Gabourey Sidibe Was Discriminated Against By A Saleswoman

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She nearly turned Gabby away, until she realized she was famous

In an essay written for Lenny Letter, actress Gabourey Sidibe (Empire, Difficult People, Precious)  wrote about her experience of being discriminated against while shopping at Chanel. It's a pretty brazen example of racial profiling, and is an in-your-face reminder of the kind of prejudice that goes down each and every day. 

In the essay, Gabourey writes about heading to a Chanel store in Chicago, on a mission to pick up a new pair of eyeglass frames. It should have been a trip both easy and fun, but instead Gabourey found herself being judged by a saleswoman who clearly thought Chanel was not were Gabourey belonged. When Gabourey asked to see eyeglasses clearly on display in the store, the saleswoman directed her to a discount glasses store across the street saying that this Chanel didn't sell glasses frames. 

"I knew what she was doing," Gabourey writes. "She had decided after a single look at me that I wasn't there to spend any money. Even though I was carrying a Chanel bag, she decided I wasn't a Chanel customer and so, not worth her time and energy."

It wasn't until other saleswomen recognized Gabourey as a famous actress that the woman who had judged her changed her tune. Gabourey writes, "As we passed through [the store], other employees who were of color noticed me. All of a sudden, the woman who had pointed me out of the store let me know that even though they didn't have eyeglasses, the shades they carried actually doubled as eyeglass frames, so I should take a look at the shades I'd come to look at in the first place. Just like that, I went from being an inconvenience to a customer." 

Moments like this happen all the time. People are judged, discriminated against, and most of those people don't have the platform that Gabourey has to call it out and shed light on it. "No matter how dressed up I get, I'm never going to be able to dress up my skin color to look like what certain people perceive to be an actual customer," Gabourey writes. "Depending on the store, I either look like a thief or a waste of time. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground between no attention and too much attention." 

The House of Chanel issued an apology after the essay was published saying, "Chanel expresses our sincerest regret for the boutique customer service experience that Ms. Sidibe mentioned in this essay. We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended. We took her words very seriously and immediately investigated to understand what happened, knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our customers. We are strongly committed to provide anyone who comes in our boutiques with the best customer service, and we do hope that in the future Ms. Sidibe will choose to come back to a Chanel boutique and experience the real Chanel customer experience.

An apology is a good step, but what should really be happening is a universal adoption of the adage our parents always told us when we were kids, "Treat people the way you want to be treated." Why is that so hard?  

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

He announced the news today

On Monday, Bernie Sanders announced that he is running for president again, after he lost the primary in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. And although he was very popular during the 2016 election, his announcement is drawing mixed reactions online.

Many of his previous supporters, including celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, were excited about him joining the 2020 race, voicing their support of his announcement.

But others seem to want him to disappear, even pretending not to know who he is. And these reactions have turned out, in some cases, to be hilarious.

The lack of excitement for his announcement may be because of the recent allegations of sexual assault which apparently occurred within his 2016 campaign, and which he claims he didn't know about. It could also be due to his base, who supported him even after he lost the primary to the detriment of Clinton's campaign.

Some are also calling out the fact that Clinton has been effectively shunned following her loss, while Sanders seems to be being welcomed back with open arms.



Photos courtesy of American Apparel

The pieces will take your athleisure look to the next level

American Apparel just dropped its first activewear line since the brand's relaunch last year, and I can already tell that these looks are going to make up my entire summer wardrobe.

The new line, called FORWARD, offers a variety of styles in lightweight fabrics like flyweight satin, which is an imitation of boxing gear; lame tricot; and cotton Spandex. All of the fabrics feature a four-way stretch, making the clothes "suitable for training but also designed for life outside the gym."

With the collection, American Apparel also launched an inclusive campaign called How We Play, which shows a diverse range of models, including blind Paralympic runner David Brown and curvy yoga instructor Luisa Fonseca.

The collection's styles offer a wide range of looks which will fit with just about any aesthetic, whether you're going hard at the gym or looking for a casual off-day outfit. Personally, I'm excited about the iridescent looks and the rainbow patterned bra and bottoms, which I will definitely be rocking at Pride this year.

The entire line is also super-affordable, capping out at $48, with most products priced in the $20-to-$30 range. You can shop FORWARD collection online, now.