At high-end retailer Anthropologie, shoppers can select from body-baring items like its $118 see-through Gladiolus Sheer Silk Blouse. But when it comes to breastfeeding, one store location deemed a woman was showing just too much of her body.
Ingrid Wiese Hesson, who is calling the incident "nipplegate," tells CBS News that she was breastfeeding her baby in its Beverly Hills location when a store manager approached her. Hesson, by the way, had just spent $700 at the store on breast-feeding friendly clothes.
The manager said, "I'm here to escort you to the ladies' room so you can finish breastfeeding," Hesson said. When the manager opened the door to the restroom, she apologized for the lack of a chair. "Of course the only thing in the bathroom is the toilet seat," Hesson noted.
Hesson said she contacted the store manager later to find out more about what had happened. The manager "said there are other customers in the store, and she thought they would be more comfortable and you would be more comfortable," she recalled.
In a statement emailed to CBS MoneyWatch, Anthropologie said it was "disappointed to hear of the unfortunate experience that occurred in our Beverly Hills store."
The issue has sparked other mothers to organize a nurse-in at the store, and stirred up outrage on social media sites such as Twitter. Hessen's treatment goes beyond lack of respect for breastfeeding moms, however: it apparently breaks California state law, which states that a mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location.
Unfortunately for moms, this type of treatment is all too common with stores, airlines and other businesses. Delta Airlines felt the heat from parents when it first informed a mom that it banned breastfeeding on its planes. The airline later backed down.
For Anthropologie, a store that caters to women, angering their core customer base may cause some to shop elsewhere.
The manager's actions "won't stop me from doing what's best for my baby, but it could stop me from shopping at stores that aren't tolerant," Hessen said.