Going to the grocery store should be a non-event. You enter the store (perhaps with a few kids in tow), you buy your food, and then you leave. It's a pretty simple concept. One shouldn't expect to be harassed or reduced to tears while food shopping, right? It's just not something you expect will happen. Unfortunately, this mom was body-shamed while she shopped at the grocery store, and her upsetting story is going viral. If you have ever been critiqued or admonished for your post-baby body, you'll definitely relate to her infuriating story.
Charli Stevens, a mom of two kids, took to Facebook on Saturday to relay a disturbing anecdote about her recent shopping trip to Kroger (Kroger is a grocery store chain). A woman was staring at Stevens while she shopped, according to Scary Mommy, an odd occurrence she initially tried to ignore. Minutes later, the woman came up to Stevens to tell her, according to Refinery29: "I think your clothes are a little too small on you."
Did you just audibly gasp? Because that's exactly what I did when I first read Stevens' account.
Obviously, Stevens was absolutely stunned by the woman's unnecessary critique of her clothing.
Stevens wrote, according to Facebook:
Completely caught off guard and baffled and also hoping she didn’t say what I thought she said, I said, 'excuse me?' And she said, 'well no offense but you’re just a bit big to wear those type of clothes.'
The woman's mean comment immediately reduced Stevens to tears. Seemingly undeterred by Stevens' pain and shock, the woman soldiered on with her body-shaming, according to Stevens' Facebook post:
I didn’t know what to say. Usually I’m so quick to lash out at rude people and I’m never shy when it comes down to speaking my mind. But I froze. Froze and cried. She said, 'I’m not trying to be mean but maybe just reconsider your outfit before leaving your house from now on.' She walked away and I just stood there at the cart with Grayson looking at me. I was literally crying in the middle of the Christmas aisle at Kroger. I left without buying anything and sat in my car and cried.
If you're enraged by Stevens' story, you're not alone. Following Stevens' post, many people flooded its comments section with cries of outrage.
One commenter wrote: "That was so rude. I am so sick of people judging other's who are they to judge. BTW I think you look just fine. Don't let one rude person get you down." Another person added: My response would be: "I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I give a sh*t what you think..."
Others commended Stevens for just making it out the door in the first place, because the struggle is real for busy parents. Someone aptly pointed out: "You have a 5-month-old and were able to make it out of the house clean clothed and hair wonderful? You deserve a reward! I couldn't make it out of my pjs for the first 6 months after I had my babies." Another chimed in: "You look great. The only thing a stranger should say to a new mom in a grocery store is 'Hang in there, you're doing great!'"
As for Stevens, she's doing just fine following the unbelievable incident. Not only is Stevens secure in her looks, but she's also proud of her post-baby body and the changes she's seen in it since giving birth. Stevens wrote, according to Cafe Mom:
How are people so rude? It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight throughout life. I’ve birthed two kids so it’s bound to happen. Do I realize I’m overweight? Yes. Do I want to be smaller? Yes. But am I okay with the way I look? Yes!! Why would a complete stranger go out of their way to insult someone? What if I was severely depressed? Or what if I was constantly made fun of for my weight and that one comment from that stranger pushed me over the edge? Luckily, I’m neither of those things. But people have got to start being nice. Having common sense. Being respectful. This lady knew nothing about me. I had my 5 month old son in the cart and I am SO thankful my 4 year old wasn’t with me to witness what happened. This lady also doesn’t know that I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds from my heaviest weight before having Grayson — but apparently that’s not good enough. My clothes were tighter than what I would normally wear but so what?! It shouldn’t matter what people wear.
A resounding yes to all of this. Not only is it no one's business what other people wear, it's also nobody's place to body-shame another person. Stevens' advice to always be kind and respectful is on point. It's just unfortunate that adults have to remind other adults to act civilly.
Luckily, it seems like most people are on board with Stevens' sentiments.
A commenter wrote:
Thanks for posting such a poignant experience; i admire your courage greatly. this post may not stop any body shamers in their tracks, but it does lend support to those who face similar experiences. It does encourage others to be more sensitive and aware of the feelings of others. it does validate me at times when my tears, which i may not choose to show, betray me. i also hope it offers you support in continuing towards your goals. i've had two children too, and have been appalled at the thoughtlessness i witnessed in this same regard. thanks for being exactly who you are. peace out.
The most important takeaway from Stevens' post, however, is this friendly reminder that she used to sum up her story: "We’ve gotta set a good example for our children."
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