For most of us ladies who lift, our standard gym outfit is the perfect combination of figure-hugging yet practical. We want to look cute, but we also want to be able to squat a couple of plates without the fear of anything popping out!
Sure, our tight leggings and t-shirts might get a few stares from our testosterone-pumping counterparts, but for the most part, the gym is a place where we can wear what we want without a care in the world! This wasn’t the case for one woman in her local gym, however.
Jenny Vecchaio from Halifax, Canada, was left feeling embarrassed and humiliated after staff at her gym told her that her outfit was “inappropriate” and “offensive.” Was Jenny wearing a micro bikini or ass-eating short-shorts, a la Nicki Minaj, while grinding away on the stepper? No! She was wearing a simple black vest top and jogging bottoms!
But it seems like there’s more to this fashion faux pas than meets the eye…
The Great Cover-Up
The issue started when Jenny, who was working out with her husband at Movati Athletic Club in Orleans, Ontario, was confronted by a female supervisor about her attire. She was told other clients at the gym had complained that her top made them feel uncomfortable.
Vecchio was confused and embarrassed by the statement, especially since other women were wearing similar clothing that day. In a Facebook post, she explained:
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 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.
That’s right—it wasn’t that Jenny was wearing anything particularly revealing, it was the fact that she has big boobs that got her reprimanded like some sort of bad teenager!
Although the Movati gym rules state that members of the club should wear appropriate gym attire, this blatant case of body shaming and discrimination made Vecchio feel so humiliated, she abandoned her workout and left the gym immediately.
Different Figures, Different Rules
The most shocking part of this story is that the rules only seemed to be enforced on Jenny—a woman with a larger bust. Just think about that for a second. If you have small breasts, you can wear whatever you want, and it’s perfectly acceptable! But if you happen to have anything over a D-cup (especially on a smaller frame), you must lock those massive mammaries away because they are offensive!
Considering that breasts, big or small, are the same part of the anatomy, it makes no fucking sense how one can be regarded as acceptable and the other completely vulgar! This is especially hard to swallow considering that men practically go shirtless in the gym all the time and don’t seem to have their pecs subjected to such strict clothing guidelines.
Vecchio went on to explain:
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.
Vecchio then posted three photos of her outfit online and asked the internet to weigh in on whether they believed it to be too skimpy or not. The response? Overwhelmingly in Jen’s favor!
Fight The Power
After such a huge amount of attention online, Movati Athletic Group decided to respond. Did they apologize to Jenny for body shaming her? Did they suggest any improvements or changes to the rules? Nope! They continued to defend their utterly ridiculous stance while carefully skirting the real issues!
Sean Whittall, Area Director for Movati, released a statement saying:
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. 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.
While not an entirely satisfactory conclusion to this story, the positive thing to come from this is that Jenny can now find a better gym that truly appreciates her as a badass weightlifting woman!