A distraught mother of one has slammed her local gym for “fat-shaming” her after being thrown out of the venue for showing off her stomach in a sports bra and high-waisted leggings.
Shelby Rodriguez, twenty-six, from Alberta, Canada was left devastated after she was told to leave the gym mid-way through a workout – despite being given permission by a staff member to wear her stomach-showing outfit.
Rodriquez filmed herself breaking down in tears in her car while recounting the incident in a now-viral TikTok video. The mom began documenting her weight-loss journey in March and was told that her outfit violated the dress code upon entering the establishment.
The gym in question prohibits crop tops but she said the receptionist gave her permission to work out in the ensemble on this one occasion. However, fifteen minutes after she started her workout, Shelby was ordered to leave the gym by its program coordinator.
“So, I just went to the gym and the lady at the front desk said that they have a policy that you’re not allowed to wear sports bras to the gym, that you ‘can’t be showing your belly,'” a sobbing Shelby explained in her video.
“She said, ‘It’s fine for this time but just so you know for next time’.”
At this point, Shelby shows the camera what she is wearing, revealing a pair of black high-waisted leggings with a matching sports bra – which, FYI, showed less than an inch of her stomach on display.
“So I was like, OK that’s fine, and I went to do my workout,” the mom continued, “I’m fifteen minutes in on the treadmill and the program coordinator came up to me and asked me to leave.”
“I’m so embarrassed.”
Shelby shared her emotional post on TikTok with the hashtags #fatshaming and #bodyimage where she received many messages of sympathy and encouragement from others.
“Time for a new gym [honey] I’m so sorry that happened to you,” one person commented on the clip, while another chimed in: “I hear you. You’re valid. And I’m so sorry soul sister, this was wrong.”
Others urged Rodriguez to “name and shame” the gym, with one telling her: “Oh honey do not be embarrassed. I would name and shame them. Don’t cry, just remember [you’re] beautiful and strong.”
Nevertheless, some felt Rodriguez was overreacting as many gyms do have dress codes and the program coordinator was simply following the facility’s policy by asking her the leave. “Sounds like they have a strong dress code and that it has nothing to do with you personally,” one person commented, “I don’t understand why you are so upset.”
However, in a follow-up video, Rodriguez explained how there were 2 main factors that influenced her reaction. “One is how the lady at the front desk spoke to me. First of all, I said, ‘Oh, we’re not allowed to wear a sports bra?’ and she said, ‘Well we can’t just have our bellies hanging out’ in a belittling tone. So that already is not OK.”
“Problem 2 is that she told me that it was OK to go into the gym, that it was OK for this time but next time [I would need] to wear something else,” she said, “To the people who were commenting that I was being overdramatic, you just have to remember that for some people it takes so much courage and confidence to actually get up the gall to go to the gym and that was only my third visit there.”
“Lastly, the only reason why I tagged fat-shaming is that I genuinely believe that if that was a smaller woman standing there at the counter that they wouldn’t have said that ‘we can’t have our bellies hanging out’ to her. I genuinely believe that wouldn’t have been said.”
What do you think about the gym’s so-called dress code?