Model, dancer, and influencer Sydney Bell is calling out Market Street, a shopping strip in The Woodlands, Texas, for allegedly allowing discriminatory treatment towards her to occur while she was shooting content at their location late last year.
In December 2021, the 24-year-old was stopped by security who told her employees, including security, were complaining about how she was dressed and claimed she was taking inappropriate images. However, Bell was wearing a long-sleeved bodycon dress that day and posing for pretty tame photos.
After the incident, she shared her story on social media and it garnered thousands of shares and likes. However, Market Street didn’t do anything to rectify the issue after saying they would. Consequently, Bell took matters into her own hands and went back to Market Street recently to protest and send a clear message.
In an Instagram video, she can be seen holding up a sign that reads, “My body is not wrong, society is,” while wearing lingerie and a robe.
The video caption said, “IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, STAND UP & SPEAK UP.👊🏾”
The Watch Out For The Big Grrrrls cast member continued, “After tagging shopatmarketstreet and posting the video on my social media they decided to comment under my post and said that they would look into it. After waiting to hear back and 10 months later I’ve still heard absolutely nothing as if they thought I’d just drop it and forget about it while I see them still re-posting and praising smaller women who are not of my complexion on their social media page,” she wrote.
Bell said after posting the initial video of the incident, the shopping strip seemed to post more diverse types of people on their feed, yet have refused to speak up about what happened to her.
“So, nine months later I decided to stand up and speak up for not only myself but all of the curvier women that constantly get shut down for existing in a bigger body especially in communities like this,” she said. “If you see something is wrong or feels [sic] like something is wrong don’t be afraid to stand up and speak up do not let them, or society silence you.”
The model went on to thank her boyfriend and musician AJ jones for ensuring she was safe during her one-man protest, which included her being accosted by a security guard who tried to take her sign and police being called.
“For the world to see how mad people get when you’re a confident black curvy woman Who stands up for what’s right. shopatmarketstreet DO BETTER. #dontshopatmarketstreet.”
Sydney Bell is a model who has appeared in campaigns for the likes of NYX Cosmetics, as well as in Vogue, and Lounge. Since sharing that video, she shared a follow-up message on Thursday, September 22 thanking people for speaking up about the situation. She shared numerous videos of individuals using their social media pages to call out her treatment and to reveal their own experiences. She is grateful.
“Wow… first off I want to thank every single person who has reached out to me and has spoken up about this situation… from commenting, to tagging market street YALL shut them down to the point in which they have turned their comments off on every platform which is probably their attempt to sweep things under the rug like they tried to do the first time,” she wrote.
“Based off of these videos it’s clear and obvious that I personally am not the only person that has been through or has experienced something like this and this is exactly why I did what I did,” she added. “I will keep fighting, I will keep speaking up and I will keep using my voice and my power/platform to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else again and that they are held accountable. WE will not be silenced.”