Young shopper is left in tears after boutique staff ‘rudely’ told her they didn’t have a bigger size – and ‘snatched’ away the clothes she was trying on

  • An Australian shopper has told of how she was humiliated at a fashion store
  • Vanessa Spano, from the Gold Coast, went to try some dresses on at a shop
  • When she asked for a larger size, the assistant responded in ‘the meanest tone’
  • Vanessa who wears a 12 or 14 was told rudely the store did not carry her size 
  • She said the incident left her embarrassed and she later cried in her car 

A shopper has told of the moment she was humiliated in a clothing store for asking for an item in a bigger size. 

Vanessa Spano, from the Gold Coast, wears a standard size 12-14 and said she cried in her car after the incident at an unnamed shop. 

Speaking to 7Life, the 27-year-old said she was ‘shocked’ and ’embarrassed’ when an attendant told her in ‘the meanest possible tone of voice’ they don’t carry her size.

Vanessa Spano (pictured), from the Gold Coast was left in tears after she was body shamed by a staff member while trying on clothes at a fashion store

‘Honestly, her words hurt. It made me feel like I don’t matter because of my size and that I don’t deserve the same level of service as a smaller sized woman,’ she said. 

In a TikTok clip, Vanessa spoke about the exchange saying she was being ignored by staff as she browsed the store before she found some dresses she liked and went to the fitting rooms to try it on. 

She felt one of the dresses was too small so poked her head out of the cubicle to asked for assistance. 

‘I ended up getting the attention of one of the girls that worked there and I was like, ‘I was wondering if I could get another size in this dress?’,’ she recalled. 

The 27-year-old said she was ‘shocked’ and ’embarrassed’ when an attendant told her in ‘the meanest possible tone of voice’ they don’t carry her size.

Before she finished her question the employee interjected saying: ‘Yeah… a bigger size I’m guessing?’. 

Despite being shocked by the rude interruption, Vanesa remained polite and told the staff member the next size up ‘would be great’. 

‘The girl asked me what size I was ready wearing and I was like ‘I’m wearing a large so I can please have an extra large?’ and in the meanest possible tone of voice, she turned to me and said, ‘We don’t carry your size here’.’

Vanessa said the woman’s response was loud enough for all the other shoppers in the change rooms to hear leaving her embarrassed.  

‘I get it some places don’t go up  to a certain size which is fine – a bit annoying – but the fact that she had the audacity to say it it in that tone of voice,’ she said.

After asking for a size up, Vanessa was rudely told by the retail assistant the store doesn’t carry her size loud enough for the whole change room to hear leaving her embarrassed

Stunned by the assistant’s icy attitude, Vanessa got dressed and left the store as quickly as possible as the attendant ‘snatched’ the clothes from her without acknowledgment. 

‘I went back to the car and had a little bit of a cry,’ she said.

‘Honestly, if she had just said to me, ‘I’m really sorry but unfortunately, we don’t have the dress in an XL,’ I would have been so fine but she was so rude to me in that moment and embarrassed me in front of everyone.’ 

Vanessa said this isn’t the first time she has been treated badly by retail assistants because of her ‘curvy figure’.

Before Covid, she said she was ‘treated well’ by retail staff and could find clothing easily but now it is a ‘whole new shopping experience’ where she’s met with hostility

She said she has felt a noticeable difference when clothes shopping between now as a size 12-14 and when she was a size 8-10 pre-pandemic.   

Before Covid, she said she was ‘treated well’ by retail staff and could find clothing easily but now it is a ‘whole new shopping experience’ where she’s met with hostility.

‘It’s already hard to find nice clothes that fit you well. It makes women like me not want to go shopping for this purpose,’ she said. 

Vanessa hopes that by sharing her story, shoppers of all sizes will be offered the same level of service and respect and wants employers to know how some of their staff can treat people. 

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