Woman’s Selfie in Old Navy Tank Top Goes Viral for Unexpected Reason

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A photographer is getting a lot of attention after a photo she snapped in a dressing room went viral.

Rachel Taylor says she was shopping at Old Navy when she overheard a hurtful conversation about plus-size clothing.

"I was shopping in Old Navy, standing in between a teenage girl and her mom. 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!" Taylor posted on Facebook.

Taylor says she was hurt by the comments and began to cry. She says she sat in the car and cried for a long time before eventually going back inside to shop.

In the end, she decided to try on the tank top in question.

"I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it! Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on."

Taylor posted her selfie to Old Navy's Facebook page. It has been liked over 86,000 times and shared 2,400 times.

Old Navy responded to the post, saying, "Rachel, you are amazing. We want to celebrate your fierce style by sending you a gift card."

In response to people criticizing her appearance, Rachel said:

"First, thank you so much for all the kind words and for sharing your stories in turn. I never, ever, ever imagined that more than a few people would see this picture (I never see anything posted to Old Navy's timeline) but I appreciate the sweet comments all the same.

However, posting a photo on social media is NOT an invitation to criticize, ridicule, or judge someone. Calling me a crybaby, telling me to save my shopping money for therapy, telling me to "do something" about my weight... what does that accomplish other than making yourself look like a fool? Sitting behind a keyboard commenting on someone else's life doesn't make you superior; it makes you a troll. Also, I don't want any handouts from anyone, nor would I accept it. There are far too many people who need clothes, and I can buy my own.

I could tell you more about the tone of the ladies' conversation, about our positions in the store, about my health and self-esteem issues, but I shouldn't have to.

Obviously I didn't handle the situation well, but I worked through it and I'm a better and braver person because of it. I wanted to share my story with Old Navy because I love my new top and appreciate them having cute clothes in all sizes. Now I'm refusing to delete it because people should know that they are not alone in their struggles, and even if they seem silly to someone else, their feelings are still valid. As my Mama always says, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all."

33 comments

  • Wow what pork

    Do any of you think this porker is going to get on wnep’s website to read these posts? Those stripes used to be red before she squeezed the life out of them

  • Nadine

    Does anyone not care that this shirt is supposed to resemble the American Flag, and the colors are wrong. he blue should be under the stars and the red should be stripes…SMH. Who cares how she looks in it.

    • Patriot

      People cite the (unconstitutional) flag code whenever someone hangs it the wrong way or lets it touch the ground but they turn a blind eye to the rest of the rules when it suits them.

  • niskymom2four

    Rachel, You are beautiful AND fierce and your response to being hurt by those words in the store was fabulous! So is your articulate response to the negative comments. Carry on, Warrior! (to quote Glennon Doyle Melton (Monastery)

    “…speak only if you can improve the silence.”. from Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett.

  • Zzz

    I don’t get why she says that. When I was a kid I was definitely smaller than almost all the sizes in a store. I could pick up a small sized shorts and fit both of my legs into one leg of the shorts. Maybe you’re saying that my behavior was rude but the thing is that I was a child. Children are way smaller than an adult. If she says she heard a mother daughter conversation about sizes, she shouldn’t be upset. It’s normal.

  • ChildofGod

    You seem to have issues with your own self that causes you to make disrespectful comments about other people. Before deciding to say something hurtful about another person please look at yourself, learn to love you and all your flaws because you are definitely flawed (I mean we all are). What’s that old saying? Oh yeah, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. How is hurting someone beneficial to anyone’s life? Yes, you’re entitled to your opinion but it doesn’t necessarily need to be heard at all times. So shhhh….

    And remember God loves you as do I.

  • Pennywise

    This woman was body shaming the skinny women far more than they were body shaming her.

    Grow some thicker skin, Sunshine.

  • Kittie

    So because she is overweight you automatically assume that she is that way because of over eating! Did you ever stop and think that she might have something medically wrong with her that causes her to put on weight no matter what she does?!?! I’m one of those people, I can work out every day and eat as healthy as can be and it still does nothing. I have medical issues that hold me back from losing the weight as easily as other people do! And what does having starving children in the world have to do with someone that thinks they look “fierce” in an outfit? She believes she looks good so what let her be!!! As a woman of size it’s hard to find clothing that makes you look at yourself and go d@mn!!! Please think before you speak!!! And please think before you assume something about another person you know NOTHING about!!!!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Ohhhhh. So many people with delicate sensibilities. Maybe you should grow the hell up. Obesity is a modern day plague that wastes our resources more than anything. Between the health care and actual food consumed, but you’d rather focus on how “fierce” this irresponsible train wreck of a human is. Screw the 12.5%+ kids who go to bed hungry just as long as she gets to super size, not only her meal, but her life and clothes as well. Stop walking on eggshells and open your eyes to the growing problem.

