Everyone wants that Pretty Woman moment.
When you can go into a shop, looking fly as hell, and ask the snooty shop assistant, 'You work on commission, right?'
The only problems are, you probably don't have Richard Geer's credit card and it would mean a shop assistant would have to be really horrible to you in order to merit your sass, and most of them are quite nice aren't they?
But, for 20-year-old Abbie Walsh-Greenfield, the moment did arise, when she visited Cardiff's branch of Victoria's Secret (VS).
She didn't quite get the Richard Geer's credit card bit, but was treated to the mean shop assistant bit.
She explained in a detailed blog post, her trip to the shop.
As a 'plus-size' buyer Abbie vaguely remembered seeing a plus-size VS haul on YouTube and mainly was into the iconic packaging and brand in general.
The bags. The signature bags. All pink and striped and fluffed-up with luxurious, pink tissue paper. So cute!
Whilst looking around she noticed what she noticed in so many other shops.
That they hardly retailed for larger sizes.
I didn't feel uncomfortable by the lack of XL's (I actually don't believe that I saw one in that size, anyway), nor by the 5 X-Smalls, 4 Smalls, 2 Medium, 1 Large and 0 X-Large ratio that seemed to be a common theme on the rails around the store.
Though, she reiterates that this didn't really bother her.
This is an every-day reality for buyers like Abbie and, particularly because she wasn't a huge mega-fan of the brand, this was not really an issue for her.
The problem arose when she spotted some really cute bed shorts which she liked.
I met again with my friend, after separating in the store, her going one way, me the other, and we both spotted the exact same lacy-pink, dreamy bed shorts. they were stunning. I flicked through with determination this time, looking for an XL and flicking through again for a L when the XL was clearly one of those 'order online' sizes. I found my L, (the only L on the rail, may I add) and turned around to see my friend a few meters away, wandering around the bra's.
At this point, she caught site of a sales assistant, and began to approach her friend, fully in the knowledge the shorts were a size below her and may not fit.
I turned around with the large lacy, pink, baggy, elasticated bed shorts in hand, and went to head for my friend to show her my 'might-fit-me-might-be-tight-but-worth-it' bed shorts, when..
The sales assistant delivered the most bitchy line, 'Hi... Are you aware of the sizing in this store?'
She smiled, and it just all of a sudden looked so fake. And she had a headset on that made her look so important, and the way she stood about a meter or two away from me, made me feel like she didn't genuinely want to help me. It was only once I had gotten home and replayed the happenings in my head that I realised, had she have said that to someone weaker, or someone who couldn't take it, or someone who genuinely went into VS to buy something to make them feel special, things could have been different.
Thankfully, Abbie feels confident in her size.
Hi... Are you aware of the sizing in this store?
She explains at the opening of her blog post how, although she acknowledges she might want to change her body, she is in no rush to do so.
She even acknowledged that, having worked in retail herself, she understands how stressful working on a shop floor can be.
I realised, had she have said that to someone weaker, or someone who couldn't take it, or someone who genuinely went into VS to buy something to make them feel special, things could have been different
Straight after her encounter she headed over to Ann Summers and dropped some serious cash, not that she thinks that's the main issue.
So, just to let you know Victoria's Secret Cardiff, I spent £100 in Ann Summers that exact day, and probably got double what £100 would have got me in VS. And besides that, besides the money which doesn't really matter, the staff in there were so lovely and kind, and no one questioned my size once, or my friends. They were helpful and informative and actually did what they could to help. They made me feel comfortable
Abbie signed off her open letter in defiant style.
I don't actually know what the sales assistant meant by her comment, but surely theres no two ways about it. I can't even imagine another sentence that she could have tried to say. "Are you aware of the sizing in this store?" I certainly am now, thanks for shedding some light.
According to Indy100, VS have released a statement about the terrible incident.
Victoria's Secret expects that all customers be treated with respect. We are reaching out to the customer and will take the appropriate actions as we're committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcome in our stores.
Hopefully the problem will be solved, it seems all Abbie wants is some better staff training, so no other girl, who perhaps isn't as body-confident as she is, doesn't get treated like that again.