A Michigan woman says she was slut-shamed at a mall by another shopper, causing her to be thrown out by security.
Posting on Facebook, 20-year-old Hannah Pewee wrote that she dressed for the 90-degree weather when going to the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids on June 10. She wore jean shorts and a "Finding Nemo" themed tank top.
"But apparently, how I was dressed ... was too slutty for the public, as I was kicked out of the Woodland Mall today," she wrote. "Yup. Apparently some anonymous person reported me to MALL SECURITY for inappropriate dress and I was kicked out."
Pewee says there were "plenty of girls" dressed just like her in a "one foot radius."
The incident caused her distress.
"I am so angry right now I'm shaking. I felt so embarrassed I almost cried. All because a stranger didn't like how I dressed," Pewee wrote.
Pewee believes the Woodland Mall "should be ashamed of themselves, as well as the anonymous complainer" who slut-shamed her.
"It's my body, and it's hot outside! I'm not going to show up in jeans and a sweater, sorry. Don't like it? Look away!" she wrote. "I was out having a fun time with my sister and next thing I know, I'm out on the street. Slut-shaming how girls are dressed is deplorable and outdated, and it needs to stop."
Pewee told WOOD this is the first time she has ever had anyone complain about how she dresses.
“I’ve never had anyone complain about the way I dress or say that it was wrong somehow, so I didn’t really know what to do. I was just shocked, really,” she said.
Pewee and her sister had been in the mall for a couple of hours before she was stopped at Starbucks by a security guard.
“We ordered out drinks and we were just standing in that area where you wait for them to be delivered and one of the security guards came up to me and said, ‘Miss, can we talk to you for a second?'” she recalled. “I was like, ‘OK.’ I had no idea what was going on.”
Pewee decided to share her experience on social media "because it didn't seem right."
“I complied. I’m not a confrontational person. Even though I didn’t feel it was right, I didn’t want to get in their faces and be like, ‘No I’m not leaving,’ and start a big scene. But after I left, I was like, ‘I don’t feel like I should have been treated like that,'” she said.
More than 10,000 Facebook users reacted to Pewee's post, more than 7,000 shared it, and it has received more than 650 comments.
The Woodland Mall responded to a comment. It wrote, “We have apologized to Hannah and we apologize to our community. It is never our intention to shame or embarrass anyone. We’re going to make sure that everyone on our team is aware of how to handle situations like this in the future. We dropped the ball on this one."
Pewee confirmed on Facebook that she had spoken to someone on the management team at the mall and received an apology.
"Apparently they're going to revise their clothing policy on their website so it is clearer what is and isn't acceptable. In addition, security will be discussing how to properly handle situations like this," she wrote.
Pewee is thankful for the support she received following the incident.
“I hope that this can serve as an inspiration to some people that they shouldn’t be ashamed of who they are and how they want to dress,” she told WOOD.