Why A Gym Employee Told A Woman That Her Tank Top Made People Uncomfortable

Photo: Getty Images
woman in low-cut tanktop and blue hair

There are certain environments and situations in which one generally understands that they should dress in modest attire.

A church, mosque, synagogue, or another place of worship. When going on a job interview of almost any kind.

Anywhere you'll be meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend's parents for the first time. When testifying in court.

Then there are certain environments and situations in which one generally understands that they are free and able to let it all loose.

The beach. Your own home. And most certainly, at the gym.

RELATED: British Woman Has 'Scientifically Perfect' Looks

Unfortunately for Jenna Vecchio, the owners and employees (and apparently some members) of her now-former gym missed that particular page of pretty much every single etiquette book ever written in the history of gyms and etiquette books.

Vecchio and her husband were working out together at their gym in 2016 — Movati Athletic Club in Orleans, Ontario — when a gym supervisor approached to inform her that her tank top was inappropriate gym attire and that her appearance was making other gym patrons uncomfortable. Her "chest," the Movati employee explained, was "too big" for her tank top, and members had complained.

Feeling humiliated, Vecchio and her husband rather than finish their gym time.

At home, Vecchio took to her personal Facebook page, describing her experience in detail:

Along with details of the experience, Vecchio shared photos of herself and her "too big" chest in the offending tank top ...

Along with photos from the gym's own website:

And Facebook page:

Where their latest motivational post has been met by quite the comment section!

In the response issued by spokesperson Sean Whittal, Movati stood behind their employee's actions, 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. 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."

There are certainly private gyms in existence with modesty policies, particularly for religious reasons. Those gyms typically have specific dress codes their members are well of when they join.

RELATED: 800-Pound Bride To Wear World's Largest Wedding Dress

However, looking at the pictures of women in even smaller tops than Ms. Vecchio's on Movati Athletics Club's own website, this is clearly a case of disapproval of Ms. Vecchio's body in particular, not with tank tops in general. 

As Vecchio noted elsewhere on her Facebook page, this is body shaming at its most ugly. 

We simply must remain aware as a society that body-shaming is not only perpetrated against those who are overweight. Any time a person of any gender, age, or size is made to feel subject to different rights and privileges based on shape alone, that is body shaming, as well as discrimination.

RELATED: I'm Body-Shamed For Wearing The Exact Same Clothes As Thin Women

I would go so far as to add that in this case, the behavior by Movati and its employees falls into the realm of slut shaming, as Ms. Vecchio was being treated as though her breasts, and by inference, her sexually arousing appearance, was rightly offensive, leading to a corporate decision that her discomfort mattered less than the discomfort of others.

The Movati "philosophy" says, "When we first started, we looked at everything we didn't like about fitness clubs and decided to fix it. Like their intimidating atmosphere. We want all our members to feel comfortable and cared for."

Hmmm ... Except for those members who are really hot and well-endowed?

Or did I miss something?

RELATED: Man Fathered 82 Children In 9 Years

Deputy Editor Arianna Jeret, MA/MSW, has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Style, MSN, Fox News, Bustle, Parents, and more. Find her on Twitter and Instagram for more.