Santa Claus is supposed to bring happiness and joy to kids' lives. But a Santa in Forest City, North Carolina is being accused of body-shaming a little boy and driving him to tears.
Anthony Mayse, a 9-year-old boy, said this particular Santa told him to "lay off the hamburgers and french fries" after he sat on his lap and asked him for an iPod touch and a drone, The Washington Post reports.
Mayse was absolutely crushed by this,
And that really just disrespected me, and I felt awful.
The young boy almost immediately burst into tears after stepping away from this malicious St. Nick.
It all sounds like a scene straight out of "Bad Santa."
Later, when he got home, he struggled to get over the incident,
It affected me so bad that I was crying until I went to bed that night. And I want to say to him, 'You don't want to disrespect a 9-year-old. Even though what shape and size you are, it doesn't matter.'
The boy even tore up the photo he'd taken with this body-shaming Santa, quite understandably.
According to Peter Holloy of the Washington Post,
The exchange allegedly occurred Saturday at an annual holiday fair in Forest City, N.C., where a crowd of children had gathered around a miniature brick house to sit on Santa's lap to take pictures and make gift requests, WLOS reported. The Santa in question is employed by the town of Forest City, the station reported. He wasn't identified by the station, but he was last seen wearing an oversized red suit, a woolly cap and a smug look on his face (we can only assume).
And, yes, I really only shared that quote because the description of Santa is fantastic, but let's move on.
The alleged interaction between this young man and this incredibly mean Santa prompted Anthony's mother, Ashley Mayse, to take action.
Speaking with ABC affiliate WLOS, she said,
Very rude. I've never seen anything like it. What set me off is when he started crying. I was just mind-blown. I wished a million times that we never went.
Ashley Mayse ultimately went to see the Santa's manager, who subsequently forced St. Nick to apologize to her and Anthony.
But the young man didn't feel as though the apology was genuine, saying,
When he went to apologize to me, he didn't even mean it.
Worst. Santa. Ever.
His mother added,
I'm hoping he's fired, because I don't want any kid feeling like he did Saturday. I mean, it destroyed him.
It seems a wonderful holiday tradition might have been permanently ruined for this young man, which is really heartbreaking.
Body-shaming has consequences and it's never OK -- especially when it comes to kids.
Citations: Washington Post