‘They said I was too big’: Byron nail salon rejects plus-size customers

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BYRON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Former customers of a Byron nail salon are speaking out after they say they were refused service because of their weight.

Bianca Ballard says she’s been coming to Byron Nails off Hamilton Pointe Drive for years but has never experienced this type of customer service.

“As I was sitting there, the man came up to me and asked me how much do I weigh,” Ballard said.

She says he refused service because of her weight.

“It hurt my feelings because it took a while to get to the point where I’m comfortable with myself,” Ballard said. “So the fact that he did it with people in there, he didn’t pull me to the side or anything.”

Currently, a posted sign on the wall states, “If you weigh over 200 pounds, Byron Nails can not give you a pedicure.”

“I paid attention to the sign on the wall and it caught my eye,” said Anissa Poole, a former customer. “I looked up and took a picture of it. And I was just overwhelmed at what I was looking at because I have never seen anything like that before.”

41NBC spoke with Cahn Nguyen — the owner.  He says the pedicure chairs have a weight limit, and he doesn’t want them to break and injure a customer.

Kelvin Collins with the Macon Better Business Bureau says there’s discrimination laws in place for race, gender, and disabilities — but not weight.

“It’s not illegal to turn someone away because of their size,” Collins said.

However, Collins says if someone is overweight because of a health reason, then there may be a legal case.

Nonetheless, former customer Anissa Poole calls this situation “unethical.”

“I’m a plus size lady and been going into an establishment like that and spending money there for years, it actually hurt,” Poole said.

Collins suggests writing a review of the business online.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.