Employee Justine Elwood says this isn't the first time she's dealt with hateful comments about her body.
Justine Elwood thought it was just a regular day at work at the Cold Stone Creamery, until a customer came in and began to insult her body type and weight. It gets worse: the comments were directed at the woman's children. "If you have too much ice cream, you're going to look like her," the woman reportedly said while pointing at Justine.
If that rude behavior weren't enough, the customer also decided to leave a ruthless Yelp review about the 19-year-old employee that has since been deleted. The appalling review read: "One of their female employees Jessie? Jennifer? J something, is disgustingly obese, and each time we come in, although she does her job, and is very polite, instantly makes my appetite disappear."
Justine, who is a college student studying to be a surgical oncologist, said that seeing these horrible comments broke her heart.
"It's never good to hear that stuff about yourself, it definitely didn't make me feel good for sure," she told KTRK. "I was just shocked because I feel like that's not something you should say in front of kids anyway. And it wasn't very nice. I feel like that's not a good thing to teach your kids, but it happens I guess."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Justine has been subjected to such harsh criticism about her body, saying "It's kind of something that I've had my whole life, so I'm kind of used to it, which is horrible, but it's just something that I've dealt with my whole life."
But this time, things were different. Rather than dealing with the shame and ridicule on her own, Justine was surprised to see the local community stand up and show their support by bringing her balloons and flowers.
"It's been so great to feel so much love and turn a negative into a positive," she wrote on Facebook. "I am beyond grateful for the love of the community. I'm so blessed."
Despite all the love and positivity, there were a few trolls who tried to shame her into silence, saying she was just trying to get attention. To combat the haters, once again, the teen took to Facebook to explain that this story is not just about her. It's about all the people who are body shamed and made to feel miserable about themselves simply because of the way they look. (Read: 10 Badass Women Who Made 2016 Better By Clapping Back at Body-Shaming Haters)
"While I am so glad I have gotten so much support, they are missing the main point of why I was sharing my story," she wrote.
"I am in no way trying to claim I was 'fat-shamed,' or trying to get sympathy from this. Rather I am trying to raise awareness to a HUGE problem that so many men, woman and children face every single day. Bullying is an epidemic. It is contributing to so many other issues that people face. Bullying takes lives. The words and harassment that people face drive people to commit suicide."
"I shared my story to show others that they aren't alone," she concluded. "This kind of stuff happens every day to other people and I want nothing more than to help people dealing with this."