An Ottawa-area woman says staff at her gym said her outfit — a tank top and athletic pants — was "inappropriate" and "offensive to both the staff and other members" due to the size of her chest.
Jenna Vecchio, who posted about the incident on Facebook, said she was at the Movati Athletic gym in Orleans when a staff member admonished her.
"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," wrote Vecchio.
After asking some of the women working out that day if they had a problem with her tank top (they didn't), Vecchio went back to the staff member.
"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," she wrote.
"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?"
Her Facebook post about the incident has now been shared more than 4,000 times.
Her post also included promotional images from the gym that clearly show women in tank tops similar to hers.
In a statement to BuzzFeed Canada, the gym said Vecchio "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."
The gym said they conducted a "thorough investigation" and concluded Vecchio was "dressed inconsistently with our code of conduct."
Further, they said staff never said it was Vecchio's style of shirt that was the problem, but the "lack of coverage."
"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," the statement said.
Meanwhile, Movati Athletic Orlean's Facebook page is being flooded with messages from people accusing them of body-shaming.
Here's the full statement from Movati:
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.