Forever 21: No, You Can't Bring Your Kid Into The Dressing Room

Forever 21 won’t let more than one person into a dressing room, a policy that extends to Aldys and her eight-year-old son. We remember being young, climbing things and looking to run away with strangers, so we were surprised that Forever 21 ordered Aldys to leave her child unattended while she tried on clothes. When she refused and brought her son into the dressing room, a manager called security and told Aldys she had thirty seconds to scram. She calls it as “the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life.”

She sent the following letter to CEO Don Chang and CFO Larry Meyer:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a frequent customer at Forever 21 and have done a lot of shopping at your stores with my eight-year-old son who almost always accompanies me here and at other retail outlets. I have always enjoyed shopping at Forever 21 because of your huge selection of styles, colors and variety of clothing that fits any occasion and the reasonable prices.

I say all this because on February 13, 2008 at about 7:45 pm I experienced the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life in one of your stores located at the Providence Place Mall in Providence Rhode Island. I would have never thought that what happened to me yesterday was possible.

I was shopping in your store and needed to try on clothing I had selected. As usual my eight-year-old son accompanied me. I went to the fitting room area with my son and handed the attendant my clothing to be counted. She escorted my son and I to a fitting room. As I was about to enter the room she informed me that my son would have to wait outside the fitting room area. I was in complete shock and refused to leave my son unattended in the main area of your store or anywhere else in the store. I told her that I would not leave him unsupervised and brought him in the dressing room with me.

After trying on two pair of pants there was a loud bang on my door and a manager told me that only one person was allowed in the fitting room and one of us had to exit immediately. At this point I became extremely upset, as any person would, never have I been told to leave my son unattended in order to try on clothing. I shop in many different places and was never told that my son could not accompany me in the fitting room. I told the manager that I would not let my son leave the room unless it was with me and I had to get dressed before exiting the fitting room. At this point they called security and stated that I had thirty seconds to exit the room.

I was utterly humiliated and embarrassed as well as very upset. I left the fitting room without tying my shoes and my son had to witness this whole ordeal. It was utterly humiliating and embarrassing. I have never been treated in such a horrible manner by anyone in my life. My son was afraid and felt like he did something wrong. I refused to be escorted out of the store by security and the verbal assault by your employees attracted the attention of all the customers and other store employees.

I only have the names of the two managers who were accosting me: Felix and Tracy. I don’t know the name of the attendant. Had I followed the irresponsible and unprofessional demands of the attendant and managers and left my son alone, something terrible could have happened to him and you would have caused my family irreparable and devastating harm and/or loss. Something any company should prevent and avoid causing, even the suggestion of such. My son is only EIGHT years old and would never need to be left alone with a stranger or in any public place.

Sincerely,

Aldys

Responsible parenting or a reasonable anti-shoplifting measure? Tell us in the comments.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. NoNamesLeft says:

    Don’t shop at Forever 21 anymore and why are you changing in front of your 8 year old son again?

  2. floyderdc says:

    Does anyone else think it is wrong for her to be changing in front
    of her 8 yo? I went to mall a lot with my mom when I was a kid and
    waited outside the dressing room and nothing happened to me.

  3. spryte says:

    Their behavior was definitely ridiculous and uncalled for, and I can see why she was humiliated. I get the rule about one person in the dressing room, but every rule has its exceptions.

    That being said…I find it a bit odd that this woman tries on clothes in front of her 8-year-old son. 2, 3, maybe 4…okay. But 8 is a bit old for mom to be taking her clothes off in front of him. She could have him stand right outside her dressing room and talk to him to be sure he doesn’t walk away and get into trouble. If this was a man wanting to bring his 8-year-old daughter into a changing room…what would this woman think of that?

  4. BugMeNot2 says:

    This reminds me of this one time I was at the mall — true story. I had just bought a drink, and as I approached the door of one store, a clerk promptly told me that I am not allowed in the store with the drink. Funny thing is, instead of being in complete shock and insisting on going into the store with my drink anyway, I went shopping in another store that didn’t mind. :P

  5. stevegoz says:

    If that was the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of Aldys’ life, she hasn’t been trying hard enough. I mean, my freshman year of high school I had at least a dozen most embarrassing and humiliating moments of my life, and some of them didn’t even involve alcohol.

    As for the heavy-handed rules enforcement by Forever 21, add them to the list of stores that I will never shop at. Never ever ever!

  6. TheUncleBob says:

    You know what’s worse?

    Let’s travel to a hypothetical universe where a woman goes into a Forever 21 with a 8-year-old she snatched quickly outside the store from an inattentive parent.

    If you don’t agree with the store policy, don’t shop there.

  7. CuriousO says:

    I used to go shopping with my mom when I was younger and me and my younger brother used to just wait outside in the chair, by the way I was 7 and he was 4. I still see a chair or a couch outside department stores dressing rooms. If my mom would have asked us to go in with her I would have freaked!!! why would I want to see my mom get dressed? I guess we know that she has attachment issues or maybe her son is handicapped? Either way is not like she was going to leave him outside of a dark alley.

  8. ecwis says:

    …most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life…

    Being kicked out of a store is the most embarrassing moment of her life? She must have a pretty boring life.

    And also, if her son were younger, I’d agree with her that she should have her son with her. But he’s 8, it’s for his own good to not have to see mommy change her clothes.

  9. Benny Gesserit says:

    Why not buy the clothing you felt you’d like, try them on at home and return the ones you don’t care for.

    And try admitting that having a child forces you to constrain your behavior (in this case abiding by STORE POLICY.)

    @NoNamesLeft: I agree – creeps me out too.

  10. cde says:

    10 bucks says this kid was breast feed till he was 5 and is going to have severe mommy issues later in his life….. Norman Bates anyone?

  11. BuriedCaesar says:

    Responsible parenting all the way. Very POORLY thought-out policy on the store’s part.

    If the store requires patrons to leave children unattended outside their dressing rooms and something – anything – happens to that child, the store is expressly accepting liability for the child’s welfare during that time. Is that what they really want? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say “no”… but that’s the condition they’ve created.

    And if there’s no remorse about the policy, it’s time to find another clothing merchant to frequent. Vote with your dollars and go elsewhere.

  12. Eilasor says:

    They could have just said they understood her concerns and offered to have an employee supervise the kid while she was changing. A little empathy never hurt anyone…
    Or I guess she could have left the moment they told her the policy, and tried on clothes elsewhere.

  13. ThumpinD says:

    Apparently, some of you have reading comprehension issues. She originally wanted her son to wait in the fitting area outside the changing rooms. The attendant said that was unacceptable so she brought him into the changing room. It was at this point the attendant summoned the managers.

    That said, I would have just left the clothing and done my shopping elsewhere rather than bring my 8yo into the changing room.

  14. sleze69 says:

    I am torn on this as well. I can understand a parent’s concern about leaving a child unattended. On the other hand, there is a major creep-factor associated with a mother doing a strip-tease in front of her 8-year old son.

    On a side note, her son’s name is Oedipus.

  15. ptkdude says:

    I think the managers’ behavior in this case in not acceptable, and I’m interested to see what the company’s response is.

    As for changing in front of her 8-year old son, everybody’s ideas of what is and is not appropriate are different. My parents raised me not to be ashamed of my body or anyone else’s, so this doesn’t freak me out one bit. If *YOU* have a problem with it, don’t change in front of your children. But don’t tell anyone else they should be ashamed of something like that.

  16. smirky says:

    @BugMeNot2:

    What does your story have to do with the OP? She is concerned about her child’s safety and she isn’t being over-reactive in her idea of security.

    The 1-person rule is a good one to have as a standard practice but, as Spryte said, every rule has its exceptions.

    That said, I personally did not have my daughters accompany me into dressing rooms when they were 8. I had them stay just outside the door and we talked to each other while I was changing. If I were to have my daughters come into the dressing room for whatever reason (too much foot traffic or just some other uneasy feeling) surely they would have faced away from me if I had to strip down to my skivvies.

    Forever 21 is just being ruled by ‘Follow the rules and don’t think’ people.

  17. XianZomby says:

    What’s with people getting all suspicious about mom trying on a pair of pants in front of an eight-year-old? It’s not like she’s putting in a tampon in front of him. Why do people have to hate on family? If your mommy didn’t love you enough to take care of you, well, it’s probably because you were bad.

  18. MBZ321 says:

    I’m sorry, the kid is eight. By the subject line, I was guessing it would be about a mother and a 4 year old or something. I would NEVER go into the dressing room with my mother past 4 or 5..I would usually end up just pacing around the area outside and that was fine with me. I wonder if the store’s response would have been the same if it was an 8 year old girl and not a male.

  19. iskandertime says:

    No No No! The issue is not “is she a fit mother for letting her son watch her try on some clothes?” or “she’s nuts if she doesn’t want to leave her son alone in a big confusing store full of strangers like my mom did back in 1953″. And “Uncle Bob”, how about a child being snatched from in front of a changing room while his/her mother is out of sight and hearing due to some store manager’s power trip? The issue is why did the employees of this store do everything they could to rob her of her dignity? If they thought some thing creepy was going on, I hope they would have called the police. It’s obvious that they have a policy in place to try to cut down on shoplifting, and someone decided to use it to humiliate someone. And before someone starts saying “yeah, oh yeah, she could have been stuffing clothes in her child’s backpack” or whatever, remember if they thought she was shoplifting, THEY SHOULD CALL THE POLICE! This is not security. It is not customer service. It is not “store policy” to tell a mother and child that they have “30 seconds” to get out.

  20. bohemian says:

    The policy seems like it could have some potential problems like someone helping another person who is disabled. Target had a similar problem if I remember.

    If it was a much younger child in question the policy seems even more stupid.

    But I agree with everyone else that having your 8 year old son in the dressing room is a tad creepy. At that age they should be able to wait in a chair (most stores have them) and create a scene if someone tried to haul them off.

    This all begs another question. Why are you taking your young kid with you clothes shopping?

  21. ShariC says:

    I don’t understand why people put themselves in this position. When the attendant told her that her son couldn’t go in with her, she should have handed the attendant the clothes she was going to try on and told her that she couldn’t leave her son unattended and therefore wouldn’t be patronizing the store anymore.

    Instead, she puts herself in a bad position, possibly traumatizes her son, and then writes a letter mentioning how embarrassed and humiliated she was (three times in the same letter no less).

    People need to learn to walk away rather than insist on having things their way. She tempted fate and paid a price.

  22. WEGGLES90 says:

    She was informed of the rules, and chose to break them. She didn’t agree with the rule, leave. And I find it rediculous to change infront of an 8 year old.

  23. scoobydoo says:

    Look, we live in a messed up world nowadays. When I was a kid my mom wouldn’t have wanted me anywhere near the changing room, but nowadays you can’t be too careful (sadly). And who the heck cares whether an 8 year old sees mommy put on some pants. It’s not like she was trying on bathing suites or lingerie.

    It’s a stupid store policy and just one more example of stupid people thinking they have more power than they can be trusted with.

  24. Dashrashi says:

    @sleze69: She’s very clearly not doing a striptease. She’s not trying on bras; the kid’s not seeing any more than he would at a beach. Agree completely with the OP here; Forever 21 really wants to be directly responsible if her kid gets abducted because of their policy? Are they on drugs?

  25. rdm24 says:

    It’s not the store’s policy to dictate what it considers appropriate parenting, nor should it.

    Of course, the whole “if you don’t like the store don’t shop there” attitude makes sense, ONCE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE POLICY.

    The manager’s behavior was inexcusably rude.

  26. WraithSama says:

    Her son is almost middle school-aged and she’s bringing him into the changing room with her? And she does this regularly? That’s morbid.

    Parenting aside, if a mother feels the need to bring her child into the fitting room to ensure their safety, I agree that it’s pretty crappy for the store to deny her.

  27. DMDDallas says:

    The store is free to exercise policy as they see fit. Would you still argue if it was a 12 year old son, or a 20 year old son?

  28. TheUncleBob says:

    @rdm24: Umm… she was informed of the policy, *then* chose to ignore it. You’re right though, it’s not the stores job to dictate what’s appropriate parenting. Likewise, it’s not a random customer’s job to dictate what’s an appropriate store policy.

    @MBZ321: Better question, what if it was a guy and a 8-year-old girl?

  29. alisonjane says:

    I don’t agree that the store is going to be held responsible for the welfare of her son if they tell her it’s store policy that he can’t go in the dressing room with her. They give her that information; if she abandons her kid in the store as a result, that’s her choice.

    She doesn’t have to go into the dressing room; it’s not an emergency. If I go to a bar, their policy is likely that I can’t bring an eight-year-old in with me. If I say, “You leave me no choice but to leave my child alone in the parking lot so I can go inside and have a margarita,” and that’s what I choose to do, I can’t sue them if someone snatches my child from the parking lot just because they didn’t let me bring my kid in the bar. I have the choice of not going in the bar; she has the choice of not going in the dressing room.

    I agree that this policy is not very smart, was enforced inflexibly, and suggests poor management. But I also think she has an overblown sense of entitlement and has overreacted wildly. Her kid was in no danger unless she chose to place him there.

  30. WraithSama says:

    @rdm24:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the store’s intention had any relation to parenting. I suspect it intended to help prevent shoplifting in some way.

  31. hoosier45678 says:

    What is the purpose of the one-person rule anyway?

  32. BugMeNot2 says:

    @smirky: The point of my story is that she was told of the store policy, and instead of following it or leaving the store, she insisted on taking her child into the dressing room anyway. See?

  33. cde says:

    @hoosier45678: They got tired of having to clean up after frisky couples >_>

  34. muddgirl says:

    WTF people. She’s trying on shirts, not diaphragms. The kid’s not gonna be fucked up by the sight of his mommy’s naked belly.

  35. cde says:

    @muddgirl: Pants not shirts.

  36. j-yo says:

    Some 8-year-olds are more immature than others and so I understand if a mom wants doesn’t want her 8-year-old son to wait outside on his own. She’s just trying on a shirt, not getting a Pap smear!

  37. ClayS says:

    When the attendant told her the policy precluded her bringing her son into the changing room with her, she should have walked out. She chose to ignore the attendant, and then there was an embarrasing incident.

    I agree that leaving an 8 year old alone is something I wouldn’t be comfortable with. The store has a right to set policy, but she has a right not to shop there.

  38. QWGHLM says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): Forever 21’s policy is no returns allowed, only store credit with a receipt and the tags on. It’s pretty harsh.

  39. Ow146 says:

    If her child is so young and helpless, she should not be taking him shopping. Leave the child at home with a sitter. Children do not like being dragged into clothing stores any more than shoppers like them screaming, and running all over the place. Stores are not playgrounds, they are a places of business.
    I also agree that it is a bit odd that this woman is changing in front of her eight year old, but that is beside the point. If she believes that her child should be attended to at all times, then it is her right as a parent to see that he is kept with her, especially in a crowded place. However, if it is the stores policy that there is only one person per dressing room, she needs to follow those rules, or take her business elsewhere. The child is not an infant, she could easily have given him some clothes to tuck away, and walk out of the store without paying for them. She does not deserve special treatment just because she brought a child into the store.

  40. RobinB says:

    Isn’t this the same store just reported to be owned and runned by
    Christians? Why couldn’t the boy just stand right outside the door?
    Usually the dressing room doors don’t go all the way to the floor, so
    the mom could have seen her son’s feet. He doesn’t really belong in
    there with her, anyway.

  41. Aladdyn says:

    @ThumpinD: Since people still cant seem to grasp what happened in spite of your comment ill try and help them out too. She was told she couldnt leave her son in the changing AREA. Thats the big room with lots of doors. She then decided to bring her son into the changing ROOM. Thats the little room with one door you change in. I know its really hard to grasp but read it a few times and maybe you can understand.

  42. ClayS says:

    @RobinB:
    Its up to the parent to decide what’s right for her child.

    The store’s policy didn’t work for her, so she should have left.

  43. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @ShariC: She said she had done it several times before, however. One thing that pisses me off more than stupid policies is selective enforcement. Either it IS a rule, or it ISN’T. Apparently from past experiences, they gave her plenty good reason to believe it WASN’T.

