Buncrana woman Nicola McLaughlin has spoken out about body image and blasted retailers after a shocking personal experience.
The blogger, designer and boutique owner is no stranger to the fashion world, but this week she was disgusted by sizing standards in Primark.
Nicola, who blogs as Sequin Cinderella, shared her fitting room ordeal with her Snapchat followers this week. She put out a strong message about healthy body image which has since been viewed by thousands of people.
“I was actually quite disgusted and had a horrible experience,” she said.
Nicola went to Primark to try on a plain black swimming suit in her usual size, a size 12. She tried on one swimsuit in particular, which she said was specifically designed for ‘curves’.
“It literally would not go on past my ankles. Not a hope!”
Nicola said she would have had to buy a swimsuit three sizes up from 12 if she were to get one to fit. This sizing standard, she said, was ‘ridiculous’, and she expressed her worries about the effect it would have on young insecure girls.
“Lucky I am strong enough to deal with that. But what really concerned me yesterday is that every teenager, every young girl, that I know shops in either Penneys or Primark and what the hell kind of body image is that going to give them?”
Young girls “leave feeling like crap” if they have to go up sizes in stores, Nicola said.
“It’s just something that really annoys me because I think young people, in particular, are already up against everything… with the media’s portrayal of this perfect body image and they are already feeling a little bit insecure.
“I have seen young girls stand in my shop, they could have the most amazing body, be a size 8 or a size 16, they look amazing but they feel like crap.”
Nicola said that while the ordeal did not affect her personally, it could have a big impact on other men and women. She shared a healthy message for all people who worry about clothes sizes and whether they fit into their usual number.
“The standard sizing has gone out the window in the last couple of years. Just wear what looks good, wear what feels good no matter what size you are or what size you have to buy and try not to let silly things like that get you down,” she said.
Nicola runs the Sequin Cinderella Boutique in Buncrana, where she said she tries to have something for everyone so they feel comfortable in any clothing.
“I want people to come into my shop and feel comfortable and not feel embarrassed or go away with a negative feeling like what is happening in so many shops so fingers crossed that I have done that and will continue to do that as long as I am in business at Sequin Cinderella.”
Since posting her self-described rant online, Nicola said she has received an incredible response and much praise as a blogger who is going against the norm.
Speaking to Donegal Woman today, Nicola said: “I first put the video on Snapchat and literally had hundreds of snaps back from people saying they had the same experience or that they are lacking in body confidence and this just made it worse!
“I decided to put it on Facebook then as people were messaging saying they heard about my snaps but didn’t have snapchat! Since I put it up I have had so many people message to say that they are glad to see a blogger highlight this as nowadays it’s so “trendy” for bloggers to be into fitness and show their weight loss but they rarely say it’s ok to be who you are!”
Nicola has received hundreds of comments on her video from women who can relate to her fitting room ordeal. Many followers said that moving up sizes has made them think about their bodies in a negative way, while others have praised Nicola as an inspiration and role model to other women.
You can watch the video in full here:
Check out Nicola’s Style Study with Donegal Woman here: