Let’s face it — how many of us really love bikini shopping? A hot changing room with ridiculously unflattering lighting and a full-length mirror reminding us that a bikini wax is definitely overdue. It’s not something we desperately look forward to — rather something to get over with.
All of that is enough to deal with, without being body-shamed by another woman. Which is exactly what happened to 24-year-old Jessica Portelli from Brighton, England. The young woman was in the queue for the changing room in her local Matalan store, waiting to try on a bikini, when a fellow shopper told her she was “too big to wear things like that.”
It’s the sort of comment that would leave many of us lost for words, but Portelli, who is a size 18-20, took it in stride and had the perfect comeback. She told the woman, “Girls like you shouldn’t tell girls like me what we can’t do.”
She also went ahead and tried the bikini on, then went back to the woman to show her exactly how awesome she looked in it.
“I told her I was happy in my own body and that I love the way I look,” said Portelli. “She had nothing to say to me really and I felt so powerful going back to my changing room so I took a picture, I wasn’t going to let her kill my confidence.”
After sharing her experience and super-hot bikini picture on Facebook, Portelli has received a huge amount of support, with the post being shared across the world.
She also thanked the woman for getting her an “awesome discount” on her bikini, because Matalan staff overheard the exchange. Result.
Portelli is absolutely right. A woman with less confidence than her could have taken the vicious remark to heart, left the shop without a bikini and decided to cover herself up on the beach. Nasty comments sting, but we can’t let them dictate what we wear. Hopefully this particular woman will keep her cruel opinions to herself — and perhaps she’ll even rethink her idea of what makes a woman beautiful. (And in case there’s any doubt, that’s inner confidence and a kind soul, and not the label on her clothes.)