  44. Trai_Dep says:

    To avoid young mens’ awkward feelings, they shouldn’t share changing rooms with their mothers after, say age ten. They should share the changing rooms of their friends’ mothers.

    Seriously, another two lives ruined by watching too much local TV news. I suppose she only lets her kids play within her eyesight for fear of goblins or swarthy men. I pity this generations’ kids. Really do.

  45. iskandertime says:

    She has the right to be treated with respect in a public place and again, this is not a blog about parenting. If the store manager thought something creepy was going on, he should have called the police. You people asking “uh, like why was she taking her kid shopping with her” are not parents, women, or people who have to work for a living.

  46. tk427 says:

    Dashrashi beat me to it.

    OP mentioned trying on pants not thongs and silk stockings. Get over it, people.

    Is she supposed to teach her children to be ashamed of their bodies? I suppose she should also rush their toilet training so that they can grow up to be anal retentive tightasses who feel the need to push their values on others.

  47. kmn842 says:

    You people really need reading comprehension lessons. It is not her regular practice to bring her son into the changing room. Instead, it is her regular practice to bring him in the changing room AREA, as in on the other side of the changing room door but inside the changing room hallway area so that she could maintain audio contact. Her choice to bring him into the actual changing room was a result of being told he couldn’t be in the changing room area. She was not told he could not be in there with her until the security guard or manager knocked on the door and told her that only one person was allowed in the changing room. A few of you recommended this initial behavior and condemned the second behavior without actually reading anything.

  48. ophmarketing says:

    Of course, Forever 21 is also the chain that prints “John 3:16″ on the underside of its shopping bags. I guess their “Christian” attitude doesn’t extend to treating its customers like human beings.

  49. cmh77 says:

    An absolutely ridiculous policy. Obviously common sense did not prevail here on the part of the staff. I could see ejecting the woman if she was with her boyfriend or husband. Not worth the trouble if you ask me, besides aren’t they cheap knock-off clothes anyway?

  50. cde says:

    @iskandertime: You have no right to be treated with respect, and a store has every right to tell you to gtfo (Or in legal terms, trespass you).

  51. TheUncleBob says:

    To those who are bashing others for not reading/comprehending – the mother was informed *before* she went into the dressing room that the son would have to wait *OUTSIDE THE FITTING ROOM AREA*. Clearly stated in the original letter

    >”As I was about to enter the room she informed me that my son would have to wait outside the fitting room area.”

    Since most reasonable people would consider the “Fitting Room” a part of the “Fitting Room Area”, the correct response here would have been comply and ask her son to wait outside the fitting room area or to choose to leave the store at this time and take her money elsewhere.

  52. frank26080115 says:

    @ the first three commenters
    Damn it, you people with your stupid social norms piss me off.

  53. Aladdyn says:

    @TheUncleBob: So according to your logic 8 year olds cant try on clothes at the store?

  54. Did it ever occur to y’all that she might have the kid turn his back while she changed? Sheesh!

  55. cashmerewhore says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One):

    F21’s store policy on returns is exchange only. You buy something, you can not return it for cash later. Lamest policy ever.

  56. Techno Viking says:

    All of you have to understand that many moms feel responsible for their children. That being said, you have to take a look at the ridiculous laws that US has on child welfare. if the child has gone missing, those services would be after her like a plague. Think about it before your act. In Europe, children are far more educated that in America and parents have no problem changing in front of them. This is just a cultural thing. In America you can’t even show breasts. In Europe, you can walk naked outside and even if the kids of any age are there, they don’t laugh, they know all about it because their educational system is years ahead of pathetic American system. I am saying this because I am from Europe, and when my mom took me shopping with her, I would just turn around or not if say she was changing only pants, or a skirt. It’s not like she was getting naked in front of me. People in the states still live and are educated slightly better than the dark ages. Same idea, same example and you understand that. I am not saying that all of you follow the dark ages routine, but many with their pathetic old Christian beliefs still do. So again, it’s a cultural thing. And as for not leaving the child alone, she is a great mother. Any country has some sick people who do need psychiatric help and not prison. How can American judicial system put every pedophile in jail and throw a key is beyond me. Those guys need help and she was probably afraid of what could have happened to her son as any good mother wood. All it takes is a split second to steal a child. But then the blame would be shifted to the company. As for those 2 employee morons who obviously want to ruin company image, I think the CEO should personally come and smack their asses and fire them so that no one would even consider hiring them. I am not rooting for the company in any way, just a logical step if the company wants to continue to do business with its customers because parents do take their children shopping and that fact can’t be escaped. And that mother should talk to CEO over the phone and make sure it does not happen again.

  57. gingerCE says:

    I don’t know–when I read her letter I thought she wanted to bring her son into the fitting room.

    I have shopped at Forever 21, and have waited for friends/family in the fitting room corridor–have had no problem with that.

    I do think she should’ve been able to bring her child into the fitting room with her. That’s perfectly legit. But I also agree, it seems weird to bring an 8 year old boy into the fitting room. It’s one thing if he was trying on clothes and the mom was there to help him. But she’s trying on clothes in front of him–my parents never did that.

  58. zizou says:

    @bohemian: This all begs another question. Why are you taking your young kid with you clothes shopping?

    Have a brain lapse for a minute or something? Many mothers take their kids shopping if they can’t get anyone to watch their kid and this is the only time they have to go shopping. When you have kids, you’re automatically accepting the fact that you can’t go alone everywhere anymore. You can’t always dump your kid off with someone when you don’t feel like having them around.

  59. gingerCE says:

    Maybe this a new policy. Did anyone read about the grandmother and mother who were shoplifting tons of stuff from Target. They had the grandkids shoplifting too, I think even as young as 3.

  60. SaraAB87 says:

    Some people actually have lives and chlidren. If you have children you usually either shop with them or you have to get a sitter. Its much easier to shop with them. Are you guys saying that we are not allowed to shop with children anymore? This is to the person who asks why she was shopping with her son. People have lives, hello! I commend her for actually taking her kid out in public (which is an activity thats obviously frowned upon nowadays) in order to give him some exercise walking, time away from home and school and to get him away from the TV, computer and video games. My mother never left me alone while trying on clothes either, leaving your kid even in the chairs outside which are often far away from where you are actually trying on clothes would be considered a no no now and is a good way to get your kid abducted. When I was little I went into the dressing room with my mom but as I got older I usually sat in the empty dressing room next to her where she could see my feet and talk to me.

    Add me to the list of people who thinks that either its policy or its not, meaning its either enforced all the time or its not policy, simple as that. I hate things that are up in the air like that, either have the policy or don’t have the policy. This goes for all store policies.

  61. Dan25 says:

    When i used to work in retail i remember people hiding items in their kids strollers and one person hiding items ON the kid. I think the store was in line with this. If the OP didn’t like the policy after she was informed, she can come back at another time without her son, or shop somewhere else. There’s no need to get all huffy and puffy about it. I think before writing this letter to the CEO she should have done a little bit of self reflection first.

  62. zizou says:

    And as far as I know, fitting room attendants stand at the only entrance to and from the fitting room. If someone were to try to swipe the kid, he would probably make some type of noise and this attendant would hear/see, and call other employees to prevent the abduction of this kid. I could see the mom’s concern if this was Wal-Mart, but it’s Forever 21. Child abductors don’t usually lurk or shop in these places. Regardless, the measures taken by these employees were unexcusable. Maybe this mother is overprotective, or in their home, unlike other hypersensitive Americans, the naked body is just a body — nothing to “ewwwww” over.

  63. marsneedsrabbits says:

    No offense, ma’am… but I do not want your 8 year old son in the dressing room while I am in there. Really, I don’t. If I had been in the store, I wouldn’t have bought anything at all, because I have a personal policy against getting half naked in front of kids.

    I (like most women) don’t buy clothes based on what I look like in the narrow little fitting room mirror – I like to see myself in the large mirrors in the fitting room area. I like to see how a tight skirt fits when I walk in it, or if the swimsuit rides up when I bend over, all things I can’t do in a little fitting room; all thing that require that I exit the fitting room and expose myself to your child.

    Women step out into the little area to ask other women for help zipping or they use the large bay of mirrors (which are in most fitting room areas) to hike up their skirts to see how they would look shortened. And they don’t want to look at your kid.

    Little kids have a habit of dashing around, peaking under fitting room doors, etc.

    So, with all that in mind, if they made it clear he wasn’t allowed in the fitting room area, what made you think he’d be welcome in the actual fitting room? It sounds like you intimidated the fitting room attendant, who went to get the manager in the time it took you to try on a few things.

    You act as though you only had two options; leave him to be kidnapped, or take him into a fitting room where he makes the other customers uncomfortable. This is known as a false dichotomy – you failed to see the many choices you had. You could have found a sitter for him, you could have tried on clothes another day when someone who could watch him was with you, etc.

    As a mother of several, please let me be the first to tell you that there are places our children do not belong, and a dressing room area with other half-dressed women is one of them.

    Before you tell me there was no one else in the area, or some such thing, they have these policies in place so that the next time you come in and the place is packed, you can’t whine “but last time they let me”.

  64. cosby says:

    The statement “If you don’t agree with the store policy, don’t shop there.” has been mentioned by some people already. She didn’t agree with the policy and went against them. They had every right to throw her out. She went about her complaint the wrong way. If anything she should have handed the clothes back to the person and said fine I’ll take my business elcewhere.

  65. nardo218 says:

    @spryte: I see what you’re saying, but nudity mores vary by culture. I agree the average white American would probably tell the 8 yo to wait outside, but maybe she was afraid the shop keepers would tell him to leave the dressing room and, being a child, he’d do as an adult told him to. Better to avoid any confrontation by taking the kid inside.

  66. zizou says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: Women step out into the little area to ask other women for help zipping or they use the large bay of mirrors (which are in most fitting room areas) to hike up their skirts to see how they would look shortened. And they don’t want to look at your kid.

    I, as a woman, have never seen that happen at any store, nor would consider asking another woman to help me out with that. That’s your personal problem if you don’t want to look at or be around someone’s kid. If it was a teenage boy, I see your point. But it’s an 8 year old. Get over it. Not all mothers have the opportunity to shop where they want, child-less. If you don’t want to change with her kid in there, fine. Go browse for a few more minutes until they leave and then go in there. But you have no right to tell her where she can and can’t bring her kid just because you don’t like it.

  67. sly100100 says:

    In this day and age of kids of all ages being grabbed from public places I can see her concern. The headlines could have read “Woman leaves 8yr old unattended disappears without a trace”.
    I would rather be safe than sorry. You can’t trust anyone, especially with the safety of your child.
    I say shop some where else, if they don’t care about the safety of your child.
    As for whether the store is taking responsibility for what happens to your child if you are “forced” to leave it unattended is stupid. It’s always the parents responsibility and if you leave your child unattended and something happens to him/her than you are teh one responsible and of course the ut job that takes your child.
    The store isn’t forcing anyone to shop there, and if you don’t like the rules go somewhere else.

    But first and foremost is the safety of the child.

  68. SaraAB87 says:

    I agree, because if she left the kid unattended in the store or outside the whole dressing room area then she would be blamed for being a bad and negligent parent and the news media would be all over her for that.

    Usually the women who step out to use the large mirror are CLOTHED, and I have never seen a woman ask another for help while in this area. Some stores don’t even have this, the dressing rooms are against a wall and the large mirror is right in the store with the clothes, like at Fashion Bug. It is assumed that if you step out to use the large mirror, that you are clothed.

  69. zizou says:

    @SaraAB87: Usually the women who step out to use the large mirror are CLOTHED, and I have never seen a woman ask another for help while in this area. Some stores don’t even have this, the dressing rooms are against a wall and the large mirror is right in the store with the clothes, like at Fashion Bug. It is assumed that if you step out to use the large mirror, that you are clothed.

    Exactly.

  70. Tallanvor says:

    @ThumpinD: She wrote “…refused to leave my son unattended in the main area of your store or anywhere else in the store.”

    I’d say it’s very reasonable to read it as she was planning to take her kid in the fitting room with her from the start, so in this case, I’d say most peoples’ reading comprehension has been fine.

  71. samiam0007 says:

    1st : Their family. Their comfort level. Saying that it strange to take your 8 yr. old in with you to try on close is ignorant and stupid. I have 2 girls and a boy, and IF they accidentaly see me naked it’s not the end of the world. It’s not molestation. It’s your freaking family. It’s a sad, sad world when the first thing people comment on is the fact that her son “might” see her naked. Get over it and grow up.

    2nd : Stores have lost all sense of what is acceptable and good customer service. MY policy is that if you want MY money for your product, your gonna have to kiss my A$$ a little bit. The Store’s policy doesn’t mean jack to me. I would never shop there again, and when I was done running this up the flagpole in that community, I would be getting a public apoligy from everyone involed. Customer service sucks for one reason and one reason alone. People are sheep. They allow the stores to treat them any way “because it’s store policy” and dont do anything about it. Kudos to her… Many Many Kudos!

  72. erica.blog says:

    As well as I can see from the letter, Forever 21 didn’t state its policy well (apparently just said son would have to be “outside fitting room area”, not also mentioning “1 person in fitting room” until the manager was at the door). In my opinion, their reaction was over the top and insulting. And the policy of him not being allowed to be in the fitting room area is just silly.

    Given the choice of changing pants in front of my eight-year-old son or leaving him in the main section of a store, I’d change in front of him EVERY TIME. OBVIOUSLY having him stand in the hallway is a better choice, but she was told that was not an option.

    And why are there always people who wonder why children come with parents on errands? Oh, gee, I dunno, maybe parents are being responsible for taking care of them? I can’t afford to get a babysitter every time I need to go to the store, nor would I want to (“sorry, kids, mommy’s busy and you would be in the way, you stay here!”)

  73. Me. says:

    @Dan25: Same stuff happens here. I’ve had to nail women shoplifters who shoved stuff in their baby’s carriage.

    Perhaps they thought we wouldn’t say anything in front of their kids, but we did. :/

  74. bobosgirl says:

    As a Mom of 4 daughters, I bring my 7 year old into the dressing room with me all the time- she is great for my ego! “You look so pretty, mommy.” But I would NEVER bring a boy that age into a women’s dressing room. Why make other females uncomfortable? That’s just wrong. I also wouldn’t change in front of an 8 year old boy, son or not. I would think Adult and Family services wouldn’t be checking on a mother who kept her son less than 10 feet away at the opening of the dressing rooms, but would be investigating one who takes the boy into the room with her to change in front of him. Creepy, creepy.While the store handled this incorrectly and with very little tact, the mother is wrong in the respect that she thought it was okay to be in front of her son in a bra and panties.

  75. savdavid says:

    No, we mustn’t allow the child to see his/her mother in her underwear! Lord, think of the children!!! It is much better the leave the kid in out in the store alone or in the care of strangers or employees who have nothing better to do than stare at your kid to be sure he/she is not abducted. Praise Jeebus!!

  76. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @crap:

    I was at the mall today and saw teenagers trying on formal dresses, popping in and out of fitting rooms, hiking up skirts, trying to hide bra straps, trying to get their boobs to settle into fitted bodices, etc.

    If that eight year old had been in the dressing room with me, he would have gotten an eyeful.

    Except, wait. He wouldn’t have, because I would have walked out of the fitting room rather than try on clothes in front of a kid, and so would a lot of other women.

    I may not have the right to tell her not to bring her kid in, as you say, but:
    the store does
    and
    the store did,
    and (most importantly)
    she ignored the store employee and she did it anyway.

    Why should I be punished with having to wait because someone else is incapable of finding a sitter, taking th clothes home to try on, or bringing someone with her to shop? Or even following the store’s simple rules?

  77. SOhp101 says:

    The bigger issue at hand is the way the workers handled this situation. Forever 21 seems to be the Wal-Mart of clothing retailers, and its disorganization inside and lack of customer service is strikingly similar.

    There’s nothing wrong with seeing your parents in their underwear–getting nude is easily more debatable. America is way too uptight when it comes to “sexual” situations, if this can even be called that.

