Woman's selfie in Old Navy goes viral for a great reason

Jul 8, 2015 at 3:25 p.m. ET

Women take selfies in dressing rooms all the time. I like to think of it as the Cher from Clueless trend — she didn't rely on mirrors, so she took Polaroids. However, very few ever go viral unless it's a celebrity selfie, so why did this average woman's picture in an Old Navy dressing room get people's attention?

Well, simply put, she is a body-positive rock star. Rachel Taylor is also a photographer from Louisiana who was just looking for an outfit for the Fourth of July weekend. While she was shopping, she overheard comments between a mother and her daughter by which, while not exactly directed at her, she could not help but feel extremely targeted and hurt.

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After taking some time to deal with her emotions over the situation out in her car, she posted the offending incident on Facebook. "Today 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!'" The post was not meant to point fingers at the mother and daughter for their rude, body-shaming comments, but rather show how she chose to handle them. She decided to buy the tank top in question and post a bold picture of herself rocking it in the dressing room.


She posted the photo to the Old Navy Facebook page, and it has since gotten over 260,000 likes, 13,000 shares and almost 25,000 comments. Most of the comments were supportive and affirming of the way she chose to handle the situation as well as her positivity, but there were also a number of negative comments directed at her size and her emotionality about the comments. However, Rachel refused to be brought down by the shamers and trolls. She responded eloquently but also stood her ground. Here are some highlights of what she said.

"First, thank you so much for all the kind words and for sharing your stories in turn[...] However, posting a photo on social media is NOT an invitation to criticize, ridicule, or judge someone[...] Sitting behind a keyboard commenting on someone else's life doesn't make you superior; it makes you a troll[...] Obviously I didn't handle the situation well, but I worked through it and I'm a better and braver person because of it."

The massive response to her post shows that many people in the world have felt her pain and that our society is still in the midst of an ongoing battle concerning how we see ourselves and others. Her post is a lesson to anyone who's been hurt by body shaming or has done the hurting themselves. Rebecca put it best under her fierce photo: "Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on."

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