A gym in Ottawa, Canada is facing backlash after one of its members publicly accused staff of body-shaming her for the size of her chest. In a Facebook post on Saturday, Jenna Vecchio claimed staff at the Motavi Athletic club in Orleans, Ontario told her that her outfit — a tank top and leggings — was both “inappropriate” and “offensive” due to her body type.
“I will start by saying my tank top was no different than many other women’s tank [tops] at the club; except my chest size is much larger in appearance in comparison to my frame than many of the other women,” Vecchio wrote.
She then explained that she went around the gym asking all the other women there if her top had offended them, then confronted the two supervisors on duty.
“I pointed out to them that my shirt was no different than any other woman’s shirt,” she explained. “They informed me that it did not matter that due to my chest size I could not wear a tank top. I felt humiliated and discriminated against due to my figure.
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.