‘Dear Santa’ sign stirs up controversy at department store

Posted at 4:02 PM, Nov 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-12 16:02:33-05

WELLINGTON, Fla. — A sign at a popular department store is causing quite a stir as we approach the holiday season.

A sign that reads “Dear Santa, this year please give me a big fat bank account and a slim body. Please don’t mix those two up like you did last year. Thanks,” was spotted in the girls’ section of the Dillard’s store at the Mall at Wellington Green last Friday night.

A mother of three spotted the sign while shopping with her kids. She posted it on her Facebook page and since then it’s been shared nearly 400 times.

“It’s kinda funny because a woman who wants to wish for that should make it happen for herself,” says Sally Stewart. She was shocked to hear about the incident. “What would a little girl want with a bank account? It gives the wrong message about having a slim body. That’s not the message we want to give our kids,” Stewart says.

Dolores Oh and her 20-year-old daughter Kaylee were also disappointed to hear about the sign.

Both Dolores and Kaylee say they saw the picture on social media. “How you look isn’t the most important thing. Just to be healthy is more important,” Dolores says.

“It makes me think that I should be very very focused on how I look and I should want to be thinner than I am and have more money than I do,” Kaylee adds.

Dr. Rachel Needle, a clinical psychiatrist, says the sign shames people of all ages. But she says kids are especially vulnerable when it comes to interpreting messages from the media.

She says the incident should prompt a conversation between adults and children. “Parents, teachers need to begin to talk to kids about body image and body satisfaction. They need to be careful about how they talk to themselves because children pick up on the way we talk to ourselves about our own bodies and that as a society the three letter “f word” needs to be removed from our vocabulary completely.”

Employees from Dillard’s say the sign was never meant to be placed in the girls’ section. The sign has since been removed and Dillard’s has now directed all stores to completely remove the sign from the sales floor.