  78. mockingbird says:

    All of you who are saying she should have left her kid out in the store, or even better, had the fitting room attendant watch him, you’ve clearly never worked retail or even shopped lately. Do you enjoy having unattended kids running wild, playing in the racks, taking apart displays, throwing things around? Because I sure as hell don’t. And it is never the store employees’ job to supervise your kids. When I worked retail, parents regularly would leave their kids outside fitting rooms, or just let them wander while they shopped. So we’d have kids taking off their socks and “skating” on the hard wood, kids doing cartwheels through the store, and kids dismantling entire displays. I once almost had my head taken off by a kid who picked up a curtain rod and brandished it like a sword- all while his bored dad sat three feet away paying no attention. Not to mention kids found wandering out into the main mall. The only recourse we had as employees was, well, nothing. I found that calling out loudly “Be careful- you could hurt yourself!” sometimes shamed parents into doing their job, but that was as much as I was allowed to do by management. Parents bringing their kids into the fitting room meant less worrying for us about them cracking their heads open, destroying the store, or chasing away customers with their unruly behavior. Believe me, kids don’t enjoy being in there, and parents can set speed records for changing clothes to get out ASAP and end the whining.

    The OP did the right thing, both for the safety of her child and the convenience of other shoppers. The store management handled the situation abysmally and rudely- telling her she had 30 seconds to get out and having security escort her from the store was draconian. I get their policy, but it needs flexibility. What would they do if they had a customer in a wheelchair, who needed help changing? Tell her she had to change in the hall to make sure she wasn’t stealing??

  79. lincolnparadox says:

    I have to agree that the F21 employee over-reacted. Calling security and giving a mother and child 30 seconds to get out could have led to some kind of fall or fracas.

    But I do have to agree with @marsneedsrabbits:, the mother was told the store policy and chose to ignore that. Seriously, mom deserves to be treated like crap, a little. You are not entitled to break store/company policy just because it’s stupid. If you don’t like the rules of an establishment, leave, and buy your jeans elsewhere.

    Does F21 have a good reason for their policy? Probably. Does it apply with mom and little Normie Bates? Probably not, but even the employees don’t get to dictate which rules are bendable; and neither do the customers.

    Mommy’s precious little snowflake at work again. Jeez.

  80. azntg says:

    Poor policy decision on the store’s part. While many policies I’d overlook or just make a quick note of disapproval, I would never shop again at the same place if the store forced me to potentially jeopardize the welfare of my child. I think at 8 years old, they still require some degree of supervision.

    Unfortunately, if I know how many Korean bosses tend to think and work in general (particularly those that have immigrated and settled in the United States for a long time and also, oddly enough, those who proclaim to be devout Christians), the letter might receive lip service at most and the contents be disregarded without a moment’s hesitation. Being a Korean-American, I tend to deal with them a little more often than I would prefer to.

  81. boxjockey68 says:

    @kmn842: HERE HERE!, I see reading lessons for some in the future.

  82. CurbRunner says:

    Forever 21 will have to make a policy adjustment when their sued after first kid gets kidnapped from one of their stores while being left unattended per their policy. This is typical of the corporate body count vs $$$$’s mentality used to justify this policy.
    In corpo-speak, it’s most always some form of saving or gaining $$$$$’s being pitted against saving actual lives, accumulation of money means more than life.

  83. zizou says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: If it was an 8 year old girl, would you feel different about it? Because this 8 year old boy is not checking you out, despite what you may think. I’m around many different children quite often and most think “private parts are icky.” He won’t be gaping at your body. I assume you have all mandatory areas covered when you walk out into the open like that, there shouldn’t even be anything for him to look at besides a little cleavage and maybe some thigh.

  84. StevieD says:

    8 does not mean 8.

    There is young 8. Immature 8. Old 8. Mature 8.

    Quit knocking the lady for bringing her 8 year old son into the changing booth as changing pants is not like changing bras and panties and I am sure the little guy has already seen mom’s legs at some point in his life and may have even seen mom’s two piece swimsuit once or twice.

    In other words her behavior was not inappropriate or lewd and the little guy was not going to be affected by the experience.

    The store should have treated the situation the same as they would have if the child had been 3 or 4. Would the store expect a 3 year old to wander the store while mommy was otherwise occupied?

  85. MommaJ says:

    The tacky teenwear sold at Forever 21 is not suitable attire for a mother of an eight year old. So if she never goes back, it’s pretty much a good thing all around.

  86. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I’m amazed by how many people are uptight about the mere possibility of an 8 years old seeing mom with out a shirt or pants. For the sake of your sanity, GET OVER IT! This country is both horrified AND obsessed wit nudity/sexuality. It’s bizarre and it has to stop. I’m a 29 year old woman and when I shop with my mom, we share a dressing room. Yes, I’ve seen my mom naked. No, I’m not a twisted kinky freak. It’s just a body, not a major freudian issue.

    For the record, I’ve also seen my husband naked …

  87. str1cken says:

    Man, I know this has been done to death, but if that’s the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to her, then she should take a deep breath and realize how good her life has been. Shutting the hell up is a good third step.

  88. DMDDallas says:

    @radleyas: Can I see you naked then? We’re mature adults, so you shouldn’t have a problem with this, right???

  89. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @DMDDallas:

    Right, under the correct circumstances. For example, a nude beach, or if we shared a changing room.

  90. MissPinkKate says:

    Mom handled this all wrong. Why leave when you did nothing wrong? When they told her she had 30 seconds to leave the fitting room, I would have ignored that and taken however long I needed. What can store security do to you? Let them call the cops, or mistreat you! More dirt for when you contact the company to complain! Don’t get embarrassed, get ANGRY. Walking out with your tail between your legs when you did nothing wrong is silly.

  91. CMU_Bueller says:

    @MissPinkKate: Wow, did you not understand the policy at all. That’s a no win situation. The store is free to set their own policy and if a patron chooses not to follow it, they are TRESSPASSING.

  92. vividity says:

    This is a good back and forth debate, but let’s throw something new into the mix. How many kids are actually kidnapped from a clothing store sitting next to the fitting room attendant? I know we live in a fear culture, but sometimes it’s good to just step back and wonder how much to live by, how much of your life to give away to it.

    Also, on another topic, would the other women in that fitting room appreciate an 8-year-old boy wandering around in the hallway, if as one commenter interpreted the mother wanted him to hang out in the hallway outside her room? (Though, it did seem like she was saying she always takes him into the room to me, but maybe that’s not what she meant.)

  93. North of 49 says:

    in this day and age, leaving the kid in the main section of the store could be considered neglect and abandonnement and a call to CPS would ensue by some “child saver.” I’d never shop there as well.

    I also don’t clothes shop with my kids unless the other half is with me. That way he can watch them while I shimmy in and out of stuff that I want to try on.

  94. Pylon83 says:

    @CurbRunner:
    Forever 21 has little or no liability here. It was the parents CONSCIOUS choice to leave the child unattended. The store didn’t force them to do it. They explained the policy, and the parent made a choice. The store didn’t force the mother to be a bad parent. Seriously, people seem to have a very twisted conception of the law. However, if Forever 21 (or an employee) agreed to “watch” the kid, they would have enormous liability. That’s exactly why they don’t and shouldn’t agree to watch precious little johnny while mommy tries on some clothes. People who make the choice to have children don’t seem to want to accept the limitations that choice exerts on their daily lives. If you don’t like the stores policy, DON’T SHOP THERE.

  95. Dashrashi says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: What? She should have to find a sitter, shop with someone else, or outright buy the clothes before trying them on? Stores have fitting rooms so you DON’T have to buy them first–and F21’s return policy is not conducive to buying it first. Having a kid means the kid has to come along sometime, and not everyone has a spare friend with time on her hands to accompany you and your kid. That’s reasonable. Furthermore, adjusting your bra strap in front of a big mirror is not lewd and lascivious behavior. If an eight year old boy can’t be allowed to see that, then he needs to be blindfolded at pretty much all times.

    And there’s no way this women is getting investigated by Children’s Services for bringing her 8 year old son into a Forever 21 fitting room with her. Very seriously, she’s not even getting naked here.

  96. timmus says:

    I call bullshit on “I experienced the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life”. Anyone who challenges authority in a store is already endowed with some thick skin. Really stupid store policy, I agree, but come on, if you have some cajones, being kicked out of a store isn’t the end of the world.

  97. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: Under your reading, she could have either broken store policy as she did, or left her kid unattended, and borne all possible consequences. So, from her perspective, it’s very clearly a lose-lose situation. So given that, why would F21 want to put their customers in a lose-lose situation, essentially forcing them not to shop there? Clearly the policy is not a good one, if it completely discourages people with children from shopping there, thereby making F21 lose customers. Don’t you think the OP can be forgiven for assuming that F21 wouldn’t have such a stupid (from their perspective) and self-harming policy?

  98. AlphaUltima says:

    why didn’t a clerk just look after the kid while she was dressing? OH WAIT! that would make sense. don’t need that in mah jesus lovin’ gun totin’ hurricane katrina forgettin’ britney adorin’ america!

  99. CMU_Bueller says:

    @AlphaUltima: Does the word “liability” mean anything to you?

  100. Rachacha says:

    If I were the OP, I would take my son to visit the store one more time. Grab a large handful of clothes to try on, and just as I was entering the dressing room whisper to my son to count to 10 and then run through the store ripping everything off the racks. When the manager complained state calmly that you were simply following store policy that only one person was allowed in a dressing room at a time, and that it is difficult to watch your son when he is forced to stay outsite of the dressing room.

    Seriously though, I personally see nothing wrong with having the child accompany the mother. My 2 children are a bit younger than eight right now, and my wife and I will walk naked, change and shower in front of them. When they get older, if they start to get the “creeps” by seeing mom or dad in varrying states of undress, we will do our best to respect their wishes, but there is nothing wrong with a child seeing a parent less than fully clothed.

    I also have to wonder what would have happened if the 8 year old boy were a 2 or 3 year old…or an infant? Would the mother have had to leave the child outside of the dressing area then?

    @marsneedsrabbits The mother was going to take the child into the dressing room with her. Where the child would have only been able to see mom’s undergarments. The store’s staff wanted to have the child hang outside of her dressing room door, so in effect, the mother was saving prudes like you from having an 8 year old see the back of your bra.

  101. 1. To everyone who is so concerned that she’s changing in front of her 8 year old: it’s not like she’s having sex in front of him or peeing in front of him. I’m sure he’s seen her in her bra and underwear before, so I don’t really see why being 8 means that suddenly she has to change her behavior around him. It’s his mom, not the babysitter.

    My mom was naked in front of me and my sister all the time when I was younger (not inappropriately so, but it wasn’t taboo for her to walk from the shower to the laundry room with no shirt on) and I only think it stopped because she gained weight and SHE was suddenly uncomfortable about it. Let’s not crucify this woman for wanting to keep her child nearby in a public place because it means that he might see underwear.

    2. An 8 year old is still too young to be unattended in public, in my opinion. 8 year old boys are active little people and could easily wander off or be lured away by someone looking do to harm to them. I’d never let a child under the age of 12 out of my sight at a busy mall.

    3. Any person could easily pants a couple crappy, cheap Forever 21 garments without the help of a tiny accomplice. Saying that it’s a matter of loss prevention is absolutely ridiculous. Isn’t that the point of giving people those little number-cards when they walk into a fitting room? There are ways to make sure people aren’t walking out with merchandise without publicly humiliating them.

  102. K-Bo says:

    @bobosgirl: My bras and panties are mostly of the non-see through type that covers every bit that my bathing suit I wear to the beach does, sometimes more. Would you think it wrong for her to allow her child to see her in a bathing suit?

  103. SVreader says:

    I’m glad a few people seem to understand that if she left the kid outside and the kid was taken, it would not be the store’s fault. She wasn’t forced to try on the clothes–when informed of the policy, she could have left. Is it a stupid policy? Perhaps, but if you’re told you can’t take your kid somewhere, so you leave them unattended rather than change your plans, it’s your fault.

    And yeah–retail employees are not babysitters. If employees actually offered to “watch” kids for parents while they changed, the stores could be liable if the kids hurt themselves or someone else while the parents were gone.

  104. moosetoga says:

    A reasonable person would have just asked a store attendant to keep an eye on her child. If the attendant seemed unwilling or reluctant, a reasonable person would leave the store.

    End of story.

  105. K-Bo says:

    @MommaJ: Not everything there is tacky teenwear. A few years back I bought my 55 year old mom a very modest sweater she really liked from there. Not to mention, her being of the proper demographic or not has nothing to do with this story

  106. wildness says:

    Though the thought ran through my mind that 8 years old seemed a little old to be in a dressing room with mommy, it is not the business of the store and the store’s policy is irresponsible. The liability that they would face if something were to happen to the child is astronomical.

    I would go one better than Rachacha’s idea…I would go back, be told again that I can’t have my child in the dressing room and then tell him to wait out in the store; then as pre-rehearsed, I would have him leave the store to a waiting spouse or friend. Then, when I was done trying on the clothes, I would come out and start going ape-s**t that my son was missing and had been abducted or something and then I would make as big a scene as I could as I berated the employees for not letting my son in the dressing room with me. Then, once the police had shown up and hopefully the media, my son – as rehearsed – would come back into the store with an ice cream and claim some strange man bought it for him.

    Then I would sue them for $10 million and settle out of court for $1 million dollars so that I could provide a good life for my son and send him to the best college out there.

  107. K-Bo says:

    @AlphaUltima: clerks don’t look after kids because our sue crazy society has caused stores to threaten to fire them if they do, because if they make any promise, stated or implied to the parents, and the child stubbs their toe, the store and employee are sued. I didn’t have a clue how bad it was until I did work in a store.

  108. Imaginary_Friend says:

    To everyone questioning the mom’s decision to bring her 8 year old into the dressing room: did you ever consider that the child might need his mother’s supervision? I mean, my neighbor’s son has autism and I’ve got friends whose kids have ADD – they can’t take their eyes off their kids for a second in public places and these kids are older than 8.

    That policy is pretty stupid. If Forever 21 is so worried about their customers stealing their tacky clothes, then they should invest in some anti-theft devices like other stores.

  109. iskandertime says:

    @cde: yeah, not if they are doing so because of a persons color, religion or because they have children with them. We have no right to be treated with respect? What country are you from? Yes, we do have the right, as human beings to be treated with respect, even if we are women, people with children, or shopping.

  110. Arthur says:

    Not taking any risk in having your child snatched is totally acceptable. Children have been snatched from their parents in shopping malls before, right when they weren’t looking. As for the turn of the century Victorian modesty, not every family carries the same attitude and shame over skin and body parts. Not that we ran around the house naked, but being in skivvies was no different than being in a swimming suit for my family.

  111. MARTHA__JONES says:

    I am shocked that everyone would judge this woman so harshly. I agree with earlier commenters saying that the child who have only seen his mom’s undergarments.

    It may bear pointing out that most retailers who have a 1 person per fitting room policy suspend this policy when it comes to mothers with young children. Also Forever 21 has an extremely strict return policy, no self-respecting informed consumer would EVER buy clothes from them without first trying them on.

  112. Dashrashi says:

    @SVreader: Don’t you think it was reasonable for her to assume that the clerk was mistaken, as no profit-seeking company would clearly behave in such an irrational way that clearly would harm their bottom line? That’s what I would’ve assumed, since I would’ve taken it for granted that F21 could not possibly prefer that I not spend money there, and such a policy would make it all but impossibe for me to do so. I think that’s a reasonable assumption. And if the clerk is simply mistaken, why leave the store?

  113. betatron says:

    “You can’t take your child in the changing room”

    OK.

    “Child of mine, mommy is giving you a special assignment. While i’m in the changing room, i want you to run through the store and make as big a mess as you possibly can and don’t let anyone catch you. If anyone touches you, scream and bite them as hard as you can”

  114. CMU_Bueller says:

    @moosetoga: A reasonable person would put an unknown store attendant in charge of their kid? Are you serious?

