An Ottawa woman says she was humiliated and “body shamed” when staff at an Orleans gym told her that her chest was “too large” for her tank top. Jenna Vecchio, who moved to Ottawa in April from Halifax, said she was working out with her husband on Saturday morning at Movati when a female supervisor confronted her about her attire. She was told other clients at the gym had complained her top made them feel uncomfortable.
Vecchio says she was confused and seriously embarrassed, especially since other women wore similar tank tops. She and her husband left without finishing their workout. “I said I can’t help it that my chest may appear larger than some other women’s here because of my small frame, but I can’t do anything about it,” Vecchio told Metro. “I felt humiliated. I was made to feel uncomfortable. I felt degraded.”
In an email statement, Movati spokesperson Sean Whittal said members are asked to wear “modest athletic attire” and Vecchio’s top was seen as contrary to the gym’s dress code.
Below is the full statement:
At Movati Athletic, we strive daily to create an atmosphere where all our members feel welcome, feel comfortable and feel healthy. 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. We are still looking into the matter, and would be happy to sit down and speak with Ms. Vecchio in more detail as we continue to investigate the incident.
– Sean Whittal, Area Director, Ottawa, Movati Athletic Group