A California woman signed up for a gym membership so that she could get back in shape after recovering from a car accident, but on her first day at the Richmond Planet Fitness, she was told by staff that her toned body was intimidating to other patrons.
Tiffany Austin says when she arrived at the gym for the first time after signing up for a membership, she decided to start by walking on the treadmill. Immediately, Austin says people at surrounding machines began to stare at her, and after only a few minutes on the treadmill, a gym employee asked her to stop.
“Excuse me we’ve had some complaints you’re intimidating people with your toned body,” the Planet Fitness employee reportedly said to Austin. “So can you put on a shirt?”
Planet Fitness proudly boasts its slogan, “The Judgment Free Zone,” but Austin says that’s not how she felt at all. Planet Fitness does have a policy prohibiting patrons from wearing clothing that reveals too much of the body in an effort to stop people from being “subjected to the hardcore look-at-me-attitude that exists in too many gyms."
Austin claims that although she was wearing a tank top and capris, she was only told upon signing up that she couldn’t wear a string tank top. When the employee asked her to put on a shirt, she agreed, but when another employee approached her and commented on her body, she decided she had taken enough. She found the manager, cancelled her membership, and left.
While Austin clearly disagrees with the policy put forth by Planet Fitness, other members think it’s a great idea. Richmond member Geovanna Borges said, “it’s unfair to show off your body” because it makes other people at the gym feel bad about themselves.
Austin says that her brief experience at Planet Fitness left her feeling harassed and intimated and that the gym that so proudly boasts about its lack of judgment didn’t uphold their promise.