  115. PabloPablo says:

    Here is the problem. She was told that she couldn’t bring her child in. She had two options, leave, or stay. She decided to stay and to break their rule. This is private property and they have a right to choose the rules on their property.

    It may be a stupid rule, but she made a childish decision to enter the room and bring her child in after they told her she couldn’t. Great parenting there. Teach your kid at an early are that if you are told you can’t do something, go ahead and still do it.

  116. mscissy says:

    We get it — you were humiliated and embarrassed. Also, you were advised that you could not bring your son into the dressing room. The clerk was stating the story policy. When you ignored her advisory, she did what she should do, call for her manager. I suspect that the rest of the story might be enhanced a bit — i.e. the nasty nature of the demands made by the store personnel. When you blantly ignore a stated rule, you are in effect ‘breaking their store law’ and security can be called.

    I also have been in dressing rooms when bored kids explore the area by peaking under doors, etc. Not a comfortable situation.

    By the way, what’s the age cut-off for kids sharing dressing rooms? And if Daddy, who can not afford a babysitter and needs to shop and try on slacks with his 8-year-old daughter in the dressing room, what would be the store policy? Solution to this whole situation — shop on-line or in stores that allow kids in dressing rooms.

  117. SVreader says:

    @Dashrashi: Did you mean to reply to my comment? Because I’m not sure what yours has to do with mine. My point was that any place that told you that you could not bring your child would not be liable if you decided to leave your kid and proceed on your own. The clerk might have been mistaken, but it would still not be the store’s fault if the woman had decided to leave kid outside and he had gotten kidnapped.

  118. KleineFrau says:

    On the issue of whether or not to leave, I would vote with my dollars, and never shop there again. And spread the word.

    For those of you so weirded out by a little skin, heavens. I am as old-fashioned as they get, and even I don’t care about changing in front of family. Heck, even recently, my sister, nephew (6), niece (8) and I all went into one communal bathroom together. Kids just turn around when it’s time for the adults to go. It seems to be a very cultural thing, being afraid of your bodies. I once noticed how weird even American female friends often are about changing in front of each other. In Europe, we just change.

  119. gingerCE says:

    I do think she should’ve been able to bring her child into the dressing room–but I want to add everytime I’ve shopped at F21–not a lot but occasionally–I have been able to wait in the fitting room corridor for my friends–so I’m confused if they refused her son access to the room or the outside corridor.

    But I do think it’s kind of weird for her to undress in front of her son. It’ the act of undressing in front of her child that seems weird to me. I guess some people are fine with it though.

  120. Dashrashi says:

    @SVreader: I’m just saying that, given an assumption that the clerk was wrong, why would she have left?

    Also I think any jury would find the store liable if they simply told the mom that she couldn’t bring her son into the fitting room area. Seems like they were implicitly accepting responsibility for the kid not being in the fitting room with Mom, and didn’t tell Mom to leave, since they couldn’t accept resp for watching to kid, and she couldn’t bring him in with her. And since no store would ever simply tell her to leave, we’re back to “I don’t know what you should do with him–leave him out here. But he can’t come in with you,” which is likely to get them nailed, again, almost certainly if there’s a jury, and probably even if it’s just a bench trial.

  121. KittensRCute! says:

    @marsneedsrabbits:

    I agree, the mother is all wrong here. If she had a problem with the policy she should have addressed it BEFORE going in the changing room.

    Plus if this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her she needs to count her blessings and stop complaining. Because she can count herself among the luckiest human beings on earth.

    p.s. really changing in front of your 8 year old son?!? that borders on child abuse. gross lady.

  122. zizou says:

    @KittensRCute!: p.s. really changing in front of your 8 year old son?!? that borders on child abuse. gross lady.

    I really hope you aren’t serious. If you are, you have to be the biggest prude out there. And you shouldn’t use the term “child abuse” so loosely. Beating/starving/swearing at your kid = child abuse. Changing in front of him and having him see the equivalent of a bathing suit = no big deal.

    And who says this kid is going to stand there and stare at his mother changing? If he’s like any other kid I know, he’d turn away for the few minutes while she changes.

  123. Charmander says:

    For all of you shocked – SHOCKED! – about the woman changing in front of her 8 year old son, let me first just say I occasionally take my 9 year old son with me in the dressing room if he is with me, and always my 4 year old daughter. Why – because they are my kids and I don’t leave them unattended. They need to be within my eyesight because I am their parent and I am responsible for them.

    Second, why is the issue the age of the son here? What if the woman had a 6-month old baby in a baby sling? Would they have made her lay the baby down on the floor by the register so that the woman could comply with store “policy?” Or what if it were 2-year old toddler? The toddler should wander the store while the mom tries on clothes?

    What do other stores do? In my 9 years of being a mom – I have never, not once, ever, ever had a problem bringing my kids with me in dressing rooms. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillards, Kohls, Target, Penneys, you name it, I’ve probably been to the store. NEVER had a problem.

    Now, I don’t have an issue with a rule about 2 adults sharing a dressing room. But a mom with young kids? I think Forever 21 has the problem – NOT the mother who wrote the letter.

  124. seth1066 says:

    JIM (THE CANUCK ONE) said:
    “Why not buy the clothing you felt you’d like, try them on at home and return the ones you don’t care for.”

    LOL! Well. I guess you’ve never been clothes shopping with your mom, girlfriend or any other woman!

  125. jfischer says:

    Moronic rules of “sales prevention” slam into the unjustified sense of entitlement commonly known as “I have a CHILD”?

    I’m gonna call it a tie!

    Shopping at a store called “Forever 21″ with an 8 year old?
    Kinda contradicts the very name of the store, doesn’t it?

    Giving someone 30 seconds to comply?
    That’s a line from RoboCop, as I recall.
    Sounds like someone needs to go back to working at the video store, and get away from fashion retailing.

    The customer should have been tasered.
    The manager should have been fired.

  126. bobosgirl says:

    I never said “out in the store.” geez- get a clue. Right outside the dressing room while you keep talking to them is fine.God has nothing to do with parading in front of a prepubescent boy in your underwear- and what if she wasn’t wearing any? Lots of women “go commando.”@savdavid:

  127. KleineFrau says:

    Arrrgh, why do so many of you equate nakedness with sex? Methinks those who do so are the ones with the problems.

  128. bobosgirl says:

    No, but as a Mom of 4- the oldest almost 20 and the youngest 7, I do not wear a bathing suit like that- mine’s a one piece. Also, mine are all girls. If I had a son, I absolutely would not walk around in front of him in a bra and panties and would be uncomfortable having a young man ( and yes, at age 8 he is a young man) sitting outside my dressing room . That’s the reason it’s called the Ladies fitting room, not the family fitting room.@K-Bo:

  129. Morticia says:

    At 7.45pm the child should have been at home getting ready for bed.

  130. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @crap:

    No, I would not feel differently if it were an 8 year old girl.

    Stores are allowed to set policy. I’ve worked retail, and this is a reasonable policy. More specifically, stores are allowed to set policy that make the majority of their customers feel comfortable.

  131. crazylady says:

    I’m definitely not a fan of forever 21’s one-person-per-dressing-room policy. I’ve gone with my 50 year old mom, I’ve gone with half a dozen of my friends..the rule never changes. Once in a while you find an employee who doesn’t care because 1. they give you those number cards according to how many clothes you’re going to try out, and 2. the more expensive items have anti theft devices on them (no point in dealing with them on $2 camis). But most of the time they make us go one person per HUGE dressing room when there’s already a huge line, and well, sucks to be in line when there’s 5 girls willing to split 2 rooms but aren’t allowed to. But I think something’s insanely fishy..because usually when they don’t let us share rooms they definitely let us hang out in front of one so we can “share” the same rooms one person at a time and help each other out with the occasional zipper or “how does this look”, “can you get a smaller/bigger size for me” etc.

    If you have a problem with an 8 year old being with his/her mom, you have bigger issues. I remember shopping with my mom when I was that little, and not only did we go shopping for clothes for me, we also went shopping for clothes for her (hence, no point in getting a babysitter), and I had no problem seeing the parts of her I’ve already seen when we go swimming. Even if my mom were naked then, it would not have been anything new or shocking because gasp, by then I’ve had the beginnings of sex ed and I’d have seen worse on tv and in newspapers and hell, in books I’ve read. And I live in the US. Stop being a prude and labelling this child abuse. Child abuse is if said mom raped said 8 year old or if said mom repeatedly hits said 8 year old…not when 8 year old is in the same room with mom who tries on pants, not panties, but pants.

    I have no problems with the mother of an 8 year old shopping at Forever 21. I’m not sure why anyone else does. It’s not all tacky teen wear, and it’s fairly cheap. Mothers aren’t required to automatically wear drab boring modest clothes the moment they’re mothers. My 50 year old mom loves Forever 21 (and anthropologie, and bp at nordstrom (the more teen-ish part of the store), and what have you..). She doesn’t like some of the skimpy things there but there’s plenty of “mature” enough clothes there as well. She’s not the only one..while there may be plenty of teens shopping there I see plenty of older folks..even grandmas with walkers..shopping there.

    That all being said, the woman should have left if they were being such assholes to her about having her kid nearby.

  132. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    Most Forever 21 stores that I have been in are very open and are not in a separately enclosed room-if you’re in the store, you can probably see the fitting room corridor, so in this instance, it is not a case of whether or not other women feel comfortable with him seeing them in front of the big mirrors. If he was by a display three feet away from the setup, he would have seen that, as would the other patrons.

    She was not looking to bring her boyfriend or husband into the room with her; she was asking to bring her child. This is where common sense factors in. If policy dictates that one person is allowed per room, it is obviously meant to be in the previously stated instances. Her child was young enough to need supervision inside of a store. Would you like to have an 8 year old boy running around inside Forever 21 without his mother to keep tabs on him? Probably not. What if the boy had been taken from the store? I think that would have been a bigger tragedy than having an 8 year old in his mother’s dressing room. If the concern was theft, the store could have called the necessary authorities to deal with the sitation.

    She did have the option of leaving the store, but maybe she is a working mother and did not have any other option than to bring her child with her, and maybe this was the only time she had allotted to do her shopping.

    As for those who are uncomfortable with the idea of the boy seeing his mother change, that’s your business. The mother wasn’t doing anything sexy in front of him, she was putting on pants. The boy could have had his back turned. Underwear really isn’t different from a bathing suit bottom. He is also 8, way under middle school age, the age that most boys begin to experience puberty and understand sex.

    I usually don’t write long comments and I’m not looking to initiate any online debates, but I think the store was out of line in throwing her and her son out of the store and in enforcing this situationally out of place policy. Just my opinion.

  133. Emidawg says:

    Dear world,

    Nudity != Sex.
    (!= means does not equal for non computer geeks ^_^)

    That is all.

  134. triggerfinger says:

    She changes in front of her 8 year old son?!! Weird. If i were a store attendant I would feel uncomfortable about allowing that, for shoplifting and obviously ‘creepy’ reasons. He’ll definitley have some major mommy issues in life. I understand her fear of seedy child snatchers who lurk the racks of Forever 21, but you can always take the clothes home and try them on. That’s what other people do who have kids. Is she still going to be forcing her son into dressing rooms with her when he’s 13, 16?

  135. arilvdc says:

    I work with second graders, 90% of which are eight years old. There’s one in particular that cannot spend even a minute unsupervised without getting into some sort of scrape. I see nothing wrong with a mother taking her son into the dressing room at that age. A second grader is not interested in checking out the opposite sex, especially his own mom. I remember my sister and me being in the bathroom with my mom while she was showering so she could watch us, and we had clear glass doors so of course we saw everything. I remember telling my mom that when I grew up I wanted to look like her, and asking her when I would. Did that make my mom creepy? No. I never saw a naked male when I was little, but that’s probably because my mom was a single parent.
    Most Americans are too victorian about nudity…yet we have the largest adult industry in the world. We’re ashamed of what shouldn’t be shameful.

  136. POTUSObama says:

    Another example of the stunted intellectual development that is affecting the masses of America.

  137. moorem2 says:

    @Dashrashi:

    They put their customers in a lose-lose situation because if she buys the clothes or not, they still make less than seven dollars an hour.

    I work retail on the weekends for some extra money, and justify they crap I do, and the crap I let customers do with the thought, “I get paid 6.35 and hour”. “It doesn’t matter to me if people steal or not.

    Now I don’t steal b/c of a little thing classed morals. But if people can do it, more power to them. And if I get a chance to lay down the law on a customer “breaking the rules”, thats the highlight of my day.

    Still no one has answered what they feel about a dad bringing in his eight year old daughter.

  138. Dodger88 says:

    The problem is that people don’t think. The purpose behind the one person per room policy is likely 1) prevent theft and 2) prevent inappropriate behavior. Had the employees had even a scintilla of intelligence they probably could have figured out that this was not concern here (lets assume that there was no major concern of shoplifting and that reason was for safety, as was stated).

    The point of the letter was valid. It put the store on notice that the policy is stupid (at least if enforced without allowing for common-sense exceptions). Even many who felt the store has the right to enforce the policy thought it was a stupid policy. So the letter also brings the court of public opinion in on it. If I were store management, I’d be scrambling to “clarify” the purpose and enforcement of policy but make sure that people knew that they put customers first.

    As for a few earlier comments/concerns:

    I’m amazed at the concern about having an 8-year old boy seeing you “strut your stuff”. But I take your point that you don’t want him to see that. It’s fair enough. But lets reverse the situation. I send my daughter into the dressing room alone (as per store policy). But I need to see how it looks on her. She has to come out and show me. And since I also can’t be in the fitting area (as per store policy), she has to walk though the entire fitting area and come outside. So now my young daughter just got to watch you in the fitting area apparently half out of your dress, adjusting yourself, hiking up your skirt, bending over and seeing how tight your skirt is. (Mars: The only way anyone can possibly see you half naked is if YOU came out of your fitting room and went into the fitting area half naked). Well you know what, I don’t want my daughter seeing that little show. I don’t need to have her see you half naked. So why don’t YOU stay in your fitting room until you are fully dressed. Or why don’t you buy the clothes and put on a fashion show for your friends at home and then return whatever wasn’t good.

    I’m also equally amazed at the number of people seem to think that given the choice of 1) leaving your child unattended in a large store at risk to anyone or 2) having them in the dressing room with you while you try on a shirt or pants, that having them in the dressing room with you seems to be the greater evil. I don’t even want to know what that says about our society’s screwed up values that it would be better to put a child at risk of abduction that have an 8 year old boy see his “mommy’s tushy in underwear”. Have we lost all perspective? Has common sense been completely lost? (Bobo: How many mothers do you actually think would “go commando” in front of their 8 year old son? Excluding Britney Spears?)

    By the way, for “Crap”: You mentioned that “Child abductors don’t usually lurk or shop in these places.” This is highly useful information. I didn’t realize that there was a list of stores that child abductors preferred to frequent or avoid? Can you please share the rest of the list with us? Silly me, I would think that a predator might actually prefer to shop at stores that would enforce this policy against mothers with young children. I wonder how store management feels about that aspect of it. I can see the marketing campaign now… Shop at Fashion 21, Where we always give you – the Predator – a Window of Opportunity. Or how about… Remember, at Fashion 21, we put our profit margin ahead of your child’s safety! Pretty catchy huh? Think I should have that copyrighted?

    Sorry for rambling on, but this one just kind of touched a nerve.

  139. dualityshift says:

    First: She’s shopping at Forever21. That should be enough to tell us she’s a high-maintenance bitch. She has a kid and she’s shopping like a teenager. Grow up little girl and get a sitter for your kid.

    I would lay a bet that she’s a single mom, and the father, who most likely pays his obligation (hence her shopping at F21) but refuses to have contact with her, as she is clearly a psychotic.

    Second: It’s not a good idea to leave the child unattended, and she was not willing to let her child out of her sight, however, the store policy is what it is, and she ignored it. If this was a case of a store violating someone’s basic human rights, this community would be all over that store, the torches and pitchforks in full-effect.

    This lady needs to grow up. She’s responsible for a nother life, and I fail to see how her having the latest trends in fashion constitute going what’s best for the kid.

