Sabeena Ladha, the founder of vegan, gluten-free cookie dough company, Deux, recently appeared on the show, which sees business owners pitch their ideas to a group of wealthy investors, in a hot pink suit jacket, white blouse, matching pink shorts and white slingback heels to discuss her brand.
The episode ended with Shark Robert Herjavec offering Ladha a deal before rescinding it after she tried to negotiate, with the cookie dough entrepreneur ultimately concluding that she was “disappointed” but “when a door closes, another one opens”.
“This is another ‘no’ notch on my belt but we’re going to keep going,” Ladha said during the episode.
However, on TikTok, the food company founder revealed that, since her appearance on the show, she has faced harassment over her outfit choice, with Ladha sharing some of the comments she has received since the episode aired.
“When you air on Shark Tank and learn misogyny is ALIVE and kickin,” Ladha captioned the TikTok, before sharing screenshots of criticisms over her outfit and appearance, with one headline reading: “Deux Cookie Dough pitches Mark Cuban in hot pink short set, kitten heels on Shark Tank,” while another comment from a viewer said: “Woman was not dressed appropriately. Wouldn’t have done a deal.”
Someone else claimed that Ladha was “stupid to think her beauty would get her anything she wants” after noting that Herjavec had “specifically” said he wasn’t open to negotiating.
“Silly me. Should’ve known my place is in the kitchen not in the boardroom,” Ladha sarcastically wrote in the caption of the TikTok.
As of Friday, Ladha’s video has been viewed more than 400,000 times, prompting many viewers to defend the outfit she chose to wear on TV while representing her brand.
“Dudes in jeans and T-shirts is fine but you wearing pink is a step too far apparently,” one person commented, while another said: “There’s literally people on Shark Tank in T-shirts and jeans all the time and I NEVER see anything about them not being dressed professionally.”
Someone else added: “Not going to lie, I was excited to see this scandalous outfit they were talking about and it turns out to be a very tame, beautiful suit set.”
Others assured Ladha that her suit was a good fit for her pitch to the Sharks, as it was “very on brand” with her company.
“I looked up your outfit and it is appropriate. It is a loud colour but your company’s design and layout was colourful as well,” another person commented. “The outfit suits it.”
The Independent has contacted Ladha for comment.