Rachel Taylor isn’t the type of woman to let people put her down about her size and get away with it.
That’s why, after a disheartening experience on Friday, she posted a photo to Facebook of herself looking fabulous in a red, white and blue tank top while shopping at Old Navy in Bossier, Louisiana.
Shortly before taking the photo, Taylor had encountered a mom and daughter having what they thought was a playful conversation in the store, but which ended up sending Taylor, 25, into tears.
“Today I was shopping in Old Navy, standing between a teenage girl and her mom,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “The girl picked up a plus-size tank top, showed it to her mom and said, ‘Look! Me and so-and-so can fit in this tank top!’ Her mom laughed and said, ‘Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!’”
“I just froze and started hysterically crying,” Taylor told TODAY.com. “It was the mom’s comment that hurt the most because you don’t expect a teenager to understand the importance of everything they say, but to have a mother say that and know I was standing right there was really hard.”
Taylor's husband, Daniel, led her out of the store and sat with her in the car as she cried. She then fixed her makeup and worked up the courage to go back in the store to finish shopping.
“Shopping for cute plus-size clothes that fit me is a stressful process to begin with. It’s hard and takes a toll on my self-esteem, so overhearing that conversation really hurt my feelings,” Taylor said.
The Louisiana-based wedding photographer wanted to share her experience because she thought a lot of people could probably relate to her situation, and she wanted them to know they’re not alone.
Taylor posted the photo to Facebook for her friends to see, but then decided to post it to Old Navy’s timeline as well to thank them for having cute plus-size clothes. When she woke up the next morning, her photo had spread like wildfire.
A few Old Navy managers from across the country reached out to her to say they loved her story. She even had some people send her care packages of clothes, though she didn’t accept them as she said there are a lot of people who need clothing more than she does.
“I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it!” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurt you, you have to move on.”