  140. ShariC says:

    @aaron8301:

    It doesn’t matter if she was allowed to do it before. It could be a new policy or rule. By your logic, if the speed limit on a road is 45 mph and is changed to 35 mph, people should be allowed to continue to go 45 because they did so before or because not everyone who goes faster than 35 gets arrested.

    The bottom line is she was told not to do something and willfully ignored what she was told. What was the attendant supposed to do? This sort of behavior puts employees in a bad place (listen to their bosses or cater to selfish and rude customers). The woman was a bad parent for putting cheap clothes above her kid’s wellbeing.

  141. kmn842 says:

    @Rachacha: “The mother was going to take the child into the dressing room with her. Where the child would have only been able to see mom’s undergarments. The store’s staff wanted to have the child hang outside of her dressing room door, so in effect, the mother was saving prudes like you from having an 8 year old see the back of your bra.”

    That is not what she said! She wanted him on the other side of the door, they said that it was against their policy, so then she took him into the dressing room with her. From the article: “As I was about to enter the room she informed me that my son would have to wait outside the fitting room area”. She clearly said I, not we, when talking about entering the fitting room. “I told her that I would not leave him unsupervised and brought him in the dressing room with me.” She felt that she had two options after being told he could stay in the fitting room area. Those options were either take him into the fitting room itself, which solves the problem of other women using the large fitting room mirror and the problem of him being unsupervised, or she could leave him in the main part of the store. She chose the former, but only after having her desired option, having him wait in the fitting room area, denied.

  142. bakerybob says:

    @BOBOSGIRL
    “the mother is wrong in the respect that she thought it was okay to be in front of her son in a bra and panties”

    Huh? Are you serious? Have you ever heard of a “bikini”? That thing some mothers wear to the beach with their kids? Basically the same as a bra and panties?
    Actually, even if the bikini was never invented, your statement would still be a really strange thing to say! “Nudity” and “sexuality” don’t have to have anything to do with each other, you know – I’d say there’s something weird going on with the people who feel there could possibly be anything sexual about a mother in her underwear in front of her son…

  143. cheviot says:

    yadda yadda yadda

    The customer, upon being told the store’s rules had two options: follow the store’s rules, or leave. She chose to willfully break their rules, as she admits in her letter. What the rule is? That’s immaterial. That it’s a bad rule? Doesn’t mater. It’s THEIR STORE.

    The store owners, and their representatives, get to decide what they allow to happen inside, just like the customer gets to decide what rules must be obeyed at her own home, no matter how silly those rules might seem to others. How do you think this customer would react if one of her son’s friends, after being told she didn’t allow running in her house, sniffed, turned and began running around?

    Right. She’d show the kid the door. She’s lucky the store manager bothered warning her at all and didn’t just call mall security to throw her out.

  144. superdewa says:

    8-years old is NOT too old to see his mother changing. It doesn’t even count as prepubescant! It is his MOTHER changing, for !*&’@#$ sakes. Should they not go swimming with their mothers, either?

    What is wrong with people for automatically putting sexual feelings on an 8-year-old? That is what’s sick.

    I have a 9-year-old, and whether or not she comes with me into dressing rooms depends on the kind of store. Small local stores where I know the attendant will keep an eye on her — she can wait outside. Large stores and mall stores — NO way would I leave her any further than right outside my door. And if she’s in the kind of mood where she doesn’t want to listen to me (kids are like that), she comes in with me. I don’t want to take the chances of her running off.

  145. haimtime says:

    I worked in retail for three years. More than one loving mother ripped the store off by stashing stuff under their kids clothes or in a baby carriage. I wouldn’t have believed it, but kids really are a favorite shoplifting tool. And no, you cannot tell who is a pro shoplifter just by looking at them. There is a good reason for the one person rule, kid or no kid. This woman believes the rules don’t apply to her, and gave the exact same story line a pro would use to get away with stashing stuff with her kid while in the dressing room. This woman is really naive.

  146. SuperSally says:

    She clearly thought she was following the rules, because the attendant seemed to specify the area outside the fitting room, not the fitting room itself.

    Plus, hire a sitter to go clothes shopping? Are you people nuts, or do you just not have kids? I’m married, my husband works long hours, and you absolutely cannot hire a sitter every time you need to run errands. That’s ridiculous. The same people who will wail and moan about “lack of personal responsibility” in America are the same ones who advocate abdicating responsibility to a sitter so you can try on pants.

    It’s one thing to hire a sitter if you’re going somewhere kids have no business going–an R movie for example. The mall does not count as one of those places.

  147. PinkBox says:

    Why is everyone stuck on the fact that the boy was eight years old? They didn’t state any kind of specific age requirement – what if he were even younger?

    As for the mother changing in front of her son – what kid hasn’t seen their parents in their underwear? :P

  148. loganmo says:

    Um, when my boyfriend was looking for a cheap and a trashy drag queen outfit (we are gay), we went to Forever 21. We are two men in our 20s and we shared the dressing room. I guess we were nder the radar.

  149. alisonjane says:

    She clearly thought she was following the rules, because the attendant seemed to specify the area outside the fitting room, not the fitting room itself.

    Seriously, can we stop having this part of the discussion? This is not true. The attendant told her that the son would have to wait OUTSIDE THE FITTING ROOM AREA. The fitting room area includes the fitting room, and she knew it. She was under no illusion that the rule allowed her to take him into the room, or she wouldn’t have been all aghast and complaining before she even went into the room. She was aghast because she saw her choices as (1) try on pants with kid in room; and (2) try on pants while leaving kid roaming store. She chose (1), forgetting, of course, about (3) DON’T TRY ON PANTS. Honestly, while I don’t sign on to the idea that there’s anything wrong with her for shopping at Forever 21, I do think you’re more likely to find child-friendly policies at stores that don’t cater to teenagers. A store catering to adult women couldn’t get by with a policy like this, exactly because people with kids wouldn’t come in.

    As a couple of others have stated, they can both be wrong. Store dumb and inflexible; lady rude, melodramatic, and entitled.

  150. MrsMicah says:

    I don’t know what your moms did…but if I was in a changing room with mine, she’d always make me face the door. And I’m a girl. If she didn’t see the option of having him in the corridor where she could see his shoes, there doesn’t have to be anything sketchy about her taking him into the dressing room.

    On topic, unless the store was prepared to provide babysitting or had some explicit no-kids policy, they should at least allow kids to stand outside the dressing room doors. Or go into the dressing room.

  151. smirky says:

    @BugMeNot2:
    There’s a big difference between ‘no drinks’ and ‘leave your adolescent child unattended’. Yes she was told of the policy and decided to break it anyway. I don’t fault her for that. It’s ridiculous for any store to expect that from a parent. There are times when stupid policies should be challenged and ignored such as the receipt check at Wal-Mart. In the Forever 21 case, the policy has the potential of serious harm to both the parent and the child. She should have pushed the issue at least once. However, if she continues to go there and try the same thing, I would feel differently.

  152. EricaKane says:

    How about rights other women in the fitting rooms? People often come out of those rooms in semi-states of undress to check something out. By allowing your kids in the fitting rooms, you are potentially giving your 8 old a chance to do Mr. Peepers on those women.

    The solution is not to shop with your child, but if that can’t be done, you place your kid right next to the fitting room attendant and tell him not to move.

    And Forever 21 is just a trash store BTW.

  153. bigtimestuff says:

    To those who responded to this post with the most irrelevant of comments: don’t be ridiculous. Maybe eight is close to the age where the child might scrunch up his face and balk at the idea of going into the fitting room with his mother, but I think you’re seeing the number, and not imagining an actual eight-year old. They’re still oblivious, innocent children. This kid probably plops down on the floor and plays with his Pokemon cards and doesn’t even think about it. In any case, the age of the child (sure—it would be a bit weird if he were a teenager), has nothing to do with it.

    The staff at this store (the attendent and the manager) should have known better. They may have this policy to scare off teenage girls who want to go into the same room two at a time with lots of cheap knock-offs to shove into their purses, relying on confusion to steal, but it’s very obvious that if this was the woman’s plan, she wouldn’t have been so offended. The thing about a “store policy” is that it’s there in general…and many staffers take it as gospel. I’ve worked in retail, and there’s never a time when a store policy is the word of god at risk of offending and losing a customer for no good reason other than sticking to “policy”.

  154. Dashrashi says:

    @moorem2: A dad trying on pants? It’s totally fine. IT’S PANTS, y’all. Without any other reason to suspect abuse, there’s no reason to suspect abuse. It’s not reasonable to assume that mom (or dad) is going commando, because most people don’t go commando regularly anyway, and specifically are even less likely to do so here.

    @dualityshift: High-maintenance bitch? What are you even talking about? I shop at F21, when I do, because it’s cheap, and I don’t have a lot of money. The high-maintenance bitches I know wouldn’t deign to set foot in F21. So not only are you being classist, you’ve got your classes all confused anyway.

    @EricaKane: This has already been addressed. Coming out of fitting rooms in states of undress is your prerogative. Lots of fitting rooms are co-ed–American Eagle or Old Navy, for example. By going outside your own fitting room there in such condition, you are potentially giving a 26 year old a chance to “do Mr. Peepers” on you–more likely than an 8 year old “doing” it, don’t you think? Isn’t that your choice, anyway?

    I don’t understand when people think parents should shop. It is ridiculous to expect them to get a babysitter to go to the mall. Of course she could’ve left, but why would she assume that the policy was correct, since it’s so stupid from F21’s pov?

  155. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: “given the choice of 1) leaving your child unattended in a large store at risk to anyone or 2) having them in the dressing room with you while you try on a shirt or pants,”

    The thing is though, she wasn’t given that choice. There was a third option – leave.

  156. Dashrashi says:

    @TheUncleBob: If they didn’t tell her to leave, why would she leave? That would mean assuming such an irrational policy was correct, and that the clerk wasn’t actually mistaken, which is what I would’ve assumed, since a for-profit company usually doesn’t alienate paying customers on purpose.

    Furthermore, you don’t know the particulars. In the moment, that’s precisely what I would’ve done, even just on account of being confused, slightly flustered, and the clerk not then offering, “Here, let me take those pants back for you.” So long as the clerk didn’t say that, I’m sure she felt like she was being presented with only the first two options, which I think is a reasonable feeling, considering the situation.

  157. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dashrashi: “If they didn’t tell her to leave, why would she leave?”

    They didn’t tell her to take the kid in the dressing room with her and she obviously came up with that idea all on her own.

    The store employee stated the policy – which is that the kid was not allowed to wait in the fitting room area (which any reasonable person would assume that the ‘fitting room’ is a part of the ‘fitting room area’).

    It’s up to the individual to decide what’s best for her while following the policies of those who are in charge of the property she is currently on. How she chooses to follow those policies (leave her kid outside the fitting room area while trying on clothes, leave the store, etc…) is up to her. Choosing to directly defy the store policy was the wrong thing to do and never should have been considered a choice in the first place.

  158. Dashrashi says:

    @TheUncleBob: I just think that you’re not looking at it from her perspective. It’s in the moment, you’re flustered, the clerk has seemingly just told you that you have to leave your child unattended, you’re here, pants in hand, there’s a strong likelihood the clerk’s mistaken, as no for-profit company would push out a paying customer, and you don’t have time to sit back and critically think about it. What do you do? And can’t you have a little understanding for her in this situation?

    And honestly, I wouldn’t think fitting rooms are included in not being allowed to wait in the fitting room area. The rationale for the rule there would seem to me to be that they don’t want the kid running around unattended in the hall area, so bringing him in with me would solve that right quick. So that’s what I’d do.

  159. zizou says:

    @triggerfinger: Is she still going to be forcing her son into dressing rooms with her when he’s 13, 16?

    Uh, think about it. When he’s a teenager he can be left at home alone. Or, if he does come with her to the mall, he’ll be browsing the stores he likes.

    You people are blowing this out of proportion. It’s an 8 year old BOY. Not young man, not teenager, BOY. 8 year olds are typically in 2nd or 3rd grade. They are still small. This has gone from whether or not she should follow store policy and if said policy was fair, to many grown adults on here going, “Eww, he’s gonna see her naked! Child abuse! That’s creepy!”

    Grow the hell up. Honestly. Not everyone has the same beliefs you do. Don’t tell her how to live her life because you’re an immature prude.

  160. siskamariesophie says:

    I feel sad for the kid that he has to tag along with his mother on all her shopping adventures, especially in a store like Forever 21. Unless she was a tween when she had him, she’s too old to shop there. That being said, she shouldn’t have been treated the way she was. She made a sensible parenting decision when insisting her son stay in the changing room with her, but she should think of more interesting activities to include her son in.

  161. irid3sc3nt says:

    @MommaJ: Agreed! The first thing I thought was “Why is she shopping THERE?”

  162. zizou says:

    @siskamariesophie: Unless she was a tween when she had him, she’s too old to shop there.

    Again, she can shop wherever she wants. It’s not up to you to dictate where she can and can’t shop. What relevance does that have to this story anyway? This is about, in her case, following store policy; in the manager’s case, it’s about how to properly carry out store policy. Whether or not YOU think she’s too old to shop there doesn’t fit into this argument.

  163. gingerCE says:

    @moorem2: I concur, had it been a father with his 8 year old daughter–I would’ve thought that was weird.

  164. Dodger88 says:

    @Unclebob: My point/observation wasn’t limited to the rules of the store in this particular situation. Just the insane (in my opinion) view that has been suggested by many that she could have just told her son to wait outside for her or asked a complete stranger who she has never met before who probably makes minimum wage to be responsible for the safety of her child.

    As to this store specifically (Forever 21, not Fashion 21 as I wrote… it was late), I totally understand the customer’s anger. I think she would have been justified in writing this kind of letter even if she accepted the “third choice” and just left the store without being “escorted out”. It was the store’s poorly planned policy that put the shopper in the bad situation to begin with. If shoplifting is driving this policy, then they should have let the child stay in the fitting area. If the “comfort” of the other customers was driving the policy, then they should have let the child stay in the fitting room. If inappropriate sexual behavior was driving the policy, then they should have alerted the police that they suspected child abuse. If a low-level employee on a power trip or a local manager with no common sense is driving the policy, then they should be reprimanded/fired. Pretty simple in my book.

    @Ericakane: Once again, what if my daughter is trying on clothes and needs to come out to show them to me? Why does she have to be subjected to you exposing yourself?

  165. jhuang says:

    I usually share dressing rooms at F21 with my friends.. once in a while they will tell us that we can’t, but then we end up having separate dressing rooms and walking into each others’ anyway. And damn the rooms are HUGE.. I don’t really see a need to walk out into the “main area” to parade around and observe how your butt looks when you’ve got PLENTY of moving space in your own fitting room.

    Anyway, my mom took my brother and I into the dressing room with her all the time. It’s not like we were STARING at her naughty bits while she changed. And it was definitely necessary for my brother, who is a bit of a wild child and would definitely run off to God-knows-where if left unattended for just a SECOND. It is is no way bad parenting to watch your kids, or even prevent them from wreaking havoc in the store.

  166. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: “If shoplifting is driving this policy, then they should have let the child stay in the fitting area. If the “comfort” of the other customers was driving the policy, then they should have let the child stay in the fitting room.”

    Why couldn’t it have been about both the loss prevention aspect and the comfort level of the other customers?

    Too many people are taking an either/or approach to this without rationally looking at all the options.

  167. RandomHookup says:

    Every time I try to take a young child into a changing room, someone calls the police.

  168. Dodger88 says:

    @Bobo: One more thought just occurred to me… If someone is “going commando” they have no business trying on clothing in the first place. I’m pretty sure that one of the ten commandments of the health code is that you cannot try on clothing without undergarments. Hygene concerns, you know? And every store policy will tell you that there are NO returns on opened underwear.

  169. jesuismoi says:

    Lay off the the mom!

    The assumption she can go shopping without her son is that a)she’s married or that b)she can afford a baby sitter to go shopping.

    This is also the kind of story that our consumer advocate news reporters love to get hands on….

