It’s actually not often that I get emails from more than one tipster on the same subject, but Kari, Leigh, and Amy all sent me links to this story! A woman in Georgia was told she would have to pay $5 extra for her manicure because she was fat.
Michele Fonville claims she was charged five extra dollars for her manicure due to her weight. Kim Tran, owner of the Natural Nails Salon in DeKalb County, Georgia, said the reason she was being charged was apparently fat patrons were causing damage to salon chairs (as opposed to possible normal wear and tear). When Ms. Fonville told the owner she couldn’t charge her extra because it was weight discrimination, Tran allegedly replied it wasn’t fair to charge $24 for a manicure when it costs $2500 to fix broken furniture. She refunded the extra charge and told Fonville not to come back because she couldn’t serve her anymore…
Us fat people take so much crap in our society, the last thing we should have to worry about is being shamed at a nail salon. And while Kim Tran probably can charge fat people more for manicures because there is no national weight discrimination law on the books, it’s still disheartening she would think to only blame large people for breaking her furniture and making them pay for the cost towards items she as a business owner is required to supply.
Leigh lives in the same town, and sent us this link to a local news source, which quotes both Fonville and Tran:
I said, ‘I’ve been overcharged. She may have made an error,’” said Fonville. “She broke it down, then told me she charged me $5 more because I was overweight. I was humiliated. I almost cried. Tears were forming in my eyes….”
“I didn’t want to argue with her about $5. I wanted to make her pleased with her service,” Tran said. “I whispered … I said, ‘I’m sorry, next time I cannot take you.”
When Kari wrote in, she pointed out that Michelle Fonville’s name is in the headlines of some of these articles, which might suggest a subtle note of public “fat shaming.” And then I realized that despite being humiliated and hurt by what had happened, Michelle Fonville decided to speak out about it—go to the media and tell her story publicly and on camera. A lot of people might have been too embarrassed to do that, and have their name in those headlines. But despite her humiliation, Michelle didn’t waver from her belief that the $5 surcharge was discrimination, and that it was wrong, and that people should hear about it.
How many stories like this must happen every day? If Michelle Fonville’s bravery in going public is a rarity, how many other incidents must happen that we never find out about? How many people—who may blame themselves for their weight, who may buy into the culture of body shaming—are afraid to be laughed at, instead of supported, if they insist they’ve been treated wrongly? I wonder.
Posted by mo pie