Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Friday, 20 May 2016

This Woman Got Body Shamed By Her Own Gym

This Woman Got Body Shamed By Her Own Gym

The Debrief: In Canada a woman was told that her boobs were 'too big' to be wearing a tank top by staff at her gym leaving her feeling 'humiliated'

Let’s face it going to the gym isn’t always the best experience. Sure, you feel good after you’ve worked out when all those endorphins are racing around your body but the bit before a class, when you have to change into clingy clothes in a changing room full of other people…not so great.

The last thing you would want to happen while you’re at the gym would be for anyone to comment on your appearance. That would be enough to take you right back to that year 8 PE class when your boobs had ballooned but you didn’t yet own a proper sports bra and the teacher made you participate in a relay race. Surely, there’s some unwritten and universally understood code of conduct that the gym is a judgement free zone where we can all expect to be left alone.

Not in Ottawa, Canada where Jenna Vecchio was told that her breasts were ‘too large’ to wear a tank top by staff members at her gym, Movati Athletic.

On Facebook she recounted the event and describes how staff at her gym ‘body shamed her’:

‘I am a member of Movati Athletic Club in Orleans, ON. Today, I was instructed by a Supervisor at the club that my tank top was inappropriate dress and is offensive to both the staff and other members. That at Movati they have a dress code stating only appropriate gym attire and modest clothing is to be worn. I will start by saying my tank top was no different than many other women's tank top at the club; except my chest size is much larger in appearance in comparison to my frame than many of the other women. After asking every woman at the club who I could find on the way out if my attire offended them and they responded no, it became clear that the only ones offended were the two women supervisors working at the club today. I pointed out to them that my shirt was no different than any other woman's shirt. They informed me that it did not matter that due to my chest size I could not wear a tank top. I felt humiliated and discriminated against due to my figure. I was singled out and it is unfair to say I cannot wear a tank top and other women can! Different figures means different rules? I would like to bring this out to the public! If tank tops are not allowed at the gym for me because of my chest size than all women should not be allowed to wear tank tops regardless of size.’

Her Facebook post has now been shared more than 3,000 times. A spokesperson for the gym told the Ottawa Metro:

‘At Movati Athletic, we strive daily to create an atmosphere where all our members feel welcome, feel comfortable and feel healthy. We ask members to be respectful of each other when in the gym, to include wearing modest athletic attire and appropriate shoes, limiting cell phone usage and keeping the facility clean. It is important to us that all members have a positive experience at Movati, and we take their needs and feelings very seriously. As such, on Saturday when some members of our gym voiced complaints regarding Ms. Vecchio’s attire as it made them feel uncomfortable and was seen as being contrary to our dress code policy our staff assessed the situation and spoke to Ms. Vecchio. While in no way did we intend to embarrass her, we did feel we had to address the issue. We are still looking into the matter, and would be happy to sit down and speak with Ms. Vecchio in more detail as we continue to investigate the incident.’

You might also be interested in:

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Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

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