Businesses have the right to refuse services to certain individuals, as long as they are not discriminating against the customers based on race, religion, or national origin. But what about discriminating against a customer based on their physical body type?
A prospective customer recently posted a photo of a fat-shaming sign which was allegedly hung on the wall at the Rose Nails salon in Memphis, Tennessee.
Deshania Ferguson said she was visiting the salon, hoping to get her nails done, when she noticed a sign on the wall which read “Sorry, but if you are overweight, pedicures will be $45 due to service fees for pedicurists.”
Not only is the message itself insulting, it’s fairly brusque considering it’s addressing potential future customers, don’t you think?
WREG News Channel 3 recently visited the salon to investigate claims about the sign. The salon spokesperson, Son Nguyen, insisted that the sign never hung in his salon, although there was photo evidence to the contrary. However, according to Cosmopolitan, “he did admit that he had considered raising prices for overweight patrons since they can be more difficult to service, and because there have been several incidents where overweight customers have broken pedicure chairs, which cost between $2,000 and $2,500 to fix.”
Though I suppose this may be a legitimate concern, how are these pedicure chairs so expensive if they’re so easily broken by the occasional overweight individual? It seems far more likely that pedicurists at Rose Nails just aren’t keen on performing pedicures for heavier customers, and are looking to discourage overweight clientele — which is highly discriminatory and problematic.
It’s entirely possible that Rose Nails was wrongfully accused of hanging this sign, but considering their spokesperson’s own words concerning overweight customers, the (fat-shaming) writing is on the wall.