  • Wut?

    I don’t quite get the outrage here. The girl wasn’t talking to her or a shirt she was wearing, she was just making a passing remark about a shirt she saw. And it was probably pretty accurate, I’m not terribly large, but it’s pretty reasonable to think that 2 very skinny teenage boys could fit in one of my shirt (or, more accurately, a shirt that’s just in my size.) The girl and her mother weren’t judging her, they just happened to judge something that could possibly be an extension of her. Seriously, can we all please grow up a bit and stop taking EVERYTHING so personally?

    • S

      I didn’t get the impression that there was an “outrage” just a person who heard a comment that made her upset. She does mention later in the article that there was a tone about the comments that I would safely assume was derogatory, which she didn’t feel the need to mention, and that she has personal self image issues that she also didn’t mention or describe. It’s not an outrage just a person sharing a story about their day. A struggle they experienced that they were able to turn into a positive experience for themselves. And it happened to go viral. I don’t think this woman was looking for pity or a hand out. Just sharing a part of her day and recording a positive comment with the store she shopped in. It’s everyone else who made it so public. Maybe take your own advice and stop worrying so much about how others choose to share their daily life. It’s nothing personal…

      • Wut?

        Yeah I guess I was just a little baffled at how this is something that went viral. The girl is fine, I don’t have a problem with her, I think she really overreacted to the whole situation a bit, but this is on the News. Like, the place that reports about murders. And the story basically boils down to “girl is tangentially offended, buys shirt.” If I was friends with this girl and she posted this, I’d probably just give it a like and never think about it again. But, somehow, this has become a whole “you go girl!” moment for….? She wasn’t ridiculed, nor persecuted. She overheard a comment she didn’t like, that wasn’t specifically mean-spirited, at worst just a tad ignorant. I don’t see the victory here.

      • Valfreyja

        Si I have to disagree with that narrative. Garnering false support from social media by making a sob story out of a passing comment, and foisting your own personal insecurities onto the public at large is not a “positive experience”. All that does is reinforce her self effacing mentality. What happens next time she feel like she needs a hit of the ol’ “make me feel good about myself so I don’t have to take personal responsibility for my thoughts and behaviors” pipe and social media isn’t there for her? Or worse, and much more likely given the anonymity with which we all post, they rip her to shreds for being large and in a shirt that’s a hair too small for her?

        Nothing about this story is nice. It’s a portrait of a society that has made it socially acceptable to encourage someone’s mental illness. It’s an example of the “lower the bar, don’t rise to the occasion” mentality and it has real world consequences for actual people. It’s not okay.

  • People Got Nerve

    Everyone is unique in their own way don’t let anyone ever doubt you noone is to be the same and bigger people have it alot worse and to say its promoting unhealthy behavior is bull crap how do you know she’s unhealthy…because she’s heavy I know very healthy people who are bigger some people are bigger because they have medical condition so NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!!!!

    • Valfreyja

      This is no more a reasonable way to behave than walking around with a self imposed victimhood complex. No one is just fine the way they are. Not one. That’s why growing up is hard, why jobs require training and why education is a thing. No human being is ever “complete”, we’re never done. We just tend to die before we’ve become all that we could possibly have been. You’re not a special snow flake and you do have things you should work on. The healthy response to criticism is positive self analysis. Not breaking down into self hating tears, and not whipping yourself up into an egotistical froth of personal ferocity.

      ….How did we become so soft minded a society?

  • Amber

    It amazes me how people try to pass off “their concern” for overweight people by saying it’s not healthy. Well, ur right, it’s not healthy….but neither is the alcohol and booze and pills people freely indulge in. Rachel, u r a beautiful young lady…and u do look fabulously fierce…in anything u wear.

  • sickofitall

    People can be so cruel, even sometimes without realizing it. But what many plus size woman may not realize, or notice, is that slim woman put up with their share of discrimination as well. People constantly comment on how they must be a smoker, must starve themselves, they are even sometimes snubbed for being pretty or thin. The constant comments and attention they get for being thin are not always appreciated. “Healthy” is the key. There are many different body types. Some woman are more healthy with some meat on their bones, and some are not – especially if she has a bad back. Let’s face it, discrimination comes in all different colors, shapes and sizes.

