I’m self-conscious about my big butt. Not as much before, now it’s how wide my hips are, making it impossible to look like a normal human being in pants, but when I was younger I hated it whenever someone pointed out how big my butt is. It takes people a while now to realize how gargantuan my ass really is, mostly because I’m too busy putting on a front and acting like a fool to make them laugh.
But there’s no doubt women get body-shamed all over the place and experience it way worse than men. Like this Ottawa woman, Jenna Vecchio, who was told that her workout clothes were “offensive” and inappropriate just because she had big boobs.
The Movati athletic club in Orleans, Ontario told Vecchio prevented her from working out due to her attire, which was no different than the other women in the gym. And if you check Movati’s website, Vecchio’s got a point.
Floored by the gym’s response to her body, Vecchio went around the gym asking women if her body type offended them, which, of course, is a weird question and they’d probably say no to avoid confrontation, but still. She then went to speak to gym staff:
“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…my tank top was no different than many other women’s tank [tops] at the club; except my chest size is much larger in appearance in comparison to my frame than many of the other women,”
Vecchio’s post was shared over 4,000 times, with tons of irate commenters pissed off at the discrimination:
But Movati claims that the photos Jenna showed on Facebook don’t accurately reflect what she was wearing when they showed her the door. They released a statement that makes it pretty apparent they’re standing by what they did:
At Movati Athletic, we strive daily to create an atmosphere where all our members feel welcome comfortable and healthy. We ask all members to be respectful of each other when in the gym including 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 particularly as we have members of various ages, varying levels of fitness and from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Our main goal is supporting all our members in the pursuit of a healthy and a positive lifestyle.
While it may not have been intentional, Ms. Vecchio’s attire was not as modest as she has suggested via the images she shared recently on Facebook and through media interviews, and caused multiple members to feel uncomfortable and voice their concerns to our staff. Following Ms. Vecchio’s own social media postings on this matter, we conducted a thorough investigation which included first-hand accounts from members and other staff, and a follow-up meeting with Jenna herself, who seemed to leave the facility feeling as though she had expressed her position. Upon conclusion of our interviews, we stand by the original decision that confirms that Ms. Vecchio was dressed inconsistently with our code of conduct. The Movati staff never indicated Ms. Vecchio’s style of shirt was not appropriate – it was the lack of coverage that was the issue as she exercised adjacent to other members. While in no way did we mean to embarrass Ms. Vecchio, we did feel it necessary to address the situation with her due to member discomfort. Although our staff were professional and discreet in their approach, and followed our process of not asking a member to leave or conclude a workout, she and her husband chose to escalate the matter publicly.
While it is unfortunate that Ms. Vecchio felt she had a negative experience, it was certainly not Movati’s intent. Our complete focus is a positive, respectful and healthy environment for all members as they pursue their fitness and wellness goals.
Listen, I’m all for respecting people, but if you’re not mature enough to manage your emotions just because someone else’s body offends you, then you need to learn to grow the f*ck up. It’s not like she’s an advertisement or a movie or a magazine cover: she’s an actual human being. I’d love to see if they would tell a muscular dude in a tank top the same thing.