown-up for her, anyway, but she tried it on because her mom wanted her to
‘The sales lady… suggested that the dress was not very flattering to her,’ Megan told local news station KAKE. ‘I don’t want to say exactly what she said because it was extremely unkind. But, she said, she needed to wear SPANX.’
Megan didn’t get the woman’s name – and admitted that her daughter handled the incident better than she did – but she wasn’t done giving her a piece of her mind.
On January 20, she turned to Facebook to explain how upset the exchange made her, and how it made her worry for her daughter.
‘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,’ she wrote, addressing the salesperson. ‘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,’ she said.
Megan went on to say that she hoped the salesperson saw her post so she would’t make such unwelcome and potentially damaging comments again.
Looking out for her kid: Megan (left) said that Lexi (right) handled the incident well and didn’t seem upset – but Megan certainly was
Making amends: A spokesperson for the store has expressed regret and said that they will be using the incident as a talking point with staff
‘You never know what negative or positive thoughts they are thinking about themselves,’ she added.
Since she wrote her story on Facebook, Megan’s post has gone viral, getting liked over 320,000 times and earning supportive comments from well-wishers.
‘[Forget] the Spanx. That lady needs Spanx around her mouth to keep all that negative shenanigans in,’ wrote one.
It’s also quite likely that the salesperson did, in fact, see her message, as Dillard’s later contacted Megan to let her know that they would use the incident as a talking point to teach the sales staff. Julie Johnson Bull, a corporate spokesperson, also gave a statement to KAKE.
‘At Dillard’s, our mission is to help people feel good about themselves by enhancing the natural beauty found in all of us,’ she said. ‘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.’