  170. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @dualityshift: I don’t feel that attacking the morality of anyone on this site is at all called for.

    Forever 21 sells some very modest pieces at an inexpensive price. The fact that she shops there means only one thing – she is fashionable, but doesn’t want to pay a lot of money for something she won’t be able to wear for more than a couple seasons.

    Get over yourself.

  171. brazenlyblond says:

    @bobosgirl If you are uncomfortable being unclad in front of an 8 yr. old boy I wonder how you got to be a mother at all. Too bad so many people are soooo uncomfortable with nudity. We all know what is underneath these clothes right?

  172. MoonBunny says:

    Someone tried to kidnap me when I was 10 — walking home from school, though. Someone tried to kidnap my cousin at the mall when he was 4. So, I can see Aldys’ paranoia. It is weird to change in front of an 8 year old, though. Once at a Hallmark I worked at, a woman used her/a little girl, around 7 or 8 years old, as a ploy to steal our product, though.

    So I see it both ways. But if they were that concerned, they should have been professional and just had someone count and remember the items taken into the room, then checked them afterward.

  173. humphrmi says:

    My mom used to leave me outside the dressing room when she tried on clothes, and I was fine.

    Of course, let’s not forget all the other stuff our parents used to do:

    - Take us to bars with them
    – Drive us around in the car with no carseat
    – Drive us around in the car with no seatbelts
    – Leave us in the car while they went shopping

    We’re all fine, right? No big deal.
    (-off-sarcasm-tag-)

  174. Dodger88 says:

    @Unclebob: The problem is the comfort level argument is unpersuasive. If people were not leaving their fitting rooms undressed then there would be no problems to be concerned about because there would be nothing for the child to see that they wouldn’t see in the rest of the store. So the problem is the people who feel the need to expose themselves to EVERYONE else who happens to be in the fitting area. And when I weigh the potential harm against creating an opportunity for a child to be abducted against the potential harm in “inconveniencing” someone by not allowing them to leave the fitting room half undressed, I call that one a no-brainer.

  175. amoeba says:

    I was going to comment yesterday, but after all I agree with most of you. She shouldn’t bring her 8 yr old SON into the changing room while she is trying on clothes. It is more understandable if he was a baby or toddler or a 8 yr old girl. Anyway, Why a mother of a 8 yrs old is shopping at F21 store? I thought that store is for teenagers and probably someone around 21 yrs old and single w/no children. She’s committing fashion crime!

  176. Pylon83 says:

    No one seems to have considered that this policy, re: him not being able to be in the “hallway” outside the fitting room, was enforced because the child was a male. At least not directly. It’s their store, they could make it policy that no children were allowed within 20ft of the fitting room area. They have every right to do so. If she didn’t like it, she should have simply left. Instead, she broke the rules. I think it’s absurd that this story has gotten so many comments. Again, I think some of it comes down to someone who made the conscious choice to have a child and doesn’t want that choice to put any restrictions on their life. Further, if the boy is so poorly behaved that he can’t be left alone for 3 minutes while mommy tries on a shirt without either wandering off, breaking things, or getting kidnapped (he should know to stay away from strangers and scream like a banshee if one touches him), perhaps he shouldn’t be out in public. I can’t stand being in stores with parents who cannot control their children. It’s poor parenting, and it punishes every other shopper in the store who encounters the “precious little” monster.

  177. FF_Mac says:

    I have to give some recognition to the comment about poor reading comprehension skills. Most of the posts are bashing the mom for “doing a striptease in front of her 8 year old son.”

    Sorry, you fail at reading.

    FTA: As I was about to enter the room she informed me that my son would have to wait outside the fitting room area. OUTSIDE THE FITTING ROOM AREA!

    Most clothing stores have a hallway of sorts that leads to several fitting rooms that usually have slotted doors. She was told that he had to wait outside that area. Not outside the fitting room, but outside the area those rooms were in.

    While I think mom played too many emotional cards in her letter about the “most humiliating” thing to ever happen to her, I understand her point of view completely for taking her kid with her.

    The folks that keep saying “he’s 8, he’ll be OK”…right, because nobody over 8 is ever kidnapped.”

  178. zizou says:

    @dualityshift: You have no idea who this woman is, and you definitely have NO place implying that she’s a bad mother or that she’s a “high maintenance bitch” for shopping at Forever 21. Please grow up. Children like you don’t belong on this site.

  179. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: Regardless of your feelings regarding the “comfort level” of the other patrons of the store, the store policy is what it is. The customer has every right to disagree with the store policy and write angry letters to whomever they want about it. However, the customer does not have the right to blatantly disregard the store policy.

  180. Charmander says:

    Two more comments:

    1) Who cares why the mother was shopping at F21? As far as I’m concerned she can shop where she damn well pleases. That was not the problem that was addressed in the letter. The issue was a store policy, not whether women of certain ages can shop at certain stores.

    2) To the female commenter whose own mother made her face the door (??!!??) while she tried on clothes when the commenter was a young child: THIS pretty much sums up what is wrong with our society.

    Back to the issue at hand – which everyone seems to think is somehow irrelevant here. Is the store policy justified? Yes or no?

  181. Dashrashi says:

    Bingo. Most of you who say “Well, it’s policy” still haven’t answered, “But is it a good policy?”

    My answer is no. They prevented a customer from buying something. There are clearly other mechanisms to prevent shoplifting, including having this policy generally but then allowing common-sense exceptions when someone objects. Stupid policy, enforced stupidly.

  182. alisonjane says:

    I don’t personally think the policy is necessary; I’d be interested to hear their reasons for it. Is it a good policy? I’m certainly not convinced that it is.

    Is it a DANGEROUS policy? Of course not. There are no pants-trying-on emergencies. You have options.

    Is the store acting within its authority to make the policy for whatever reason — customer comfort, loss prevention, liability — it chooses? Of course. It’s private property. They get to make the rules.

    Is the store acting reasonably in asking someone to leave who has clearly demonstrated her unwillingness to follow the store’s policies when they are outlined by the store employees? Of course.

    Does a customer have the right to decide, “Oh, well, that policy sounds stupid, so the store employee must be wrong, and therefore, I will ignore her”? Of course not.

    If the woman had just LEFT THE STORE when they refused to allow the child to wait with her in the dressing room area, and then she had written a letter to corporate calmly explaining that she unfortunately had suspended her shopping at F21 until the policy was changed, she would stand a better chance of a good outcome. As it stands, this letter is going on the junk pile, because she’s made herself easy to write off as a jerk.

  183. bobosgirl says:

    Ummmm… that was my point- but I bet there are mothers who actually do.@Dodger88:

  184. bobosgirl says:

    @bakerybob: I have HEARD of a bikini, and as I said previously, I don’t wear one. FYI- the people next to us have 5 boys, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 10. I went next door and had her read this and she said ” I don’t dress in front of my boys. We are trying to teach them some kind of modesty- geez! I would have the oldest sit outside the fitting area with the younger ones, and if I thought there would be a problem, or if I only had the younger ones, I would try on clothes another time! Was this an emergency shopping trip? Would the world blow up is she didn’t buy clothes RIGHT THEN?”
    So now you have an opinion from a mother with lots of boy experience.

  185. cde says:

    @iskandertime: Nope. No right to be treated with respect. No law in these here United States says you have a right to being treated with respect. Respect is earned, and random strangers don’t deserve any.

  186. Dodger88 says:

    @TheUncleBob: I agree. And that’s why I had previously stated that I believe she had a right to be furious even before the whole situation got crazy with security being called over. I don’t even need to get to that part of the story to be outraged by the store’s policy.

    But I’m curious as to what you think about what I asked. Why should my child (who is a customer just like every other customer) be forced to be exposed to people who are walking around half undressed?

  187. bugsnbre says:

    This child is eight years old. Does this child to go school by himself or does mommy accompany him all day long? The likelihood of anyone ‘kidnapping’ this child in the store is much less probably than the likelihood of him going missing at school.

    Why is an 8 year old child watching mommy changing clothes anyway? He can sit outside the room and patiently wait. What does she she when he needs to go to the bathroom in public?

  188. CharlieSeattle says:

    @floyderdc: You know I bet that this state like many other states has laws about leaving your child unattended. So should she have broken the law, or this companies silly policy?

  189. Dodger88 says:

    @bobosgirl: Still not sure I get your point. Since no one(the mother in question or any other shopper there) should be trying on clothing when going commando, what is the problem?

  190. cde says:

    And where the fuck is everyone getting this whole kid-napping idea from? Do you know how rare child abductions by strangers in a public area is? 90% of child abductions and sexual abuse is committed by people the child and family knows, more often then not, by a family member as well. Child abductions number in the 100’s per year, as in one hundred out of how many children in the US or your state alone?

  191. CharlieSeattle says:

    @TheUncleBob: Sorry, State law trumps store policy.

  192. CharlieSeattle says:

    @cde: That doesn’t matter, the law says you can’t leave your kid unattended. So should she break the law?

  193. misslisa says:

    Who the hell shops at Forever 21 anyway? That store sucks ass. And what’s up with all these beyatches dragging their kids everywhere they go, including to very adult-like activities? Most of the time the kid would rather be home, with Granny or Dad or a sitter.

  194. cde says:

    @CharlieSeattle: What law is that? Please, which state or federal stature?

  195. CharlieSeattle says:

    @misslisa: You obviously don’t have kids. My 3 year old would rather be out with me, than sitting at home.

  196. Pylon83 says:

    @CharlieSeattle:
    That question makes no sense. She wasn’t being forced to try on clothes. So given the options 1)Break the “law” (if there is one), 2) Break store policy, or 3)DON’T TRY ON THE DAMNED CLOTHES, which option would a reasonable, sane person select?

  197. CharlieSeattle says:

    @cde: I suggest google, and or calling your local CPS, law or not CPS has a lot of power outside of specific laws.

  198. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Pylon83: No a reasonable sane person would expect a bending of the store policy specifically for these kind of situations.

  199. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Pylon83: What makes no sense is why are you defending this store, work for them?

  200. Pylon83 says:

    @CharlieSeattle:
    Exactly my point (though I imagine your comment is incomplete). Just because you have a child does not mean the rules get bent for you. Policy is policy. No reasonble person should EXPECT a policy to be bent, or an exception made, for them. I hate over-entitled parents who think they are above everyone else simply because they took on the undue burden of having to raise a little monster that they can’t control.

  201. Pylon83 says:

    @CharlieSeattle:
    Ah yes, anyone who stands up for a corporation automatically works for them, or has some vested interest in their success. No. I do not work for a retailer at all. I simply possess common sense.

  202. zizou says:

    @Pylon83: Wanting to keep a good eye on your kid or being protective of your child means they’re raising a “little monster they can’t control?” News to me.

  203. mammalpants says:

    this is ridiculous. their one person only rule is so i dont bone my girlfriend in dressing rooms. to ask someone to leave with their 8 YO son is absurd. forever 21 can suck it.
    there are plenty of great stores that will let you bring someone in the room with you. go to those places, even though forever 21 offers the Made in Anywhere but America prices.

  204. Pylon83 says:

    @crap:
    My comment was directly primarily at those who raised the issue of children causing problems in the store. Further, if you can’t stand to have your child out of sight for even one second, taking them shopping with you where it is at least foreseeable that they cannot accompany you into a dressing room is irresponsible. I understand the need to protect offspring, but there is a line. If you haven’t raised your child to be responsible enough to be left alone for a matter of minutes in a public place, perhaps your parenting theory needs to be adjusted.

  205. cde says:

    @CharlieSeattle: So you say there is a law, then can’t back it up. Rule one of debates, the person providing the “fact” is the one that needs to bring the proof.

  206. Pylon83 says:

    @cde:
    Bah. Charlie doesn’t need to cite any laws. He/She simply needs to “know” that one exists. And even if there isn’t a law, CPS will make one up. God forbid anyone be expected to do any research before making sweeping assertions of law.

  207. iskandertime says:

    @cde: really? “random strangers don’t deserve any” respect? so you just go around pushing people out of the way, telling random strangers to fuck off? Every time you say “excuse me”, let some one go first or give someone the benefit of the doubt you ARE showing them respect and treating them like a human being. Why are you so suck on “the law”? Let’s put it this way. A customer in a store should be treated with respect by the employees of that store. This store failed. If this “policy” really matters so much, the store police should have waited until she was done and came out of the changing room. He/she should have said “I’m sorry, we can’t let you have your little boy in the room with you. Are you done shopping? let me help you carry those to checkout.” If she asked what the policy is for, he/she should have explained, if there is an explanation). If policy is in place for no reason that can be explaned, it shouldn’t be in place at all, that’s when they owe her an apology. Again, if they thought she was shoplifting they should call the police.

  208. Pylon83 says:

    @iskandertime:
    The store does not have to explain why a policy is in place to a customer. For all practical purposes, it’s entirely irrelevant WHY the policy is in place, only that it is indeed in place. The customer is a guest of the store proprietor, and must abide by any and all polices of the store or leave. If I worked at the store, I certainly would not try and explain a policy to a customer. Simply stating “This is the policy, you must abide by it” should be sufficient. A private store is not a democracy. The customers don’t get to vote (directly) on whether they like a policy. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else. Vote (indirectly) with your dollars.

  209. K-Bo says:

    @Pylon83: It is not only a matter of trusting your child to be responsible, there are strangers around who you have no control over. I don’t know of many 8 year olds, no matter how responsible who stand a chance if a large adult attempts to kidnap them.

  210. cde says:

    @iskandertime: Pushing them? No, cause that’s assault, and just because you don’t have any respect for a person is no reason to act uncivil. Now, telling them to fuck off, why yes, yes I do. Now fuck off ^__^

  211. Dashrashi says:

    @bobosgirl: Well, you are clearly not standard as far as “modesty” goes. Most women don’t think there’s anything immodest about a bikini. So since you’re not standard, I don’t think you have any basis to judge anyone else for doing differently, especially when what she is doing likely IS standard.

  212. Pylon83 says:

    @K-Bo:
    I disagree. You can’t keep an eye on your child 24/7/365. If you can’t trust them to scream/kick/etc. if someone tries to abduct them in a public, busy retail store they shouldn’t be out in public. It’s irrational to think that there is ALWAYS someone out to abduct your child, and that they will forcibly do it in broad daylight, in a public store with cameras no less. The only reasonable fear is that your child will wander off with them because they offer candy, etc. That is something you can teach your child not to do, and if you can’t trust them not to do that, leave them at home.

  213. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: It’s NOT foreseeable, as far as I’m concerned, that F21 wouldn’t let the kid in. I’ve been shopping with my mom dozens if not hundreds of times, both her shopping and me shopping, at various ages, and we’ve never been told that one of us is not allowed in the fitting area. And when I was little, she was never, ever, ever told that I wasn’t allowed into the fitting room with her, even at stores that currently have a 1 person only policy. So as far as I’m concerned, this policy, and its apparently inflexible enforcement, is not at all foreseeable.

  214. rjhiggins says:

    @bohemian: Gee, maybe she is a single mother who can’t afford a babysitter every time she needs to go shopping? What a ridiculous comment!

    If you folks were traumatized by seeing your mother’s bare legs (she was trying on pants, for crying out loud) you’ve got some serious body issues.

  215. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: And furthermore, you say that children should be trusted not to run or wander off, and that parents can’t watch them 24/7. Other people are down on “breeders” letting their kids run wild.

    Can the parent really win here? Come on.

  216. Pylon83 says:

    @Dashrashi:
    I think they can. It’s all a matter of teaching your kids to be well-behaved. We’ve been in numerous situations where we have seen kids who are well behaved, presumably because of proper parenting, and kids who are terrors, presumably because of improper parenting. Those who choose to have children have an implicit duty to make sure they are well behaved in public. Frankly, some parents don’t give a shit how their kids act because they are too lazy to do anything about it. THOSE are the people who should not bring their children into society. What I’m saying is your kid should be responsible enough and “Trained” well enough to not run off or make trouble. Those are the people who can trust them to wait alone while mommy tries on clothes. The ones who can’t trust their kids to not be terrors should leave them at home, or ship them off to Abu Dhabi with that wretched cat Nermal.

