Charli Stevens is the mother of two children in Galloway, Ohio.
Earlier this week, she was shopping with her 5-month-old son, Grayson, at Kroger when she noticed an older woman was staring at her.
Charli wrote on Facebook she felt uncomfortable, but she initially ignored the stares. A few minutes later, the stranger walked over to her and said, “I think your clothes are a little too small on you.”
At first, Charli wasn’t quite sure how to respond. But she managed to ask, “Excuse me?” The woman repeated herself, “Well, no offense, but you’re just a bit big to wear those type of clothes.”
When Charlie started crying in the middle of the Christmas aisle, the woman told her, “I’m not trying to be mean but maybe just reconsider your outfit before leaving your house from now on.”
Charlie immediately left the store without purchasing the gift tags she needed to buy for Christmas. She sat in the car and cried for a few minutes. She was happy her 4-year-old daughter was not with her so she didn’t have to explain what it meant to be body-shamed.
But then, Charlie realized she did have something to say to the woman. She wrote on Facebook she felt it was her responsibility to set a good example for her children:
Why would a complete stranger go out of their way to insult someone? What if I was severely depressed? Or what if I was constantly made fun of for my weight and that one comment from that stranger pushed me over the edge? Luckily, I’m neither of those things. But people have got to start being nice. Having common sense. Being respectful. This lady knew nothing about me.
Charli told NBC’s “Today” show she was embarrassed by the incident. But she wanted to write on Facebook to be a good role model for herself and her children:
“Whether we think about it or not, our kids are watching. They’re picking up everything we do […] we must lift each other up and love each other no matter what we look like.”
She hoped to share her story so other people could learn from the hurt the woman caused. “I’m not writing this for sympathy,” Charli wrote. “But as a plea to anyone who might read this to just be nice and have respect for people.”