    • Valfreyja

      Yes, and your comment exposes the core of this problem: Social media’s reaction to this photo and story had nothing to do with propping up an unhealthy ego. If she had been skinny and the roles reversed there would have been a neutral, if not a negative response. This is a game of politics in which this young woman was used as a pawn by people who think they are owed a certain status without having to earn it. They get this status by enabling people’s self destructive behaviors and mentalities, while spinning the narrative to make themselves look like the champions of the underdogs. They throw the very people they claim to be in support of under the bus to fulfill their own agendas. Feminism wasn’t always like this, but what it has become is something deeply ugly and genuinely dangerous.

  • Barbara Young

    There are all kinds of shapes and sizes in this world and God knows exactly how he wants each of us to look…I think she looks just fine in her tank top !!! I can’t believe the ignorance of people in this world!!!

    • Valfreyja

      Because obviously it’s GOD’S fault and personal responsibility isn’t a thing. Did god want emaciated people to look like that, too? Was it god, or a person with a mental illness who ate 7k calories a day that made them look like a person who weighs 500+ lbs? If that was god, then god is a monster.

      Sorry, but our waist lines are our responsibility, not god’s. To claim otherwise is dishonest.

  • Stephanie Lerke

    I love the clothes at a navy and I am so glad that have for all sizes so thank you so much

  • Danny

    Though I don’t feel it is right to discriminate against women of larger sizes, I don’t think it is healthy to promote behavior that favors women who are unhealthy

    • Jen

      Are you saying that by making clothes in sizes that fit larger people and that they actually might want to wear is somehow promoting unhealthy behavior?

      • kate

        UNHEALTHY? Where in this article does a Doctor say she is ‘unhealthy’? Don’t just assume because someone is heavy, they are unhealthy. I am heavy and I can run circles around my thinner siblings who smoke and drink. Last I checked it isn’t up to anyone to ‘enable’ ANY body type….Besides this isn’t a ‘health’ issue, this has to do with compassion and kindness. I can’t believe so many people are filled with so much hate.

      • Valfreyja

        Find me one doctor in the developed world who will claim obesity isn’t unhealthy and I’ll concede to your point. Seriously, I give you all of the world where running water and electricity is a thing to produce a single doctor with that view point.

        She may be fine in this moment, her blood pressure may be okay now (I sincerely doubt that, because physics don’t cease to be what they are because you hold a political viewpoint), her joints may not have suffered advanced early wear yet, her lumbar disks may not have bulged yet, her liver may not be in the early stages of disease from excessive lipids yet, her metabolic response to more blood sugar than the average human was built to handle may not have produced insulin resistance yet, her increased abdominal pressure may not have damaged her lower intestines yet….

        But it’s coming. One, several or ALL of these things are coming for her. Because she’s obese. Not because I hate her. Not because I hate women. Not because I even hate fat people. It’s coming because you are incorrect: the human body cannot handle the consequences of over eating. Save for 5 people on the North American continent with exceedingly rare metabolic disease, you aren’t “large” because you’re eating healthy.

        Feel free to have whatever opinions you like. But stop using these people as your own personal excuse to play politics. You are hurting them, not helping. There are real world, horrible, painful, family ruining consequences to encouraging poor health.

    • John

      How does this “favor” women of different sizes? And what business of yours is anyone else’s health?

      • Valfreyja

        If you believed what you just said, you wouldn’t have said it. What business is her health to YOU? Obviously you think it’s some of your business, at least in part, otherwise you would not have run to her defense. All decent people owe each other a degree of consideration. And sometimes that means telling someone something unpleasant.

    • Angela

      I don’t see how this has anything to do with promoting ill health at all. She didn’t say anything about health at all. She was just standing up for herself and everyone else who faces harsh discrimination due to their size.
      Do you really think that bullying overweight people to the point of having unnecessary stress in their lives and even sometimes depression is promoting health?

      Not to mention that the general public doesn’t know why she is overweight. Yes, it could definitely be to overeating, but there are so many different medical conditions that can cause someone to gain weight. If you don’t know the whole story, don’t offer your criticism.

      • Pennywise

        She wasn’t being bullied. If anthing she’s bullying the two women for being smaller than she is by calling them out on social media. What a hypocrite.

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