Preschool teacher Johnetta Hopkins went to a beauty parlor for a manicure, pedicure, and to get her eyebrows done. When she left, however, she had received none of the services she intended to get — and her self-esteem was destroyed.
“I went in to make myself look beautiful, but they made me feel ugly,” Hopkins tells Yahoo Beauty.
The 28-year-old was refused service by L’amour Nails in Philadelphia because, the manager told her, she would not fit in their pedicure chairs. Hopkins shared the incident in detail on her Facebook page, and the post now has more than 3,000 shares, more than 400 likes, and 313 comments.
Hopkins walked into the nail salon and waited for the welcome that never came. She then asked about the colors offered, but the nail tech said she would have to wait a long time because they were all going to lunch.
“It seemed very strange that they were closing down the shop in the middle of the day to go to lunch,” Hopkins said. “Usually staff takes turns to go eat.”
Hopkins’s suspicion was correct. As she was leaving, two women walked in the door and received a different greeting than she did — not one employee told the women that the salon was closing for lunch.
Hopkins asked the manager what was going on, and that is when the truth came out. “She told me it was because of my size,” she says. “What was hurtful is how dismissive she was. I know I’m a big girl and I’m okay with that, but the fact that she refused to serve me is what hurt.”
Hopkins says that although she might not have fit into the chair, as the manager told her, they would have been able to perform the other services she wanted.
Hopkins says that as she was leaving the nail salon, she saw a plus-size woman in the back of the salon. It was then, she said, that she realized it had nothing to do with size but rather with the color of her skin.
“It’s 2017, and discrimination is still happening,” Hopkins says.
It seems that this is not the first time something similar happened at the same salon.
Hopkins is overwhelmed by the support she has received since her post went viral.
“I’m a teacher, and I always tell my students to stand up for what is right,” she says. “I don’t want others to even go through this heartbreaking experience. I’m glad people are listening and this can come to an end.”
Yahoo Beauty reached out to L’amour Nails but was unable to contact them for comment. Their Facebook page has been shut down since the incident. Their Yelp page has received many negative reviews based on Hopkins posts, but it also received some positive reviews.
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