A woman in Knoxville, Tennessee was shamed for wearing a one piece swimsuit in their own apartment complex swimming pool earlier this week. The couple, Tori Jenkins and Tyler Newman, brought the incident to the public’s attention after Newman created a public Facebook post about it. We are still trying to understand how any of this is real.
This is what happened. Jenkins went to the pool wearing a pink, one-piece bathing suit. Management stopped Jenkins, and asked her to make a choice — she could either cover up with shorts, change her suit, or leave the pool. The couple already pays a $300 membership fee to be able to swim, so we can understand why they wouldn’t want to leave, and since Jenkins was wearing a normal one-piece bathing suit, we also get why she didn’t feel like she had to “cover up.” The pool staff accused Jenkins of wearing a “thong bathing suit.” The couple provided photos as evidence, which proved that the bathing suit was nowhere near a thong (not that there’s anything wrong with a thong bathing suit — but guys, seriously, this was not a thong bathing suit).
What’s worse, is that the leasing agent brought Jenkins into the office. They asked that Jenkins allow them to take her photo for “proof.” Moreover, Jenkins was told that her body is built “more curvy than others.” Because of this, it’s “too inappropriate” for children to be around.
Yuck. And as if things couldn’t get worse? The leasing consultant said that teenage boys in the area didn’t need to be “excited.” Maybe the teenage boys in the area WOULD have become excited — but isn’t it our responsibility has a society to teach humans to be respectful of one another? Women’s bodies are often times seen as merely existing for consumption, and this is just another example of this happening.
Newman informed readers about how disturbing the entire situation was for him and his fiancée — especially his fiancée. He wrote:
Facebook commenters fill the post with positive words — letting Jenkins know that she has a support team.
One commenter wrote, “I see nothing wrong with that suit. It looks great on her and people just suck. Keep wearing that swimsuit and whatever else you want!”
Another commenter said, “Crazy!! Your wife looks great and she can wear whatever bathing suit she wants!!”
Jenkins wrote up her own Facebook post in which she wrote many thanks to the overwhelming online support from readers and followers. She states, “It hasn’t even been that long since it happened but I can tell you that I’ve felt really shitty about myself since. Being distracted by friends and work and your wonderful comments have made this process a whole lot easier.”
Even though she absolutely did not need to, she explained what kind of swimsuit she was wearing, its size, and why it may have “looked small.” (Girl, it looked GREAT on you — hater’s gonna hate.)
The fact that Jenkins still received judgmental, body-shaming comments on her own Facebook page is extremely disappointing. There should be no policing of anyone’s body, especially in such a negative light as this experience was for this Knoxville couple.
Situations like this one are real, and probably happen more often than we think. Whether at the pool, the gym, or walking on the street, no one should ever feel uncomfortable in their skin. Body-shaming is never, ever acceptable.