Proud2Bme | 7 Strategies for Sticking It to the Store

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  • Style at Any Size

7 Strategies for Sticking It to the Store

By Kaitlin Irwin--I think we’ve all had the experience of browsing in a clothing store and realizing that they don’t carry our size, the ads are offensive and idealized, or something else that really hits at our self-esteem. If you ever wanted to call the company out, but weren’t sure how, here are some strategies for sticking it to the store.

1) Use the power of email.

We are living with a wonderful thing called the Internet. With this tool, we can reach companies with more ease and speed than ever before. Many clothing stores have easy-to-find websites, and some are on Facebook or Twitter. Hop onto the web and find the company’s customer service or help center contact information. Let them know what the problem is and how you feel about it.

2) Make it a group effort and get your friends involved.

Odds are, it isn’t just you who is miffed at the store. Gather up your buddies and use the power of a team to call out the company for its wrongs. You can all write a series of letters to the company HQ, score them on their customer service survey, start up a conversation with others and so on. Knowledge is power, so spread the word!

3) Hold them accountable on a public platform: their social media profiles.

Log on to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and let them know what you’ve experienced or how their store has made you feel. Thanks to the whole social facet of these sites, other users will see your comments and you might get some support from them without even asking! When the company sees that a number of customers are unhappy with something, they will be more apt to make a change.

4) Start a petition.

I recently wrote a Proud2Bme piece about Oral Roberts University and their Fitbit requirement for freshmen. The article struck so many readers that I was asked to write up a petition calling for ORU to drop the absurd rule. Online petitions can help you reach loads of people on a global scale, and the more signatures the petition gets, the more the company you’re challenging may realize their errors.

5) Speak up in the store!

Starting a conversation right then and there, whether it’s with an employee or another customer, might not change the situation, but it may change how people think about it. For example, maybe a sales clerk asks if you need help finding something. You may respond: “Actually, yes. I see that you carry a limited number of sizes, do you know why that is?” The employee may or may not have an answer for you, but it may get them thinking. You can do this with other customers as well, even if they’re strangers. The important thing here is that you’re not being rude or making a scene by engaging in some fruitless debate, but you are spreading awareness.

6) Play with Post-Its.

I’m serious, and I think it’s okay to leave (non-hostile) Post-It notes in a store. If you have a beef with something in the store, write a punchy (yet not unkind) note and stick it somewhere. Maybe you leave a message in the dressing room; something along the lines of: “I couldn’t find my size either, so let’s challenge this!” or, “We’re beautiful even if we don’t fit this store’s aesthetic.” This strategy takes some moxie, but it might be right up your activism alley.

7) Actually use those customer service surveys, comment cards, and email addresses.

I know they’re old-school, but you could actually make a difference. Write out your honest feelings and response to the store and suggest ways to remedy the situation. That’s important—you don’t want to just complain. Be sure to make recommendations as well! We want to be helpful, not antagonistic.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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