I Was Kicked Out of My Gym for Wearing a Crop Top



Rebecca Lorenzo, Copy Editor

This past weekend, I was kicked out of my gym for my “revealing” crop top – while others in short shorts and crop tops got to stay.

An Embarrassing Encounter

I was mid-squat on my first day at my new facility.  I had an 80 lb barbell on my back when *Sharon (name has been changed) interrupted, looking upset. Confused, I dropped my heavy barbell and took off my headphones, assuming it must be urgent.

“Your outfit isn’t appropriate, and I’m either going to have to ask you to put on another shirt or if you don’t have one, leave.”

I was puzzled. Having been an avid gym rat for about 10 years now, I have worn this shirt to multiple gyms on a regular basis without an issue. Was it my “scandalous” shoulders? My whopping half an inch of inch bare “midriff?”

Beyond that, I was shocked that this woman was compelled to call me out in front of 50 plus strangers. Had I not just given this gym $50 in signup fees the other day? How about the “no judgment” signs plastered all over the gym walls?

Apparently, something else was plastered there too – a sign that said “no sports bras.” But my top was not a sports bra – it was a crop top.

I peered around at others barely wearing their short shorts and tank tops. My gut told me I was being singled out.

When asked if I could finish my workout, *Sharon replied, “I guess I can allow it this once.”

Livid, I approached another worker there. He seemed shocked she booted me but explained the dress code is a “pick-and-choose” thing. Apparently, certain people look more inappropriate in the same outfit as someone else.

“I’m sorry, what?” I was shook.

I hate causing a scene, especially to customer services workers. But the more I tried to deny it, the angrier I became.

My Response

As I left, too angry to finish my workout, I told the employee she was wrong for embarrassing me in front of customers. If she absolutely had to say something, she could have pulled me aside.

I am not mad she followed protocol. I was pissed that I was the only person in this entire gym singled out, while several other females clearly donned sports bras without bother. Men across the gym had their nipples literally on display and I am chastised for a square inch of my belly button.

Plus, there is literally a sign on the wall that says, “…no too much or not enough, no glares of disapproval.” Meanwhile, I now get glared at this person who pays special attention to what I wear now.

I tested this out for the next few days, wearing a similar top to the gym. Not a single employee said anything to me – until this girl approached me again.

I dared her to kick me out because I no longer cared. She did not, but if she had, I would have canceled my membership immediately.

Gym Dress Codes are Unfair

Listen, I would understand if someone had their private parts showing. There are actual laws against that and it is clearly a violation.

But we are in a GYM. The whole point is celebrating different body types and being proud of who you are. Besides, it is hot in there. A gym that is “no judgment” should understand that.

I was embarrassed and angered that day. For someone to tell me what to wear while excusing everyone else was bad enough. To do it while charging my card monthly is worse.

If dress codes are to exists, they must be enforced for everyone. No one has the authority to “pick and choose” whose body looks “acceptable” in a tank top and whose doesn’t.

That is 100 percent judgment. Deciding only one out of two people in the same outfit is unacceptable is discrimination. Not to mention, it is gross.

Judgment Has No Place at the Gym

Why would I pay $25 a month for a gym membership to make my body look good if I am told to be ashamed of it?

The “gymtimidation” rules are really stupid – if someone is offended by the fact that my shoulders are showing, I cannot help that, nor can I care.

This is not about me wanting to wear as little clothes as possible to the gym. It is about the right to dress as an adult. Additionally, it is about stupid rules getting to the wrong person’s head.

Let us stop telling women how they can and cannot dress. The fact that it’ 2018 and this even an issue is ridiculous.

These stupid dress codes are rarely enforced, anyway. But they are still in place, which means an employee can decide they do not like someone and immediately begin “enforcing.”

My gym membership is not a coveted position at a job that I must dress professionally for. It is a service that I pay for because it makes me feel incredible to love myself.

I am a 23-year-old woman and I will not be told what I can and cannot wear.