Annick Rbsn was traveling through the airport recently, when she experienced a terrible, unexpected instance of body-shaming.
A salesperson at one of the shops stopped her in her tracks, and engaged her in the most interesting conversation.
Through attempting to give her shocking directions about how to keep up appearances and remain youthful, the salesman hit at the core of what Rbsn thinks all people should be combatting: ageism.
It’s 2016, she points out, and women are still in a rigid mindset where they put themselves in a box and beat themselves up for not looking beautiful — specifically, for not looking young enough.
Just like the many other women who have boldly spoken out against body- and age-shaming, Rbsn is hoping to further the dialogue about what it means to feel completely happy in your skin.
Below, we extract the conversation from Rbsn’s Facebook post, and hope that it empowers you to think differently — and proudly — of all women.
Scroll further to see all that Rbsn had to say, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
“So. I was kind of a brat yesterday. And I don’t regret it one bit,” Annick Rbsn began her post.
“I was headed to my gate at the airport when a man at a store suckered me in with a free bar of natural soap.
“This is basically how the conversation went.”
“Man: ‘Your skin is so natural looking, you aren’t wearing any makeup, right?’
“Me: ‘Um, no?’
“Man: ‘Let me guess your age.’ He proceeds to pull out a number 12 years younger than I am.
“Me: ‘I look my age, and that’s okay, actually.’
“Man: ‘Let me show you our face serum, because if you aren’t careful to maintain your skin now, these wrinkles on your face will get much deeper, and by 45, creams won’t help anymore.’”
“Me: ‘What’s wrong with a woman looking 40?’
“Man: ‘Well, let’s talk about the bags under your eyes and your smile lines. My eye cream could improve those in 15 minutes.’
“Me: ‘What’s wrong with my eyes? I have a miracle baby at home and haven’t slept in two years, so if I have bags, I am grateful to have them. My husband and I laugh a lot. He loves how I look… I don’t think I need your cream.’
“Man: ‘They may be manageable now, but by 50, it’s too late to correct sagging skin and deep wrinkles. Unless you act now, only surgery can correct them.’”
“Me: ‘What’s wrong again with a woman aging? You know, my husband and I can’t wait to grow old together, we talk about it all the time, how we’ll be this funny, wrinkled old couple. My husband is going to age, too. We all are. It’s kind of how life works.’
“Man: ‘If it’s the price that’s the issue, I can offer you our special this week, all three creams for $199 — that’s cheaper than Botox!’
“Me: ‘I look fine now, and when I’m 45, I will look fine, and when I’m 50, I will look fine, because there is nothing wrong with a woman aging. Old age is a privilege denied to many, and I don’t appreciate you marketing youth instead of your products, and denigrating aging women as a sales tactic. Thank you, but I don’t want or need your cream.’”
“I was so horrified by the normalcy of his sales pitch, and the sales ringing up at his cash [register], that I took a picture of that ‘wrinkled baggy face’ he was selling to, right on the spot.
“This is the face my children and my husband love.
“I think I’ll keep it.”
Rbsn has since updated her post, and spoken about the true reason she fought back.
“I was really excited for a couple of minutes, until I realized what [it all] meant.
“It means that in 2016, refusing to accept self-loathing as a beauty standard is a radial concept.
“And that is just depressing on a whole other level.
“I had been reading some of the comments and wanted to clarify that this wasn’t a post about natural beauty over those who wear makeup. It’s not about being insulted by a salesman. It’s not even about the salesman, who I am sure is very good at his job, and is following a script.
“It’s about a billion-dollar industry that depends on women hating themselves.”
“Let’s start a movement.
“Let’s end predatory marketing practices that sell self-loathing to women from cradle to grave.
“Women have more important things to do in 2016 than spend a single other minute worrying about our wrinkles, or the acceptability of our thighs.
“Let’s start a movement that says no to brands that require you to hate yourself in order to sell their products. Don’t give them another one of your dollars.”
Please SHARE if you feel incredibly empowered after reading this amazing woman’s post!