Yesterday, New Zealand-owned women’s clothing store Glassons came under fire for using mannequins that have protruding ribs on display:
Glassons was defended by prominent New Zealand fashion entrepeneur Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, who said: “Clothes look better on skinny people. They just do.”
When I saw the shocking rib-cage mannequins and heard L’Estrange say that, I wasn’t surprised. Because I was once told by a Glassons manager that they had hired me over another girl because that girl was fat.
A number of years ago, I had just finished high school and was looking for a job. I had no experience in, well, anything really. I had no professional work that I could put on a resume, so I just listed my school achievements, and walked around the local shopping centre hoping to find part-time work.
Given I had no work experience and was pretty clueless, I was shocked when I got a call from Glassons asking me to come in for a trial. I never expected them to get in touch with me; Glassons was a young women’s clothing store – kind of like a cheap Sportsgirl – and since I’d never worked before, I was fully prepared to start somewhere like Subway and work my way up. To get a job in a clothes shop was kind of my holy grail at the time, so to have Glassons call me after my mass resume drop? I was stoked.
I went in for an unpaid 3-hour trial the next day, and I’m going to be honest with you: I wasn’t great. I was really nervous, really shy, and had no idea how to sell things to people. Approaching a customer and trying to convince her to buy a shirt was terrifying to me. I was relieved when the 3 hours were up.
I was told that they were trialling one other girl, and that they were going to choose between us. I did not expect to get a call.
But then I did. That afternoon, despite the fact I’d had a terrible trial, I was offered the job as a Glassons sales girl.
I was equal parts excited and confused, but the idea of working with clothes instead of fast food stopped me from reading too much into it. Well, it almost did anyway.