Fallon Melillo, 27-year-old body acceptance, neutrality, and positivity advocate, shared an experience with being rejected from a party bus service and is calling on her followers to boycott the business.
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In her video, which now has over half a million views, she shared that her friends and she planned to attend a pool party on July 31 at Daer, a club hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel.
"Earlier that week, one of the girls in our group contacted the promoter to get party bus tickets through this place called Spring Break Miami Party Service."
"We got the tickets, they were $40 and $10 when you get to the door."
"Now the night before I had ended up looking on Eventbrite and saw this."
Melillo shared a screenshot from the event page.
The party bus service wrote on the event page:
"Sorry No Big Girls for this party!"
"The doorman is very struct on appearance. If you have had problems getting into exclusive clubs before then this is not for you."
"Please don't waste your time nor ours thinking that we can. Get you inside if you know you do not meet the qualifications [sic]."
Melillo said that when her friend reached out to the event promoter, he did not disclose anything about this discriminatory bus service or doorman. She also clarified that the Daer day club has nothing to do with the third party service bus.
When they reached out to the club, they assured their group that they do not discriminate against plus size women.
Melillo told Buzzfeed:
"They assured us they do not discriminate against weight."
"We were hopeful things would be fine."
However, once the bus arrived, a man on staff with the Spring Break Miami Party Service Bus pulled one of her friends aside to say Melillo was not allowed on.
"Being turned away in front of other people because of how I look and my size was absolutely humiliating."
"I was embarrassed and shocked, to say the least."
"Even though I know I am beautiful on the inside and out, this moment made me feel helpless."
"This is what every plus-size person fears — being turned away from an event because of how we look."
In her video, she encouraged other partiers who are in Miami to avoid using this bus service and suggested a ride share instead:
"For any women, even if you're skinny and you would be allowed on the bus, I just don't think that it's right to be supporting a business and giving them money to support this ideal."
"I originally created this platform for body neutrality, body acceptance, body positivity and I think it would be wrong that I literally experience this in my own life, and the embarrassment from being turned away from not being allowed on a bus to go to a day club, to not speak out about it."
Since then, Melillo noticed the company changed the now deleted event page on Eventbrite.
They removed the language that stated "big girls" would be turned away. It now reads that they wouldn't be allowed at the event whatsoever. Though, Melillo said she didn't have any issues getting into the club itself, it was only the bus company that was an issue.
It also said a "model look" was encouraged, which Melillo was confused as to what that actually meant:
"Having the statement 'model bodies encouraged' is disgusting."
"What is a model body? Anyone can be a model in today's society."
"Look at Ashley Graham and literally any other plus-size model."
"A model is no longer one-dimensional and it is naïve to [act like]...a model can only be a size 2."
Melillo was especially disappointed to have experienced this discrimination because she has lost a significant amount of weight in the past year.
She told Buzzfeed:
"I knew things like this may happen, but never thought it would be towards me."
"The culture needs to change — especially in places such as Miami, LA, and Vegas."
Supposedly, the bus service company reached out to Melillo via a comment on one of her videos.
"Our ad included inappropriate language and it was rude to single out plus size women. We removed all of that."
"We are human and we make mistakes."
Melillo doesn't care for an apology. She really wants to know that they will stop denying services to plus size women.
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Melillo told Buzzfeed:
"Bigger people are human and sometimes we can't help how we look. This does not make us any less or [give others the right to] deny services."
"I would like companies and businesses to accept all shapes and sizes. The denial of plus-size people in public spaces is damaging to the mental health of bigger individuals."
"If businesses don't get with the times of bigger people owning themselves, they will end up like this company — receiving a ton of backlash for their mistreatment and judgment."
""They will not be successful."
A CEO with Hard Rock Hotel had phone call with Melillo and is going to be personally vetting their future promoters and third party services.
Since she had him on the phone she also made a few other demands for the hotel to address:
"When I looked at Daer's Instagram, there's a lot of thin women, aesthetically pleasing women."
"They have no photos of bigger or 'curvy' women on their website or their Instagram. So, I brought that up as a concern and to look into his advertising."
"And he told me that he would."
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Melillo has continued to spread awareness and advocate for plus size bodies through her social media.
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She said she's incredibly thankful for everyone on TikTok who boosted her story so she can spread awareness about this issue.