An Aussie mum has been left feeling humiliated and defeated after she took her daughter for their annual family photo with Santa.
Mini Westwood was excited to take her seven-year-old daughter April to have a photo with Santa in their local shopping centre.
April helped pick out her mother’s outfit for the occasion, choosing jeans and a cropped T-shirt.
The mother-daughter duo were excited as they lined up for their photo opportunity, but things took a turn when they sat down.
“I was sitting as I am now and the photographer turned around and says quite loudly, ‘Mum suck your gut in’, and just motioned for me to suck my gut in,” Mini told A Current Affair.
“Santa looked at me and kind of looked back at the photographer and shook his head like, you shouldn’t say that to someone, especially while their child is here,” April said.
Mini said she was shocked and froze at the suggestion, as she held it together until she got home and collapsed in tears.
She said her daughter asked multiple times what the photographer meant when she told her to “suck it in”.
“She googled it on her iPad and she said to me, ‘Mum, suck it in means that you’re fat’, and I was like, no, ‘suck it in’ is someone saying that to you who’s not happy with themselves and they’ll pick on you for it,” Mini said.
Mini has been drastically effected by the comments, due to her difficult history with mental health issues and anorexia.
Mini reached out to the company to complain about the insensitive staffer, who immediately apologised and offered free Santa photos for her next year.
The young mum said she won’t let it ruin Christmas with her daughter, but had some advice for the photographer.
“Don’t do it again. Do not make anybody feel the way you made me feel,” Mini said.
Image credits: A Current Affair
This article first appeared on Over60.