Woman says retailer discriminated against her because of her weight

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Woman Claims Retailer Discriminated Against Her Because of Her Weight
STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) -- A Stillwater woman says a retailer discriminated against her because of her weight.

Sherene Zarrabi worked at Dainty Hooligan in Stillwater until Monday. Zarrabi says she quit after she saw an email from the owner of the retail store, concerning the store's social media account.

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"It said she only wanted a size small modeling the clothing and, if they couldn't find a girl who was model material, then we needed to use the models off the website," Zarrabi said.

This is an email I was forwarded earlier. I just want to start by saying this: I am fully comfortable with who I am and...

Posted by Sherene Marie Zarrabi on Monday, February 1, 2016

Zarrabi then noticed all of her posts were deleted from the Stillwater store's Instagram page.

"I got on to see what she was cleaning up, and I noticed that the picture where I was modeling the clothing was deleted," Zarrabi said.

Feeling attacked and discriminated against, Zarrabi posted her reaction on social media.

"It made me angry just because I have a 9-year-old sister, and she's recently developed some body image issues from girls at her school, and she watches what I do and mirrors what I do, and I want to be positive role model for her and for other girls," Zarrabi said.

We talked to a representative at Dainty Hooligan's headquarters in California about the claims.

She said the photos were taken down due to their low quality and that it was not based on size.
The email sent out by the owner, however, says otherwise:

Hello,
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 take down all pictures of anyone that does not fit the criteria.

That email prompted Zarrabi to call the owner herself.

"I just told her how archaic and disgusting her values and beliefs are and that I will not support her business," Zarrabi said.

Zarrabi doesn't expect an apology but hopes she can empower other women to love their bodies.

"I want to reach as many young girls I can, just to make them know that you don't have to be a certain size to be beautiful," Zarrabi said.


Update: After KFOR aired Zarrabi's story, the owner of the retail store sent her the following apology:

After 24 hours of digesting my email that I clearly didn't think twice about before I pressed the send button, I have an honest apology & fair observation. At first looking at my email, if I put myself in my own shoes I'm thinking "this is nonsense, hypersensitive and taken way out of context" BUT if I put myself in your shoes I'm thinking "wow, this sucks. I'm hurt, what the heck! Not cool" And so for that reason I am truly apologetic. I can definitely see where feelings got hurt and negativity from there festered from something I take full responsibility for. Glad that you have great support & found some encouragement. I wish you the best of luck and honestly I don't have any ill or hard feelings toward you and I want to thank you for a VERY humbling experience, always good to get a dose of that and learn from it. Very sorry if I have ever put any negative thoughts or feelings in your head. Keep your head up, move forward onto bigger and better things and I never got a chance to at least say thank you for all you've done for the store! Too bad we never have had the chance to meet.

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