The customer claims she was left in floods of tears after she was ‘fat shamed’ by a member of staff, who approached her while she was shopping inside an airport store
A holidaymaker has told how she was left in floods of tears after being “fat shamed” at a retail shop inside an airport. Kayla Houlihan had been hoping to enjoy her time shopping in the terminal, while waiting for a delayed flight, but ended up “crying for an hour” after she was approached by a stranger.
The beauty influencer, who is also the owner of Tribe Skincare, claimed she was fat shamed by an unnamed Rip Curl employee, while shopping at the brand’s store in Melbourne Airport. In a video posted to her business’ TikTok account, @tribeskincare, Kayla is clearly visibly upset in the clip, as she recounts her experience.
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The Australian beauty guru begins: “I’ve just spent the last hour crying at Melbourne airport.” She goes onto explain that she feels “extra sad” because she loves the terminal, where she had been “looking forward to doing some shopping while my flight was delayed.”
But she claims things took a turn for the worse after she ventured into Rip Curl, a decision she terms a “big mistake.”
Kayla continues: “I thought I’ll have a quick look if there’s some clothes that I might like to take on my holiday.
“So, I was just going about my business, shopping around for some clothes, walking around the store, and the lady who was there was like: ‘How far along are you?'”
The conversation, which Kayla had not initiated, understandably, came as a shock to her, given she is not pregnant.
After explaining this to the worker, Kayla says she replied: “‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I just thought you looked pregnant.'”
“So, yea, now I have to go to Queensland and wear a bikini on my holiday because that is all I have with me after being fat shamed,” Kayla concludes. Her caption adds: “I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.”
Thankfully, people were quick to share words of support for Kayla in the comments. One person wrote: “I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
A second said: “Omg people need to learn not to comment on other peoples bodies ever.” And another added: “Like why do they even care if you were pregnant? It’s not significant to them or any of their business.”
Fortunately, the incident did not prevent Kayla from rocking a bikini on her holiday, though it did affect her confidence, as she revealed in a follow-up video.
In a poolside clip posted from her vacation, Kayla announces: “I’m finally about to go for a swim. It has been like two days since the incident, still feeling s*** in my bikini but I’ve got to just go out there and enjoy the holiday. Thank you everyone for your super lovely comments.”
She added that she feels surprised yet happy with the traction gained by the video, which has over 840,000 views to date, because “it is a really important message.”
In a statement given to News.com.au, a spokesperson for Ripcurl said the company had been made aware of the “upsetting situation” and had been in contact with Kayla to apologise and discuss the “misunderstanding”.
They added: “As a brand that celebrates and empowers all women, we are saddened to learn a customer has had this experience.”
The Mirror has contacted Rip Curl for further comment.
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