Security guards suspended for 'fat shaming' Bay woman

TWO staff members of a Fraser Coast licensed venue have been suspended after they allegedly "fat shamed" a mother and international blogger from Hervey Bay.

Telaine Smith, writer of Low Carb Island, said she was at the venue on Wednesday night with friends, when two staff members mocked the women as they walked up the stairs.

"All three of us could hear 'boom boom boom' as we took steps," Telaine said.

"I was so humiliated, I didn't know how to process it, I continued to walk."

Telaine reported the incident to other staff members, who offered the blogger a feedback form to fill out.

Telaine said it was after an uncomfortable dinner at the establishment, when she was standing outside, that one of the men approached her.

The blogger recorded her interaction with the security guard.

On the recording, Telaine is heard describing the man's alleged actions as "inhumane and disgusting".

"I am so hurt, disgusted humiliated and ashamed… I may be fat, but I am a human."

RISING ABOVE: Hervey Bay woman Telaine Smith says weight is no excuse to degrade a person, after she was 'fat shamed'.
RISING ABOVE: Hervey Bay woman Telaine Smith says weight is no excuse to degrade a person, after she was 'fat shamed'. Contributed

The security guard is heard apologising on the recording, to which Telaine replied "You apologise? I'm sorry that's not enough, but thank you for that."

The general manager of the venue told the Chronicle the staff members involved in the incident had since been suspended, and there would be further investigations.

"The [venue] apologised to the people involved and I'll be following up myself with them this afternoon.

"The comments were uncalled for, unjust, it's not what the [venue] stands for.

"They enjoy coming here, that's the other thing that is very disappointing."

The body-positive blogger said the venue had "handled it [the incident] well" and she did not blame the establishment for what happened.

"They [the staff members] have kept in contact with me all day," she said.

"And I appreciate the fact that they have acknowledged it happening and have done something about it."

Telaine said this was not the first time she had been fat shamed in Hervey Bay, as people would make comments to her as she walked along the esplanade.

The blogger shared her experience on her Facebook page, followed by more than 30,000 people, and she said the response had shown her just how common fat shaming was in Australia.

"The messages and comments I get say 'wow, I know exactly what you're saying'. How scary is that?" she said.

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