  217. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: You’ve got a lot of presumptions there. I know kids that are well-behaved naturally, with inattentive and basically brain-dead parents, and kids whose parents are awesome but who are terrors nonetheless. I even know well-behaved and poorly-behaved kids with, gasp, the same parents.

    I can only wish on you willful children. The relationship between parenting and child behavior is not as direct as you think it is.

  218. mscissy says:

    Let’s back up — the store rule is “one person per dressing room.” Pure and simple. We have no idea why the rule was established, but it was and it was communicated. The little guy heard the rule and witnessed his Mom breaking that rule. If you need to bring your child to the dressing room, shop where that is allowed. ’nuff said. Maybe the complaint letter could have suggested the establishment of a “family dressing room.”

  219. Dashrashi says:

    @mscissy: She clearly didn’t know when she went in there that they had this policy, or that it would be enforced without reasonable exceptions. Put yourself in her position. Wouldn’t you be confused and incredulous if someone told you your young child had to be out of your supervision?

  220. Pylon83 says:

    @Dashrashi:
    She had no reasonable expectation that an exception would be made. That’s simply irrational. “I know you have this policy, but I have a child. I deserve an exception”. That’s precisely what you are implying. And no one told her she had to leave the child unsupervised, they simply said the kid can’t go in with you. You’re making quite a leap to fill that gap. They told her what the policy was BEFORE she broke it. She knowingly and willfully broke the policy, and deserved what she got. The only “reasonable exception” you can expect is one that is demanded by law, such as the ADA. There is no “reasonable expectation” of an exception simply because your decided to procreate.

  221. Mr_Burmie says:

    @MommaJ: I agree.

    Frankly, I’m surprise that there is even an overlap between the F21 customer and the responsible parent demographic.

  222. Trai_Dep says:

    People – the “strangers will STEAL my children” urban legend is just that. Well over half of the missing children cases involve kids running over to a friends’ house in a fit of pique. Of the rest, around 90% involve family members, mainly custody battles. Most of the remaining involve people known to the family already.

    So the safest thing to do if you’re worried about child abductions is to get them as far away from their families as possible.

    Oh. Wait.

    Seriously, people: perspective. Facts. Common sense. Your kids will be happier and much more well-adjusted. As will you.

  223. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh, and read more papers, watch less local news. Since many of the readers here are clearly unable to separate sensationalism from news. It’ll just make you even more misinformed than you already are.

    (rant off)

  224. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: I really don’t think I am making leaps. Exceptions are made to policies all the time–otherwise, why would anyone ever bother to add “No Exceptions”? You see exceptions made constantly in criminal law–the one area where, arguably, policy should most be upheld strictly. You also see them, very, very often, in contract law. This is not about a kid specifically–it’s about what’s reasonable. That’s generally the standard in these areas of law, too.

    I also think that by saying “The kid can’t go in with you,” they WERE implying that the kid should be left outside, because it would be irrational for them to be implying that she should leave, because that would cost them money. You can’t blind yourself to the implications by saying, “Well, I never expressly told her to leave her kid unattended.” You’re expected to behave like a reasonable person, and it’s reasonably foreseeable that the outcome of you telling a person that she can’t bring her kid in is that she will leave him outside. (That appears to be the solution meant by the clerk, again, as the other option–leaving–is irrational from the store’s POV.) If that’s so, you’re responsible for whatever arises from that (again, reasonably foreseeable) outcome. I cannot imagine that F21 wants to be responsible for kids left unattended.

  225. catspyjamas says:

    I heart PYLON83. That is all.

  226. B says:

    @radleyas: Well, Forever 21 is the Christian Cult clothing store. So if there were any clothing that would be afraid of exposing 8 year olds to partial nudity, it would be them.

  227. samurailynn says:

    They told her the policy and she didn’t follow it. In fact, she flagrantly ignored it. If her child is too disobedient to sit calmly on a bench outside the dressing room while she tries on clothing she could bring a second person shopping with her (to watch him while she uses the dressing room) or she could buy the clothing, try it on at home, and return it if it doesn’t fit. The store has every right to have such a policy, and every right to kick her out if she can’t follow it.

  228. samurailynn says:

    By the way, does this mean she also brings her 8 year old into the women’s restroom? I for one hate when I have to use the restroom only to have little boys trying to peek at me under the stall. Gross and annoying.

  229. Dashrashi says:

    @samurailynn: You should read the comments before posting. Everything you said has been covered before.

  230. Pylon83 says:

    @Dashrashi:
    I agree that there are exceptions to everything. However, EXPECTING such an exception is irrational. You can’t proceed through life with a sense of entitlement that you believe that you are entitled to an exception for everything. This is especially true when it deals with a private business.

  231. meanwalrus18 says:

    Y WRAITHSAMA AT 02/16/08 06:57 PM

    Her son is almost middle school-aged and she’s bringing him into the changing room with her? And she does this regularly? That’s morbid.

    Parenting aside, if a mother feels the need to bring her child into the fitting room to ensure their safety, I agree that it’s pretty crappy for the store to deny her

    5 years olds are in kindergarten….8year olds 3rd grade. i was 12 when i was middle school douche.

    i agree with whoever said our worlds just fucked up and cautious now, my mom let me roam the stores when i was like 5. i got lost at Disneyland no less than 5x before 6 and once completely lost at Knott’s Berry Farms when i was 4, i just walked away and disappeared. my point is, my parents found me. That was 92’…i dont think thaaat much has changed. People are just scared

  232. lovelygirl says:

    I also thought that the child in question was much younger than eight years old. I don’t see why an eight year old would need to go inside the dressing room with the mother unless he was possibly disabled in some way. But I suppose it’s the principle of the thing. If it was a three year old, then there would be outrage. Also for those holier-than-thou people who question why a mother would bring her child shopping, maybe you need to think of people who may have less than you. many families right now are squeezed to pay their mortgage, rising energy costs, esp. gas, food, etc. Childcare, esp. quality childcare is expensive. And if this child in question IS disabled, it’s even more expensive. But I remember being eight and my mother had to go to the dressing room or something. This was just 10 years ago. I was allowed to walk around the store myself(depending on the store) or to just sit in a chair until my mother came. I remember that I wouldn’t want to wait for my mom. I would want to go to the book section or something meanwhile and have my mom meet me there or vice versa, even though she sometimes didn’t think it was a good idea. And my mother was VERY protective. But at eight years old, my mother would not have required me to go inside the dressing room. I would probably stand outside the door so she could see my feet or go outside and stand near the dressing room attendant.

  233. Tankueray says:

    Too many comments to read, but should the mother of an eight year old even be shopping at Forever 21? All they sell are slutty clothes that aren’t made well enough to stand up to one wash.

  234. thalia says:

    Look, it’s simple: if you don’t follow the rules, you get in trouble. If an employee says it’s policy to only allow one person in a changing room at at time, then don’t think you can expect them to just turn the other cheek when you pull a “whatever, I’ll do what I want” attitude. And don’t bitch about it afterwards. You were told the rules, and you purposefully broke them. So deal with it.

    You people are making it sound like she was forced to leave her child unattended at gunpoint. Was it really so important that she try on those damn pants?

  235. pigeonpenelope says:

    Yeah Forever 21 is ridiculous. Considering children are kidnapped often and when they are unattended, I don’t think it was right of Forever 21 to deny this mom the ability to make sure her son was not getting into trouble and is safe. Unless Forever 21 wants to come up with a babysitting service, they shouldn’t stop moms from keeping their children in the room with them.

    Why shop at Forever 21 anyway? The one time I went in their store, I found so many flaws in their clothes. Clothes fell apart so quickly and were falling apart on the hangers. They were irregular, also, even though they were charging full price. I would rather spend my money on something a little more likely to stand a couple washings.

  236. Dashrashi says:

    @Pylon83: Expecting a reasonable exception to be made, when reasonable exceptions are generally made, is not irrational. Nor is it entitled. It is merely conforming one’s expectations to reality.

    I agree that you’re not always entitled to an exception, but it’s reasonable to expect one when A) the exception is reasonable, and B) reasonable exceptions are made, by and large. I don’t see how this is an entitlement attitude.

  237. bobosgirl says:

    You obviously aren’t a parent- I’m not uncomfortable with nudity at all– sex is how I got to be a parent- and having a sense of modesty is not the same as knowing what sex is@brazenlyblond:

  238. JohnnyE says:

    Personally, I’m tired of people writing about some ‘emotional experience’ in the same manner as describing real physical harm. Lady, your emotions aren’t real to anyone but you — they exist only in the subjective experience between your ears. In the final analysis, you are only person who can control and thus be responsible for your emotional reactions, not anyone else. Did something someone said make you ‘feel’ something, well, maybe you ought to practice some discipline like yoga or meditation in order to learn how to get yourself under control! Your propensity to fly off the handle and come unglued is your problem. Get back to me when the store security billy clubs you.

    As for Forever 21, I’ve waited outside the changing area while a girlfriend tried on clothes. That store, especially the dressing area, is a total chick space. I don’t blame them at all for wanting to exclude an 8 year old male child from the environment — and if I were that male child, I’d be glad that they did.

  239. Dashrashi says:

    @bobosgirl: I honestly just think it’s ridiculous, though, for you to say that you think it’s generally inappropriate for an 8yo boy to see his mom in what amounts to a bikini because you yourself don’t wear bikinis.

  240. Dashrashi says:

    And just one more thing: if she’s trying on pants, it’s not even a bikini we’re talking about, since she’s keeping her shirt on–it’s MORE coverage than a one-piece bathing suit.

  241. FoxintheSnow says:

    @gingerCE: Thank you! If people wouldn’t use their children to steal, stores wouldn’t have to create these strict policies.

  242. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: If the people in charge of the property are okay with patrons exposing themselves, then that’s their prerogative. If you don’t like it, you’re free to shop elsewhere.

    @CharlieSeattle: State law may or may not say the parent cannot leave the child unattended. Either way, the parent still had the choice to leave the store.

  243. drjayphd says:

    @Tankueray: Ah, one of them “see subject line, comment without reading anything” types, are we? S’okay, I was going to do the same, only make some crack about whether or not Jeebus approves of changing in front of your kids.

  244. Kendra says:

    I’ve seen kids shoplift.

    I’ve seen kids walk off into the streets unattended.

    Maybe you should leave your child at home and plan shopping trips alone.

    BTW, kids hate shopping unless it’s specifically targeted/geared towards toys.

  245. lihtox says:

    An otherwise responsible kid can have an attack of mischievousness every now and then, and when you’re trying on pants you can’t dash out to stop them immediately.

    Also, to anyone who says “they should just raise more responsible kids”: that sounds a lot like “why don’t you just quit smoking?” or “why don’t you just cheer up and stop being depressed?”: easy to say, maybe easy for some to do, but not a trivial skill which everyone possesses. Surprise, surprise, other people are different than you— you are a unique snowflake after all. :)

  246. lihtox says:

    @cde: You have no right to be treated with respect, and a store has every right to tell you to gtfo (Or in legal terms, trespass you).

    It sounds like you’re talking about legal rights, a common conflation around these parts. The point of Consumerist stories like these isn’t to establish grounds for lawsuits or criminal prosecution, it’s to warn people about the antisocial behavior practiced by certain stores or corporations. If you believe that people do not deserve respect, then this post isn’t for you. Most people, however, do believe in the concept of basic human decency, and some may be inspired to avoid Forever 21 in the future, which is the intent.@str1cken:

  247. @seth1066: and FTR, at Forever 21 most sales are final or exchange for store credit only.

  248. Dodger88 says:

    I can’t believe how many people seem to blindly state that a private store can set any policy it wants and the customer has no right to challenge it and/or complain about it. A store’s private policy does not supersede public policy. For example, they couldn’t refuse to let someone shop there because of their skin color. That would be illegal. And furthermore, just because a private store posts that something is “policy” does not mean it is always enforceable. For example, just because a parking garage has a large sign that reads that their policy is that they are not responsible for theft or damages on their lot does not mean that their policy trumps state law if state law imposes a legal obligation on the garage. And yet it is still legal for the garage to post this erroneous sign. Legal, but just not enforceable.

    Note that I am not saying whether or not there is a case that public policy should treat people with young children as a “protected class” for these kinds of purposes. I’m just suggesting that people not cite “store policy” as some be all-end all that trumps all other factors.

    But am I the only one who feels that the bigger issue here is the store’s poorly reasoned and foolishly handled enforcement of their policy rather than the fact that she subsequently was thrown out as result of violating the policy. The outrage should be that they would put a customer in that situation in the first place. How stupid is a policy that tells paying customers that if you have concerns about the safety of your children then we prefer you not shop in our store. This is the kind of story that if it gets picked up by local media can generate a huge backlash. Then the store scrambles to state that while there are legit reasons for the policy, they were not intended to be enforced as they were here. “Of course we would never suggest that mothers with young children were unwelcome in our stores. And nothing is more important to us than our customers having a safe and positive experience shopping in our stores.”

    Stores are not dumb. They often do dumb things because of institutional arrogance. But they are not dumb. I’m guessing that they are not going to want to alienate most mothers who shop with young children and mothers who shop for their older children. It costs them too much public good will, as I suspect that most people would be sympathetic to the mother with the young child in this case… other than the “openly hostile to those with children” crowd (You want to tell me that a parent has no business taking a young child into a bar or casino or fancy restaurant at night etc, then fine, but don’t tell me that she can’t go shopping for clothes. That’s ridiculous.)

    I bet somewhere out there a PR firm is starting to see dollar signs…

  249. kruz01 says:

    They told her the company rule… she ignored it… they are fully in there rights to have security escort her out. She should have never gone in there in the first place this is her fault. Thats the rule plain and simple. If she disagrees complain rationally, don’t shop there or leave her son with someone she trust. She may be humiliated but its her fault and this is both reasonable parenting and a reasonable anti-shoplifting measurement. I hope the CEO tells her there staff did the right thing.

  250. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: “I can’t believe how many people seem to blindly state that a private store can set any policy it wants and the customer has no right to challenge it and/or complain about it”

    I don’t think anyone is saying she didn’t have the right to challenge/be upset over company policy – we’re saying she simply did not have the right to blatantly ignore the policy and go head and break it. If you disagree with the store policy, that’s fine. Talk to the manager. Yell at the manager. Call the company’s HQ and yell at them. Organize an internet boycott against them. But you loose as soon as you break the rules.

  251. gisgt says:

    She should have just handed the kid a shirt to try on. Voila, problem avoided, kid’s in dressing room next door, everyone goes home happy (and with clothes that fit). Even if they only sell ladies clothes, give the kid a blouse. I bet they never thought to write an anti-cross-dressing policy ;)

  252. WhirlyBird says:

    To everyone who says “If you don’t like the policy, don’t shop there”: that’s why Consumerist is here, so everyone *else* can be forewarned about the policy, and avoid this place like a Biblical plague.

  253. bishophicks says:

    @WraithSama: Middle school aged? If the kid is eight then he’s in second or third grade. That’s closer to kindergarten than middle school.

  254. lennybee says:

    The store staff was without a question unprofessional and rude. But practically, unless the kid has serious behavioral or physical impairments, an eight-year-old can be expected to sit outside the door for 15 minutes. My mother never took me into the dressing room as far back as I can remember (post-infancy); she’d always put me outside and tell me to sit quietly, and I did.

    And, not that I think seeing his mother semi-nude is going to screw him up for life, but an eight year old is reaching the point where seeing mom nude borders on inappropriate, especially when it’s probably unnecessary. He’s probably old enough to be more embarrassed and humiliated than his mom over the whole ordeal.

  255. ElizabethD says:

    My daughter works at that specific Forever 21 store.

    I know they have cut staff hours recently to save $$, and everyone who works on the sales floor and dressing room is feeling stressed during busy shopping hours. Not an excuse, just an observation.

