Going to the gym can be quite difficult for some people, as it may require a lot of courage to work out in a rather public space. Especially for those with a larger body, the feeling of being judged can be a dealbreaker. This exact same thing happened to one woman who was asked to leave her gym for wearing a sports bra, only to be followed with body-shaming comments made by one of the employees.
TikTok user @shelby.bellz posted an emotional video from her car, explaining what exactly had happened to her at the gym that she frequently went to.
She started the video telling that when she entered the gym, the employee at the front desk said that they have a policy and that it isn’t allowed to wear sports bras to the gym. She also said that her exact words were: “You can’t just have your belly hanging out.”
Then Shelby showed what exactly she was wearing, which appeared to be far from revealing.
After the employee made those comments at the front desk, she continued that it was fine for now, since she was already here, but she had to keep it in mind for the next time. So, Shelby went into the gym and started with her workout, only to approached by another employee at the gym.
This time, it was the program coordinator of the gym, who simply asked her to leave the gym.
Shelby continued: “I was so embarrassed.” She said that she tried to explain to the coordinator that the woman at the front desk had let her in this time, but he refused to listen to anything she had to say. In the end, Shelby felt rejected and not welcome at the gym, so she decided to leave.
The next day, she posted a video with an update to clarify some things after the comments that she had received.
First, she expressed gratitude to her followers, since she couldn’t believe the amount of support that she had received. She said: “It means so much to me to have my feelings validated and to tell me that I’m not crazy”. But, there were also some people who called her ‘overdramatic’.
She pointed out that for her, going to the gym had been a rather harrowing and emotional experience.
“To the people that were commenting that I was being overdramatic, like, 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,” she said. “That was only my third visit there. […] to have that interaction go down when you have barely even been there a week is very demeaning […].”
Then, she addressed the people who told her that she was being dramatic for no reason, but she had experienced fat-shaming.
“The only reason I tagged fat-shaming is because I genuinely believe that if that was a smaller woman standing there at the counter, that they wouldn’t have said that to her. ‘Well we can’t have our bellies hanging out.’ I genuinely believe that that wouldn’t have been said.”
Tons of support
“To anyone who thinks she’s overreacting. You have no idea how hard it is to start going to the gym out of fear THIS would happen,” wrote one person on the original video.
“You have every right to be upset and other people have no right to tell you how to feel about that situation,” said another.
Many people could relate to her, and that showed after she had posted both of the videos.
In an interview, she said that those who are struggling to go to the gym for whatever reason it may be, that they shouldn’t give up, even if someone brings them down. “Don’t let small bumps in the road make huge ripples in your life.”
She also mentioned that she was going to continue working out at the gym this happened.
She firmly believes that dedication and determination will get you farther in life than motivation will. She said: “I love the term, ‘Dedication not motivation’ because it’s so true”. “Motivation comes and goes, but if you stay dedicated even when you’re not motivated, you’ll get where you want to be.”
“I don’t think there is a simple answer to what needs to happen for change at a societal level, the issue is so extremely complex and something that has been going on since before I was even born,” she told Bored Panda. “But I think a great first step is not caring what others wear into the gym, as long as they are comfortable.”