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A Texas woman said she was blocked from boarding a party bus in Miami because of her weight.
Fallon Melillo, 27, was supposed to be on her way to Daer, a club at the Hard Rock Hotel, when she said a bus employee informed her friends that she wouldn’t be allowed to come along.
Melillo posted a TikTok video about the alleged incident on Sunday — which has since received more than 500,000 views — and said that one of her friends had booked their tickets from a company called “Spring Break Miami Party Service Bus” through a club promoter a week before the event.
The night before the July 31 pool party, Melillo said she went to the company’s Eventbrite page and saw a disclaimer that read: “Sorry, no big girls for this party!”
“The doorman is very strict on appearance,” the description — which Melillo shared a screenshot of on her TikTok and Instagram — continued. “If you have had problems getting into exclusive clubs before, then this is not for you! Please don’t waste your time nor ours thinking that we can get you inside if you do not meet the qualifications.”
Melillo said the promoter never disclosed to her friend that the party-bus company did not accept plus-size women. And when Melillo reached out to Daer, she said the club informed her that it didn’t discriminate against people’s weight.
But when her group arrived at the party bus as planned the next day, Melillo said a staff member told one of her friends that she wouldn’t be allowed to board the bus.
Representatives for Daer and Spring Break Miami Party Service Bus did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Melillo said the group got a refund for their tickets and, after finding different transportation, got into Daer without any issues. But Melillo, a body-positivity advocate, felt it was important to share her story on social media.
“Being turned away in front of other people because of how I look and my size was absolutely humiliating,” Melillo told BuzzFeed. “I was embarrassed and shocked. Even though I know I am beautiful on the inside and out, this moment made me feel helpless. This is what every plus-size person fears — being turned away from an event because of how we look.”
While Melillo said she has yet to hear from the party-bus company or Eventbrite, she saw that the company took down its page and posted a new one. The “no big girls for this party” disclaimer appears to have been removed and replaced with “a model look is encouraged.”
“As much as we would like to welcome everyone, admission to this exclusive event is very selective and we reserve the right to deny service,” the description continues.
Melillo posted a TikTok video of her reaction to the change, saying: “They don’t blatantly say no bigger women, but they’re basically saying no bigger women.”
“So instead of blatantly showing their discrimination online, you have to go in person to be embarrassed and be denied at the door because you’re bigger and plus-size,” she added.
Melillo hopes that by speaking out, she can bring positive change for plus-size people everywhere.
“The culture needs to change — especially in places such as Miami, LA, and Vegas,” she told BuzzFeed. “The denial of plus-size people in public spaces is damaging to the mental health of bigger individuals.”
Melillo did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.