STILLWATER, Okla. – The owner of a boutique in Stillwater is not backing down after an email that she sent employees started to spread through social media.
One of the employees, Sherene Zarrabi, said she quit her job this week after seeing the email written by Jessica Issler, who owns Dainty Hooligan.
Zarrabi says she posted pictures of herself in clothing from the store to its Instagram page.
“We never had really any guidelines or rules that said what we should be posting on Instagram,” Zarrabi told Oklahoma State University publication, the Daily O’Collegian (O’Colly). “The most recent picture I posted was a few weeks ago, but the earliest pictures were posted during football season, so the email came out of nowhere.”
The manager of Dainty Hooligan’s Stillwater store, Pamela Ryan, confirmed with the O’Colly that she received a text message as well as an email from Issler. Ryan said Issler claimed that the Instagram account needed to be “cleaned up.”
“I’m not in charge of social media, so I notified the other employees that corporate changes were happening,” Ryan said.
Several pictures, including some of Zarrabi, were taken down after the email was sent.
Zarrabi was forwarded the email from Issler and soon after she quit her job.
The email requested that only "size small, the stereotypical ‘model’ type" be pictured in the clothing. It goes on to say, “Please use our pictures of our models if Stillwater store can’t find someone who would be considered ‘model material.’”
When reached out for comment, Issler said she stands by her email.
“I am accountable for the email that was sent,” Issler said in a phone interview with the O'Colly. “I never meant to be mean or attacking, but I’m not apologizing for the unsaid fashion rule.”
Issler told the O’Colly that Zarrabi’s pictures weren’t the only ones taken from the sites.
“We deleted about 50 pictures, and only two or three of them were of Zarrabi,” Issler said. “I’ve never even met her. She should have just asked the true meaning of the email.”
Zarrabi’s original post, shown above, has been shared more than 2,500 times but Issler says she disagrees with the reactions.
“My No. 1 priority is the safety of my staff, so the evil and lack of positivity is terrifying,” Issler said. “This girl has now created a hostile work environment because she has a sad body image of herself.”
But negativity was not the intent of Zarrabi’s post.
“I’m not trying to hurt their business,” Zarrabi said. “I just want awareness and acceptance that not everyone can be so called ‘model material.’"
Dainty Hooligan should see no dip in average profits, Issler said
“I think the typical standard customer knows what we’re about and knows this topic is irrelevant,” Issler said. “I meant absolutely no hate towards her.”
Despite all the negativity, Zarrabi says she’s proud of the way she handled the situation.
“I am proud of myself for quitting,” Zarrabi said. “What I really want is for young girls, like my sister, to know that you don’t have to be a certain size to be beautiful.
Recently, Zarrabi posted this on her Facebook account.
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