  256. veraikon says:

    @ThumpinD: From my experiences of shopping at Forever 21, I don’t think their employees are good arbitrators of anything, let alone the safety and comfort of their customers and their children. My local Forever 21 is definitely a case of the inmates running the asylum. The entire store looks like a vapid teenage girl’s messy closet. And wouldn’t you know, the “employees” ARE vapid teenage girls! They’d rather chat with each other than serve customers. So no loss either way, really – just stop shopping there. But I must ask, what woman old enough to have an 8-year-old child would shop at Forever 21? Oh wait, one that clearly wants to BE “forever 21″, and probably had her kid when she was much younger than 21…

  257. Tonguetied says:

    For all those saying that she should have left the store when informed of the policy I understand what you’re saying but I’m not in complete agreement. A lot of times if you’re faced with a policy that you think is unreasonable you can make the decision that you’re going to ignore the policy. And a lot of times in that situation the company you’re doing business with will decide to let you get away with it because they want your business.
    Now was it a stupid policy? I think it really depends on the setup in the dressing room area. If it’s spacious enough probably the kid could have waited just outside the door. If it’s a narrow passageway to the dressing rooms then the kid’s presence would have made it more difficult for other patrons to use the other dressing rooms.
    Regardless the managers’ behavior was extreme.

  258. samurailynn says:

    @Dashrashi: Unfortunately when I read this story most of the comments were not showing up. So, even though I did read the comments, not all of them were there at the time. I guess you haven’t noticed how this website occasionally has problems with that.

    Also, you should turn down your bitchiness before trying to interact with other people.

    Now, I haven’t been in a Forever 21 since before I was 21, but I seem to remember that those kinds of stores have tiny dressing rooms. This would mean that her little boy was not just watching mommy change, but probably getting a face full of mommy’s crotch or butt as she was trying to put on pants in a crowded dressing room. That probably isn’t why the store said he couldn’t go in, but I would think that would be a good enough reason not to bring your kid in if you were thinking about it hard enough.

  259. Dashrashi says:

    @lennybee: She WAS NOT nude. She was trying on pants. He would have been seeing her in the the equivalent of a rashguard and bikini bottoms.

    Furthermore, my mother did take me into dressing rooms. Imagine that, different mothers with different practices.

    @veraikon: Maybe she needs to or chooses to shop there because it’s cheap. It’s not necessary for you to be so judgmental when you don’t know her situation.

  260. Dashrashi says:

    @samurailynn: Other people have already said that in their experience, F21 dressing rooms are huge. Perhaps that was in the part of the comments you “weren’t able to” read. I hope that problem has cleared up for you. Usually it just takes a refresh or two. But I don’t think you can make any assumptions about the size of this particular dressing room.

  261. Quintus says:

    I think the policy is reasonable after a certain age limit, and maybe she had a big 8 year old and they didn’t see the problem with asking her to leave him outside.

    But for those of you to compare living in this day and age and leaving your 8-year-old with strangers to yester-year you need to get with it. Today’s society is much more dangerous. I remember when I was a kid my parents let me walk to school, which was a mile and a half away, with no problem. I wouldn’t dare let my children walk to school alone at the age in the same area today.

    I think they were wrong in not letting her take her 8-year-old, that is too young to me. And yes, there is nothing wrong with her trying on pants in front of an 8-year-old. I doubt she had any evil intentions in mind, if so she wouldn’t even have mentioned it.

  262. IrisMR says:

    The kid’s a minor. The parent decides and I agree with her decision.

    Also, come on. It’s his MOM. There’s nothing wrong or mentally scarring with changing in front of your child unless you decide to create a taboo about it. Especially if she was just trying on some pants. Heck, do you guys always walk around dressed from head to toe because your kid might see your thighs?

  263. Szin says:

    @IrisMR: How wrong you are, Iris. Just think, soon he’s seeing his Mom change in front of him, the next thing he’s robbing banks or stealing bibles.

    I mean seriously people, he’s 8 Year Old. Girls still have freaking cooties to him, so he’s not going out and having sex just because he saw his Mom change.

  264. drjayphd says:

    @WhirlyBird: avoid this place like a Biblical plague

    Oh, I see what you did there. ;)

  265. PermanentStar says:

    I’m going to have to side with the people that believe that if she didn’t like store policy, that she should have left without trying on the clothes and not patronized that business again.

    The store has full right to set store policy, and to also remove her if she refuses to abide by it. I’m not defending their tactics, but just stating the facts. I imagine the policy is there to avoid theft, because people are not beyond hiding stolen goods on their children…not saying the poster is that type of person.

  266. UpsetPanda says:

    I went to David’s Bridal a few weeks ago to try on dresses for a friend who is getting married. To our surprise, the mostly female-dominated store had a few men wandering around in the dressing room area, with their wives trying on dresses. I felt extremely uncomfortable by this, as women were trying on dresses, many of which require contorting the arms to zip up, so women walk out and ask their friends or a sales associate to help them. Men in the area made many of us uncomfortable. If it were a young boy, probably less so, but we would still wonder about how okay it was for a parent to let their son wander around where women were changing.

  267. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Pylon83: As to what an irresponsible parent that let’s their kids run everywhere? That seems to be what you’re advocating.

  268. CharlieSeattle says:

    @cde: Give me a number, I’ll have a friend tell you his experience with CPS without any evidence, he was eventually exonerated in the end and spent copious amounts of money on a lawyer. Why don’t you do a google search on CPS abuses.

  269. kruz01 says:

    just a thought in the world today… why should an employee just take the her word for it that she is the mother. If someone molested a child in the store everyone would be saying that “how could a store let some one go into the dressing rooms with a child… they should know better”

  270. TheUncleBob says:

    @kruz01: Exactly. On the other hand, if the store employee did think something was fishy and called cops when everything was okay, can you imagine the outcry at that one? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  271. Crymson_77 says:

    Being a parent, I personally would have called the police for the activities that occurred at this store. To “order” someone to leave in 30 seconds, at the expense of their being humiliated, is totally unacceptable. Lock the door, call the police, and have them file charges of child endangerment on the manager and employees of the store. THAT is really what was happening here. Expecting a child to be unattended, in today’s world especially, is totally unforgivable.

  272. cde says:

    @CharlieSeattle: So people breaking the law somehow make something I do bad? Tough shit for your friend. Maybe he looked at the CPS agent funny.

    @Crymson_77: Child Endangerment? By telling them to gtfo? You have got to be kidding.

  273. axiomatic says:

    Puritanic response thread: check.
    Overzealous rule followers: check.
    Nannystate CPS suggestions: check.

    Houston, we are “GO” for “threadjack!”

  274. TheUncleBob says:

    @Crymson_77: Why do people still not understand this – the store never once told the mother she had to leave her child unattended. The store merely told the mother her son was not allowed to wait in the fitting room area. There’s a world of difference between the two and if anyone doesn’t understand that, then they probably aren’t smart enough to be a parent.

  275. Dodger88 says:

    @TheUncleBob: The store policy resulted in an untenable choice for the shopper/parent. The de-facto result of their UNREASONABLE policy was that the customer was told you can either put your child at risk or go shop somewhere else. That attitude in and of itself warrants consumer/parent outrage. The “legality” of their policy is completely irrelevant. We are in the court of public opinion here. The customer should never have been put in that position in the first place.

    Query: If I had a store and said that my policy was that black/disabled/jewish people are not allowed in the changing room should that be ok? What if store statistics indicated that there was a greater likelihood of shoplifting with those groups? Does that make the policy ok? So why would discriminating against people with children be any different?

    As I have tried to point out several times, store policy does not necessarily carry the weight of law. You cannot establish/enforce a private rule that is against public policy. And furthermore, regardless of whether parents of young children should be a “protected class” is not really relevant. The purpose of the letter (as I read it) was to convey to the upper management of a company an extremely unpleasant shopping experience at one of their stores that was the result of a questionable policy (or at the least, the result of extremely poor judgement in enforcing a policy).

    Although the manager’s subsequent demand that the customer get out w/in 30 seconds and be escorted out of the store was rather harsh, it is also irrelevant to the underlying issue. The focus should be on the policy itself. And after a careful weighing of the risk-reward balance (i.e., preventing theft/making some customers more “comfortable” vs. endangering the welfare of a young child) it seems like a no-brainer. If theft was the primary concern (a legitimate one) then they could have let the child stay in the fitting area in PLAIN VIEW of the parent and the attendant. Problem solved. If the concern was that an ADULT woman was upset that an 8-year old child was going to “check her out” then the adult woman should grow the hell up. I mean get real. Who is in a better situation to alleviate the problem in the easiest manner? The parent who would have to leave their child alone and unsupervised? Or the adult who could simply avoid the problem by not leaving the fitting room half-naked? There are plenty of places that a parent should not bring a young child… a clothing store is not one of them.

    @UpsetPanda: I’m not sure how you can “equate” adult men walking around in a woman’s dressing area with an 8 YEAR OLD CHILD waiting for his mother! To me, that is completely insane.

    P.S. To those who have raised the question, over the years, I have seen mothers take their young sons into the ladies restroom and I have seen fathers take their young daughters into the mens restroom. While I’ve never been thrilled with the situation, I’ve always appreciated that it was the lesser of the two evils.

  276. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: “Query: If I had a store and said that my policy was that black/disabled/jewish people are not allowed in the changing room should that be ok? What if store statistics indicated that there was a greater likelihood of shoplifting with those groups? Does that make the policy ok? So why would discriminating against people with children be any different?”

    First off, the policy was not that the young child could not be in the fitting room area. The policy was that the child could not wait in the fitting room area and that it’s limited to one person per fitting room. That’s not discrimination (except, maybe, against siamese twins?).

    Second – and this is going to be an unpopular opinion – but, I’d like to go with Ron Paul here – if a property owner doesn’t want a particular race, gender, age or class of people on their property, then yes, the property owner *should* be allowed to decline to allow those people on their property. Likewise, we, as consumers, should have the right to determine where we want to spend our money.

    Finally – you keep trying to make your point, claiming that the customer’s only choices were that she had to leave her child unattended or take him into the fitting room with her. Again, as we discussed, these were not her only options.

    Was this a bad business decision? Probably. But shouldn’t it be the right of the business to determine how they want to run their business? If a customer doesn’t like it, they can leave and shop elsewhere.

  277. Dodger88 says:

    @TheUncleBob: First, the EFFECT of the policy was to preclude parents with young children from being able to shop at the store.

    As to your second point, everyone is entitled to their opinion as to how far “property rights” should go. However, as a society, “we” have decided that it is not permissable to refuse to serve someone based on things like skin color, religion, etc. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to say that a store should not be able to discriminate against people based on whether they have young children. (Yes I know that the stated purpose of the policy is not to prevent parent with young children from shopping there, but it is the natural effect of the policy. Much the same way that the south used to use “literacy tests” to keep minorities from voting at the polls. The stated purpose was not to discriminate, but that was clearly the effect.)

    Finally, these two choices (leave child unattended or take him into the fitting room with her) were the options available to her if she wished to be able to make a purchase. Since they would not let the child wait in the fitting area and they do not allow returns, she really didn’t have much of a choice did she? And perhaps you don’t have children or perhaps you have tons of money for babysitters (a good one can easily make 2-3x the minimum wage that the attendant was probably making), but not everyone can get a babysitter every time they have to go shopping.

    The bottom line is that regardless of whether the store had a legal right to have a policy that effectivly prevents parents with young children from purchasing clothes at its store or not, IT IS A BAD POLICY (at least the way it was enforced here). And the purpose of the letter appeared to be to call the company out on its bad policy. And many of the people commenting (even many of the ones who support the store’s right to set whatever policy it wants) appear to think it’s a bad policy. So perhaps the company will pay heed to the comments and clarify the purpose/enforcement of the policy so that situations like these do not come up again.

    Out of curiosity, if the woman had simply left in a huff after the initial refusal to allow the child to wait in the fitting area and then wrote her letter complaining about the policy, would you support her claim as a reasonable complaint? I guess I’m just trying to figure out if it was the fact that she had the nerve to violate the store’s policy that is coloring your view of the situation or is it just a pure libertarian analysis.

  278. TheUncleBob says:

    @Dodger88: “First, the EFFECT of the policy was to preclude parents with young children from being able to shop at the store.”

    So, if I can find multiple parents who have managed to shop at Forever 21, then I could prove that this policy did not exclude parents from being able to shop there, right?
    This is like saying a store policy that says I can’t bring a firearm on store property prevents me from being able to go on store property if I’ve got a gun. Now, granted, I could leave my gun unattended more easily than I can an 8-year-old child, but the point is the same-this parent had many other options open to her – none of which it is the store’s responsibility to point out for her.

    Question though, what if this mother needed to use the restroom? I’m sure most of us can agree that a women’s restroom is no place for an 8-year-old boy. Let’s assume this parent is shopping in places that don’t have “Family Restrooms”, as a lot of places don’t. What are her options then?

    >”However, as a society, “we” have decided that it is not permissable to refuse to serve someone based on things like skin color, religion, etc.”

    Oh, I completely agree, we, as a society should agree that it’s not cool to discriminate. However, why should “our” firm moral groundings be *forced* onto everyone else? If someone has built a business from the ground up with their blood, sweat and tears, why are “we” to tell them how they have to run that business? So long as they’re not polluting or some other thing that *forces* their business to encroach on our private life, what does it matter to “us”?

    >”Much the same way that the south used to use “literacy tests” to keep minorities from voting at the polls.”

    The difference is that US Citizens have the *right* to vote. It is a government institution funded by our tax dollars. However, there should not be a law that says a private individual (or company) *has* to allow an individual or group to encroach on their private property.

    >”Out of curiosity, if the woman had simply left in a huff after the initial refusal to allow the child to wait in the fitting area and then wrote her letter complaining about the policy, would you support her claim as a reasonable complaint?”

    I’ve said all along that’s what she should have done. I’m not going to comment on if it’s a bad policy, because I don’t know *why* the policy was established, but I can say I wouldn’t have cared if this mother had just left the store, *then* complained. To borrow from an analogy someone posted earlier, imagine getting pulled over for speeding on a virtually deserted road. The officer is nice and lets you off with a warning (i.e.: telling you that you can’t do what you want to do). Instead of listening, you peel out and continue speeding. What do you think is gonna happen?

    When you’re shopping, you are a *guest* in someone else’s house. Follow their rules while you are there. Feel free to complain about them if you disagree – but follow them. If you just absolutely can’t, then leave and go to someone’s house who will let you do whatever it is you want to do.

    Now, I have a question for you – do you think the “One Person per Fitting Room” rule is a bad policy all around, or do you think the store should make exceptions in cases like this?

  279. lennybee says:

    @Dashrashi: Um.  I said “semi-nude”.  Yeah.  And like I said, he’s still living a fairly normal life even if he does see his mom fully nude.  All I was saying is that what happened was probably unnecessary, that’s all; but she can raise him however she cares to.

  280. HotMess81 says:

    Parents fault! If the kid was younger, I could understand. Seriously, I think at eight years old that kid should be able to listen when his mom says “sit there and do not move or touch anything until I come out.” My step-sister is 9. You don’t even have to tell her “don’t move, don’t touch”. You say, I’ll be right back and she’ll either sit and wait or look around a bit and not go running around the store like some sugar hyped up brat with no home training.

  281. CyberSkull says:

    The store was beyond unreasonable, some children can’t be left unsupervised.

  282. strathmeyer says:

    @BugMeNot2: “This reminds me of this one time I was at the mall — true story. I had just bought a drink, and as I approached the door of one store, a clerk promptly told me that I am not allowed in the store with the drink. Funny thing is, instead of being in complete shock and insisting on going into the store with my drink anyway, I went shopping in another store that didn’t mind. :P”

    But did the clerk start yelling at you about your drink while your where in the dressing room, yelling at you that you had thirty seconds to leave or else they where barging in, perhaps while you were naked? Or is your comment just based upon the headline? (I know it saves time.)

  283. rocksteadyash says:

    I am currently an assistant manager at Forever 21 and we have recently changed our former policy within the past week. We now allow parents to take their children in with them. We still do not allow more than one girl or guy in a fitting room due to theft issues and to keep things under control.