A woman has expressed outrage over the way she was treated by a Sainsbury's staff member while out shopping during this week’s heatwave in the UK.
Lauren O’Connor was at the branch in Staines, Surrey when she says she was approached by a male customer service employee.
"I was looking at hair dye when a sales assistant approached me and said "I think you need to pull your t shirt down, as a gentleman doesn’t know if you’re wearing anything underneath"", she told The Independent.
“It’s a humiliating experience to have that happen especially in this sweltering heat,” she added.
After returning home, O’Connor posted the account to Twitter, writing: "I’m so angry right now. Just been approached by a @sainsburys staff member in Staines store to ‘pull my t shirt down’. An elderly man made comment to staff member who felt compelled to come over and tell me as I was shopping. It’s 32 degrees. If I want to wear shorts I will." [Sic]
Users of the platform were quick to rally in support of the incident, with one user saying: “That’s disgusting. Why do people love giving their unwarranted opinions?”
Sharing a photo of the shorts and T-shirt which she was wearing, O'Connor added: “All I wanted was ice lollies. N I get shamed in store doing so. So disappointed. When are we going to stop telling women how to dress? Especially when topless men frequent supermarkets, which I highly doubt are told to change.”
In response to the Tweet, Sainsbury’s replied apologising and inviting O'Connor to message them directly.
O'Connor tells The Independent that they assured her in private messages that they would be “conducting an internal investigation, but cannot disclose the outcome.”
Though, the 33-year-old said this wasn't "good enough" and having escalated her complaint, she is speaking with Sainsbury’s management about the issue.
The 33-year-old suggests that her treatment was evidence of women’s bodies being objectified, stating: “It’s double standards when men are allowed to walk topless in supermarkets and crazy that supermarkets can’t police people not wearing masks, but I can’t wear hot pants in the summer heat?”
When The Independent reached out for comment, a representative for Sainsbury’s said: “We are speaking to the store to understand what happened and would like to apologise to Lauren for any offence caused.”