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Friday, May 2, 2014

Pregnant woman kicked out of gym

Wow. Have you been following the story of the pregnant woman kicked out of a South Carolina Planet Fitness gym because her belly was showing and she refused to cover up? Apparently the gym has a no-midriff policy that she was "violating" with her 19-week preggo belly.

Look at how cute she is! (And anyone who thinks this belly is shocking clearly hasn't been to a water park in July.)

When I started reading the story on various news outlets, I was expecting to find comments from people who would be supportive of this mama named Melissa Mantor with posts like, "You go girl!" and "Let it all hang out!" But instead, people are really being mean...

Really? They think HER belly was hanging out? Clearly they hadn't seen my Instagram photo from a few days before...

See, here's the thing. I'm not trying to be an exhibitionist or offend anyone. I just have a HUGE gut! It happens! I have exactly ONE maternity workout top, but on this particular day it was dirty, so I wore a pre-pregnancy one. At 37 weeks pregnant, I don't want to invest in a ton of maternity clothes because a) They are expensive and b) I could pop at anytime, so why bother? So yes, I wore this outfit to the gym and no I didn't get kicked out or have America bashing me.

Here are the major problems I have with this story:

1) Have you ever in your life heard of a dress policy at the gym? I have worked out in a lot of gyms in my day, and it's not at all uncommon to see various states of dress. And I'm not just talking about in New York or Chicago either. I used to belong to the YMCA in Fishers, Indiana which you'd expect to be the most conservative gym in America, but I often saw women in sports bras. WHO CARES? You're sweating. It's hot. You're working out. No one expects you to be in a business suit.

2) Have you ever been to Hot Yoga? People are basically naked in hot yoga. Why? Because it's FRICKING HOT! Even the men practically wear speedos. I'm pretty sure I once saw a man's "man parts" in a hot yoga class and didn't think a thing of it.

3) Have you ever been to Wal-Mart? Yes South Carolina, I'm talking to you. There's a reason there are entire websites dedicated to what people wear to Wal-Mart because it's, well, bad. Here's a friendly reminder...

And I'm fairly certain this woman (man?) isn't wearing this outfit because he/she's expecting a little miracle and nothing fits anymore.

4) Have you ever been to a major city?? Perhaps I'm a jaded New Yorker, but nothing really shocks me anymore. A few weeks ago I saw a homeless man "enjoying" himself on the subway platform, so I simply turned my back so I didn't have to see the outcome. I didn't inform him that he was violating the subway's rules and "enjoying" oneself is best left to do in the privacy of one's cardboard home.

5) Have you ever paid attention during summer? I wonder how many of the people who commented on Melissa's story look like this in the summer...

And yet if I asked any of these women to cover up, I'd probably get punched in the face.

So Melissa, the moral of this blog post is that I feel your pain. Anyone who says just "cover up" clearly has never been pregnant and realized the daily battle of trying to find something that fits. (Let's be honest--you know it's bad when you can barely shove a flip flop onto your swollen and nasty-looking foot.)

And to America-- if Melissa's (or my) belly really offends you that much, I would suggest you NOT tell us about it because we're A) Emotional and B) Hormonal and C) Likely to kick your butt. Just look at what I did to this guy...


  1. I feel like an old rule follower here, now I have no problem with you and your adorable pregnant belly at the gym by any means. What I do find annoying is that this story even made the news. She belonged to a gym that has more conservative rules such as no midriff tops. With having such rules in place their facility has the right to enforce this dress code.... which they did. Not really a news story, freedom infringement, or anything else.... just an enforcement of a dress code which also helps to keep the latter people (photos of Wal-Mart pics... ugh!!) from appearing at the same gym as well. Just because the pregnant ladies belly is cute and the fat ladies bellies or... ahem... huge muffin tops aren't so cute doesn't mean we can pick & choose. Like I said, I'm a rule follower... fuddy duddy ;)

  2. Thanks for reading the blog Laurel and commenting. I think you're absolutely right...the gym made those rules to make sure the people who look like they just stopped by Wal-Mart in their undies aren't then working out in the gym in the same getup. But I believe it's also a gym's (or any other establishment's) responsibility to use their best judgement in a case-by-case basis. If they saw a woman working out in a workout top that was riding up because she had a belly (pregnant or not), they should be able to quickly determine that the woman is not trying to break the rules or be an exhibitionist, she just has on a top that's perhaps too small. I truly believe if this was a heavy woman, the country would be outraged that she was asked to cover up. But because it was a cute pregnant woman, they feel like it was okay to ask her to cover up. I know the same debate goes on all the time regarding breastfeeding...
    That being said, thanks for reading the blog!

  3. Yeah you're right, and as a pregnant woman now as well I tend to get emotional over stuff say my rant and come back and feel the need to apologize for being snarky... so my apologies dear!! And I am an avid breast feeder both in public and behind closed doors. If my babies are hungry, I'm whippin' it out! I love your blog and I think it's cool that gal emailed you. I hope you are doing well and taking care of yourself. .. Laurel

  4. Thanks Laurel, and congrats! What a fun time! :-)