A shopper has shared her fury after being asked to ‘pull her t-shirt over her shorts’ during a trip to Sainsbury’s.
Lauren O’Connor, 33, a PR director from Surrey, says she was in the Staines branch of the grocery store when a member of staff approached her with the request, telling her that a male customer had complained about the length of her shorts.
Slamming the encounter as ‘sexist’, Lauren argued that she was entitled to ‘wear shorts in the 32 degree heat’, and questioned why the member of staff had repeated the request to her – adding that there was no dress code apart from a mask, which she had been wearing.
Taking to Twitter, she shared her outrage and humiliation at the encounter, arguing that men could get away with ‘wearing what they wanted’, while women’s bodies were still being policed.
Sharing a picture of her outfit, she wrote: ‘I’m so angry right now. Just been approached by a Sainsbury’s staff member in Staines store to ‘pull my t shirt down’.
‘An elderly man made comment to staff member who felt compelled to come over and tell me as I was shopping. It’s 32 degrees. If I want to wear shorts I will.’
She continued: ‘For reference, this is my outfit. All I wanted was ice lollies. N I get shamed in store doing so. So disappointed. When are we going to stop telling women how to dress? Especially when topless men frequent supermarkets, which I highly doubt are told to change [sic].’
‘I’m so livid about it. When are we going to stop giving the space for men who can’t stop being perverts? I am so tired of having to defend my existence and love of booty shorts!’.
Replying to the post, one follower wrote: ‘That’s disgusting. Why do people love giving their unwarranted opinions?’.
Another added: ‘Please tell me you pulled your shirt all the way down from neckline to waist.’
Speaking to FEMAIL, Lauren said she felt ‘humiliated’ by the incident’, recalling: ‘I popped in the store to get some ice lollies for my mum, a quick in and out job. It was 32 degrees, shockingly hot.
‘I was looking at hair dye when a sales assistant approached me and said “I think you need to pull your t shirt down, as a gentleman doesn’t know if you’re wearing anything underneath”.’
She continued: ‘It was here, looking at a box of hair dye I was at a loss for words. That a) someone felt the need to comment on what I was wearing and tell a member of staff and b) that the member of staff told me about it. I was mortified. I was wearing a mask but can imagine the colour my cheeks would have been.’
Speaking about how she felt, she said: ‘It’s a humiliating experience to have that happen especially in this sweltering heat.
‘It’s double standards when men are allowed to walk topless in supermarkets and crazy that supermarkets can’t police people not wearing masks, but I can’t wear hot pants in the summer heat? It’s absolute lunacy.
‘I actually used to work at this location when I was in my teens and can honestly say I have never known this to happen before. There is no dress code for Sainsbury’s.’
Lauren revealed that Sainsbury’s had replied to her and were looking into the incident.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told FEMAIL: ‘We are speaking to the store to understand what happened and would like to apologise to Lauren for any offence caused.’