Woman in viral ‘Old Navy tank’ photo reveals surprising wish for ‘cruel commenter’

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-08 11:57:26-04

HAUGHTON, La. — A photographer from Louisiana is getting worldwide attention for a photo she snapped in an Old Navy dressing room. Now, she wants the “cruel commenter” to know she forgives her and would love to take her to dinner.

Credit: Rachel Taylor

Rachel Taylor says she was shopping at Old Navy last week when she overheard a hurtful conversation about plus-size clothing.

“I was shopping in Old Navy, standing in between a teenage girl and her mom. The girl picked up a plus-size tank top, showed it to her mom and said, ‘Look! Me and So-and-so can fit in this tank top!’ Her mom laughed and said, ‘Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!” Taylor posted on Facebook.

“I had been shopping all morning, struggling to find clothes that fit me well,” Taylor said. “It stung, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as the mother’s reaction. I immediately started crying.”

Taylor sat in her car and cried for a long time before eventually going back inside to shop.

“I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it! Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on,” Taylor posted on Facebook.

Taylor’s photo has been liked over 250,000 times and has been shared over 12,000 times.

Credit: Rachel Taylor

Taylor said the response to the photo has been overwhelming.

“I posted the photo to Old Navy’s timeline as an afterthought after posting it on my personal Facebook page, and didn’t think much about it,” Taylor said. “When I woke up the next morning, my phone had blown up with comments, shares, and private messages.”

Thousands of people have reached out to Taylor in support of her and her message about self-image. 

“I’m honored to have been contacted by so many men and women who have been encouraged by me sharing my story,” Taylor said. “Self-image is something that thousands, if not millions, of people struggle with on a daily basis. Body diversity isn’t about promoting unhealthy lifestyles; it’s about loving yourself and others. No matter what their shape or size or how they got there, every man and woman should feel confident in their own skin.”

As a photographer, Taylor takes photos every day. However, she could have never predicted a selfie would be the photo that would make her famous.

“I spend a ton of time and money on marketing for my business, and I never in my wildest dreams imagined that an iPhone selfie taken in a dressing room could reach and impact so many people. Next time I’ll fix my hair!” Taylor said.

Taylor said she has forgiven the girl for her cruel comment and would love to meet her.

“I would like her to know that everyone says things they regret, and she was forgiven the moment I walked back into that store,” Taylor said. “I would love to take her to dinner and get to know her better, instead of remembering her by that one moment.”

Taylor said Old Navy’s social media manager reached out to her and offered to send her a gift card and a personalized catalog with some of this season’s trends.

Taylor has spoken to Good Morning America, E! Entertainment and PEOPLE Magazine over the past 24 hours. She said the past week has reminded her of a bible passage that could serve as an inspiration for everyone.

“Colossians 3:12 says, “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” I think that is a virtue that we can all live by,” Taylor said.