A post on Facebook has gone viral after a woman wrote about her experience of two women laughing at her clothes as she ordered food with her partner in a restaurant.
Lauren Stardust, who is a TV presenter living in Melbourne, began the post by showing her followers what she had been wearing that day, a fluorescent-patterned shift dress topped with her trademark pink hair.
She went on to explain that she had noticed two women commenting on her look and laughing with each other.
“It started with one pointing me out to the other,” writes Lauren. “I watched while the friend "casually" stretched and turned to face me, her head whipping back around to confirm her shared opinion of what I as wearing. They both began to laugh.”
However, the women's behaviour didn't stop there as they then tried to take Lauren's photo, which they disguised as a selfie. At that point Lauren had had enough.
“I got up from my table approached them both and simply asked ‘I'm sorry but are you both laughing at me?’ They responded that it wasn't the case, but the obviousness of whole façade made the bulls**t buzzer go off in my head.”
Lauren, quite rightly, felt self-conscious about the whole affair but decided to share her experience to prove women are often judged, perhaps more so than men, on what they wear by both sexes. Particularly when they don't conform to the "accepted standards" of what society thinks women are supposed to look like.
Lauren decided not to talk about what the other women were wearing or how old they were, saying that was irrelevant, but points out that she doesn't dress for other people in the morning; she dresses for herself.
Even if, as she says, she looks like she’s been “f***ed by a unicorn”.
However, despite the behaviour of the two women in the restaurant, many of Lauren's followers, as well as people who shared the post, supported her and gave her messages of encouragement (pictured left).
Currently, the post has been liked 53,787 times, with 5,384 shares, and 15,886 comments since Friday.
Comments included this one from user Kirstyanne Atkins ' I like your outfit I also like the line you used about being f***** by a unicorn sorry to admit but that did make me giggle. Fair play to you for going over and standing up for yourself there are too many bitter people in this world that ain't happy unless putting someone else down I personally take my hat off to you'
And commenter, Jo Lovett, posted 'Wear what you you want sweetheart. Don't fixate on what people say or think. In a few more years you'll have more dramas than what frock your wearing. Or maybe not? How deep you delve into your own life experience, will define your life.'
Ending her note, Lauren pointed to a greater problem in society that makes “strangers -of any gender- think it acceptable to humiliate a woman based on how she woke up that morning and got dressed to please herself”.
“So next time you catch yourself critiquing someone’s appearance negatively”, she continues, “maybe try to think instead of why you feel the need to make that horrible assessment? Are you intimidated by them? Are you sexualising them? Are you repulsed because they don’t adhere to your standards of beauty?”
“Then ask yourself why any of those things bother you in the first place.”
Have you ever experienced something similar to Lauren and what did you do?