Supposedly our world is changing. Supposedly we’re becoming more conscious of the way we treat each other, of the way our words can affect the way people see themselves. Word on the street is that we are becoming more body positive… but perhaps the street doesn’t quite extend poolside. Because when a woman is asked to cover up her inappropriate bathing suit or leave, that’s not body positivity. It’s the same good, old-fashioned body shaming women have been struggling with ever since bodies were a thing.
An apartment complex in Seymour, Tennessee brought some unwanted attention upon itself by bringing unwanted attention to one of its residents. Someone took issue with a young woman’s bathing suit and it was made public by her fiancé’s Facebook post.
Twenty-year-old Tori Jenkins and her fiancé Tyler Newman arrived at Smoky Crossing’s pool to hang out with some friends, some of whom are also residents. According to Tyler, they were there less than five minutes when Tori was singled out for her one-piece pink swimsuit. She was told she had to change, cover-up, or leave the premises.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough Jenkins’ claimed the consultant said her bathing suit would excite many of the teenage boys who lived in the complex.
Why? Apparently, she was told that her bathing suit was a “thong suit” and inappropriate attire for the pool. Moreover, they stated they were receiving complaints about what she was wearing, so she needed to rectify the situation. Upset and embarrassed, Tori decided to speak to someone privately in the leasing office.
“Today, my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her,” Newman wrote about the incident. “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.”
Following the body-shaming incident, the apartment complex released a statement:
Smoky Crossing is a welcoming family community. Multiple residents within our community complained and expressed concerns regarding Ms. Jenks’ swimwear. In accordance with our pool policies, which are posted near the swimming area, one of our leasing consultants requested Ms. Jenks wrap a towel around herself when she was walking around the pool. Ms. Jenkins was never asked to leave the pool. In addition, our leasing agent did not state that Ms. Jenkins swimwear would ‘excite teenage boys.’ Ms. Jenkins and Mr. Newman are valued members of our community. However, we feel it is inappropriate to equate requesting Ms. Jenkins to cover up with sexual harassment or ‘rape culture.’ Smoky Crossing denounces harassment in all forms.
Jenkins disagreed with how the complex’s spokesperson worded its statement.
“I was point-blank told that my comfortability at a pool that I paid to use was less important than a teenage boy being able to control himself,” she told BuzzFeed News. “It perpetuates the idea that how a man feels around a woman is more important than how a woman feels around herself.”
Sadly Tori Jenkins’ is not unique. Women are body shamed and criticized for wearing clothes that others feel the need to deem inappropriate for them.
Pass this article on to show your support for Tori and other women who have experienced something similar.
Watch the video report here: InsideEdition/Youtube