Her emotions quickly switched from a deep sense of shame to a wave of anger so strong it left her trembling. She didn’t know what she should feel.
She stumbled back. “Excuse me?” she stuttered. But she had heard the woman right the first time. “You can’t ride,” the woman laughed in her face, “you weigh too much.” Now, she was seething. Didn’t the woman know who she was? She’d get payback.
Remi Bader’s life was completely turned upside down during the Covid-19 pandemic. At 25 years old, she had been working a corporate job when the rug was pulled out from underneath her. The company had to reduce costs, so she was let go.
Unemployed and having no idea where to turn next, she started posting videos about subjects she cared about on TikTok to while away her time. Little did she know, things were about to get wild.
What started as short video clips about body positivity, self-love, and authenticity quickly turned into a lucrative career almost overnight.
One video, in particular, struck such a chord with the masses that she became an internet sensation. In the video, Remi recorded a haul and review of the PrettyLittleThings clothing brand and called out their sizing for plus-sized women. The number of followers she has accumulated now is unbelievable.
After the success of her video calling out a popular clothing brand, Remi set her sights on calling other prominent clothing brands out as well. Now, she’s known for her “No Bull” brand reviews and their plus-size offerings.
Remi had become a curve model and a mouthpiece for size inclusion in the fashion industry. But, even after accumulating more than two million loyal followers and phenomenal success, nobody realized that her videos were actually a coping mechanism. And one incident was about to bring everything to a head.
In just a year and a half, Remi had transformed her personal struggle with her weight into something positive. At this point, receiving regular influencer gigs was now just a part of her life.
With her career hitting a high point, she felt unstoppable when she was approached by Hampton Water – a rosé company owned by none other than Jon Bon Jovi and his son. It all felt like a dream come true. Then it turned into her worst nightmare.
The gig seemed like it would be fun – Remi was part of a group of models who were to be photographed on an outride at a ranch in the Hamptons to promote Hampton Water.
Remi had ridden horses before and was looking forward to the experience. But one audacious woman was about to rip the fun day away and stomp it into pieces.
The trip to Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk was long and congested with traffic. In fact, there are companies that offer helicopter rides to SAG Harbor, Montauk, and the Hamptons for this very reason – traveling by car can take hours in the summer heat.
Nevertheless, Remi was feeling optimistic. She and the other models arrived and were struck by the intense beauty and history of the place. Little did Remi know, she wouldn’t get to experience it.
Remi and the other models stretched their legs and took in the breathtaking scenery. Deep Hollow Ranch is the oldest working cattle farm in America and boasts a stunning panoramic view of the Suffolk County Parks.
After looking around in amazement for a few minutes, they approached the corral to greet the handler, get kitted out in riding gear, and learn about how to interact with the horses. That’s when things turned sour.
The woman introduced the group to the fillies they would be taking on the outride, but then her eyes fell on Remi.
With her eyes traveling all over Remi’s body, she barked the words that made Remi’s cheeks flush crimson. Her knee-jerk reaction was to wish that the earth below her would open up and swallow her whole. Then, she became furious.
Completely taken aback, Remi’s emotions flipped from shame to anger in a matter of seconds. She stepped back. “Excuse me?” she questioned, her voice shaking with fury.
But she had heard the woman right the first time. “You can’t ride,” the woman spat, “you weigh too much!” Those seven words had so much weight behind them that they felt like a punch in the gut. What could she do about it?
“I’ve ridden horses before,” Remi retorted, “I didn’t know of any weight restrictions.” An awkward silence fell over the group, but the handler just said “Not my problem.” She didn’t try to soften her words or apologize. Instead, she started laughing.
Remi was lost for words. Although she had struggled with her weight for most of her life, the woman’s words still hurt. Defeated, she left the ranch. But it was about to get even worse.
After recovering from the woman’s incredible insensitivity, Remi decided to call her out on TikTok. She was aware of her weight – in fact, she had entered a treatment program for her binge-eating and was doing well.
The way she was treated made her feel insecure about her body all over again, undoing a month’s worth of progress. She couldn’t stay silent.
“Shoutout to Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk for making me leave because I weigh over 240,” she wrote on TikTok, adding that she had never encountered a weight restriction when riding horses before.
She also asked Deep Hollow Ranch to be more transparent about the weight limit and put it on signs for future guests. The ranch’s response, however, left everyone’s mouths hanging open.
Broudy Keogh, the ranch owner’s son who also worked at Deep Hollow Ranch, responded to her TikTok video. In the now-deleted video, he addressed Remi, saying: “When you’re not a fat B-, you can ride at Deep Hollow Ranch.”
But what these rude ranch owners hadn’t counted on was Remi’s two-million-strong fanbase. Remi’s followers were furious and decided to review-bomb the ranch’s Google and social media pages.
In just a matter of hours, Deep Hollow Ranch’s ratings had plummeted to one star on all their pages. Remi’s followers were disgusted by the treatment of their idol and completely ‘canceled’ them. Hampton Water even swore they’d never work with the ranch again. In an effort to backtrack and save face, the ranch owners issued a statement on their Facebook page.
“It has come to our attention that a TikTok video was posted regarding the ranch and a teenage employee posted a response that in no way represents nor is aligned with the views that the owners of the ranch hold. We would like to apologize to anyone who this offended and we do not condone or agree with any part of that employee’s video.”