Oklahoma college student Sherene Zarrabi used to spend her free time working at the Stillwater location of the boutique Dainty Hooligan, where one day she happened to pose for a few photos that her store manager then put on Instagram. When Dainty Hooligan owner Jessica Issler saw these photos, she was not pleased that they appeared on the store's official Instagram. She swiftly reached out to Zarrabi and the store manager via email.
Here's what the owner said in her email:
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 pictures of anyone that doesn't fit the criteria.
The images were deleted, but Zarrabi was still able to protest Issler's body discrimination. Zarrabi quit her job and posted the email to Facebook with this message:
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 the way I look. I have recently been attacked and discriminated against by the owner of Dainty Hooligan. She went on our stores Instagram and deleted all of the pictures where I was modeling the clothing and then sent this email to my manager. I do not want to respresent or support a business that has such archaic values and beliefs. THIS is the reason young girls have body image issues. This is disgusting. I quit immediately and I suggest that my friends and family do not support Dainty Hooligan. Love yourself, no matter what you look like.
In an ironic turn of events, social media has rallied around Zarrabi.
Despite the obvious disapproval of social media to her email, Issler has stood her ground. In an interview with Ocolly, Issler stated that her intention was not to be "mean or attacking" but to adhere to an "unsaid fashion rule."
Meanwhile, Dainty Hooligan's Instagram continues to maintain a high standard.