This week in body-shaming, (which is now how I start about 60 percent of my posts) a woman was forced to leave her apartment’s swimming pool due to her “inappropriate”… one-piece bathing suit.
The woman’s fiancée, Tyler Newman, posted about the incident on Facebook, describing it as the first time he has ever “witnessed sexual harrassment and/or ‘rape culture.'”
“Today my fiancée was faced with either changing her bathing suit, covering up with shorts, or leaving the pool that we paid a $300 fee to maintain on top of a monthly rent of nearly $1000 (not including utilities and wifi,” Newman writes, “Tori was accused of wearing a ‘thong bathing suit’ and told there were complaints about the way she was dressed after roughly 3 minutes tops, of us arriving there.”
Newman then describes how his fiancée, Tori Jenkins, went to the leasing consultant to speak about the issue, where the situation went from bad to worse. The consultant took a picture of Jenkins to prove to her “how inappropriate” her suit was, and told her she would not want her own kids anywhere near Jenkins.
Her fiancée aptly describes the couple’s frustrations, and details how this encounter both perpetuates rape culture and unnecessarily shames women for having curvier bodies.
“Today my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her. That Tori is less important than a man’s urges to be sexual towards her. I think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, but I also respect her. I would never make her or any other woman feel less than what she’s worth because of her outfit or her looks. This is how rape culture continues to grow. I’ve never seen my fiancée embarrassed to the point where she can’t even look her best friends in the face. I’ve never seen her cry like she did in our apartment today. Never seen her want to be isolated like that. All because some ignorant assholes think they can police the size and shape of her body. I’ve never seen a woman so disrespected.”
Newman attaches pictures of her swimsuit to the post, which is, one thousand percent, not a thong.
Jenkins finally responded to the incident in her own words a few days later with a heartbreaking Facebook post both explaining how hurt the situation made her feel and how negative and sexualized many of the comments have been in response to her fiancée’s post.
“There WAS a front facing picture. I took it down after reading so many hateful comments about my stomach and so many intensely explicit sexual comments,” she writes. “That is the whole issue. I will not be reposting it because that isn’t the area of my body in question. I left the back view up even after the same comments are made on that picture… The ENTIRE POINT of this post is that no man or woman has the right to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. No right to police me or any other human.”
No one should have to feel self-conscious and objectified on a hot day taking a swim, and avoiding “exciting teenage boys” at the expense of body-shaming an appropriately-dressed woman is unacceptable.