At a time when the fashion industry is slowly moving towards accepting and embracing all body types, an incident that happened in Oklahoma, USA reflects otherwise.
Sherene Marie Zarrabi, 21-year-old store employee at Dainty Hooligan, clothing boutique in Stillwater, resigned from her job after she received an email from her boss saying she is not “model material”. Zarrabi had previously modelled for the clothing store’s Instagram account and, now, the CEO wants those pictures taken down as they don’t represent the brand.
“I want size small, the stereotypical “model” type to model our clothes. Please use our pictures of our models if Stillwater store can’t find someone who would be considered “model material”,” wrote the store’s founder and CEO Jessica Issler.
Zarrabi took to Facebook to share her disdain: “I am fully comfortable with who I am and the way I look. I do not want to represent or support a business that has such archaic values and beliefs. THIS is the reason young girls have body image issues.”
The email from Issler read:
Something I want to make sure you keep in mind: I want size small, the stereotypical “model” type to model our clothes. Please use our pictures of our models if Stillwater store can’t find someone who would be considered “model material”. This is not to put anyone down but to communicate the expectations of presenting our brand.
Don’t take it personal, all I ask for is really good representation. In exchange for the freedom, I ask you to take down all the pictures of anyone that doesn’t fit the criteria.
Though the CEO asks in her email to not take it personally, it became difficult for Zarrabi to continue working at the store.
In a phone interview with Ocolly.com, Issler said she wasn’t sorry for what she did and that Zarrabi was “not mentally healthy”.
“Never meant to be mean or attacking, but I’m not apologizing for the unsaid fashion rule,” Issler said.
However, Zarrabi posted on her Facebook that Issler emailed her an apology, which she appreciates, but said that it doesn’t change anything. Zarrabi signed off saying, “I’m ready for a long nap and for my life to go back to normal.”