It all started out as a fun outing with the entire family. This was the reason it came as such a huge surprise that she would suffer rage, humiliation, and unfairness on the same day. Her problem was neither the little kids playing around her nor the expensive tickets and food at the water park. No, it was a more serious issue than any of those things. This woman had only been in the water for a couple of minutes before she was kicked out from there. There was no way she would let this go easily!
Her Name Is Madelyn Scheaffer
Madelyn Scheaffer is a dedicated mother from Odessa, Missouri. She was the sort of woman who would do everything in her power to ensure that her family was doing well. However, something big took place when she was in her mid-30s. It is not an exaggeration to say that it shattered her entire world!
Seven years after that, several employees at the waterpark tried to undo her hard work. She had truly been through it all, a tough time is an understatement and for a water park to affect her how it did- you can imagine what happened was not good.
It Was Time To Make A Decision
In 2005, she found out something about herself that made her reconsider her choices in life. She had been suffering from a slipped disc after she slipped and fell into the bathtub as she leaned over to make herself a bath.
Her lifestyle did not do her body any favors either. One day, she decided that she has had enough already. This was the moment she realized she had to make a change, the pain and ordeal of a slipped disc is enough to make anyone change their ways!
It Was A Sign
When the accident happened, emergency workers came over in no time at all. However, Madelyn had been in so much pain that she did not want to be moved. She even sent the responders away and simply laid in the bathtub for a couple of days.
A Sense Of Calm
As she spent her time there, a calmness overtook her entire body. It was not part of her plan at all. She took it as a sign that she had been neglecting herself too much in her quest to look after the rest of the family.
She Was Determined To Change
Madelyn said, “That should have been the first sign for me that I needed to lose weight, but it took me another year before I made the decision to do something.” However, something incredible happened when she was finally able to muster all her willpower and strength.
Best Shape Of Her Life
After two years, she was able to shed a hundred pounds. She truly made a life change. Five years after this, she was still in good shape. She had no idea that she was about to get into one of the biggest battles of her life.
Mustering The Bravery To Do It
At the age of 43, she weighed 170 pounds. Madelyn was in the best shape possible and felt even more confident than ever before. One very hot day, this mother decided to try something that she had never dared to do. She was aware that her body was not perfect. Nonetheless, she put on a new black bikini and went to Adventure Oasis Water Park with the family. However, things took a turn for the worse.
Someone Was Watching Her
Madelyn looked at the bodies of the people in the water park, both young and old. She did not feel jealous of them at all! By then, she was already happy with the way that she looked. And rightly so since she worked hard for it to happen. Unbeknownst to her, someone there had been watching her in secret!
Confidence is Key
It is extremely hard to lose weight and to build up the confidence to rock a bikini after being overweight, confidence is not automatically brought about when you lose weight but a work in progress. Madelyn felt good but that would soon be revoked.
She Could Not Believe It
She put her towel away, sat down, and went into the cold water. She had only been in there for five minutes when she was approached by two female staff members. They told Madelyn something that she was unable to process right away.
Employees Say What
She squinted up at them in the sunlight and asked them to say that one more time. Could it be that she simply misheard them? She was absolutely stunned by these female staff members nonetheless.
Her “Inappropriate” Outfit
One of the ladies sighed and repeated what she just said. She informed Madelyn that she was wearing “too small” and “inappropriate” bikini bottoms. “This is a family park,” she even went on to explain. How could this be right?
According To Who’s Standards?
After all, she had “full” bikini bottoms on. She was in total confusion as she looked at the other women at the water park. A lot of them were wearing scantier swimwear! Clearly, there was something wrong here.
She Felt Violated
Her emotions were all over the place, and her face was showing all of them. Madelyn could not help but feel a deep sense of embarrassment and shame after hearing the female employees comment on her body. It felt like a total violation to her.
Taking A Stand
However, she was able to stop feeling like that. It was soon replaced with anger. “I was embarrassed for a second, and then it was no, no way,” she shared. She had worked too hard to let these fellow women break her down like that.
They Singled Her Out
“My body is different than the young girls that were walking around in their bikinis, but why should I be made ashamed of my body?” Madelyn explained. She went on to say, “I am comfortable in my bikini. I am happy with who I am.
Embracing Your Body
My first reaction was why are you singling me out? They said that my bottoms were inappropriate. That was funny to me because they are full-size bottoms.” Women of all shapes and sizes should be able to embrace their bodies and not be ashamed.
Time To Take A Stand
She turned to look at the staff members who continued to look her body up and down in an accusing manner. If this incident took place several years ago, Madelyn knew that she would have been too shy to stick up for herself. However, this was now.
Standing Up For Herself
She knew that it was time for her to take a stand. After all, it was obvious that they were singling her out for no good reason. Her confidence would not easily be broken down it had been built up and was intended to last.
They Gave Her Two Options
The nasty young women refused to let it go, however. They told Madelyn that she only had two options. She could either slip on a pair of shorts over her bikini bottoms, or she could go. She was furious now and asked to talk to their supervisor.
“Well I am not covering up,” she told them, incensed. She added, “And if you expect me to leave, you had better call the police and have them escort me out.” Not only was she embarrassed they had singled her out but she felt that she was standing up for many women.
She Was Booted Out
Much to her dismay, police officers eventually made their way to the waterpark to kick her out. “Fifteen minutes later the police did arrive and said that while they did not agree, they had to do their job. ‘We can’t actually say anything,’ they said as we walked outside… but I hope from the expressions on our face you can tell how we feel.”
Even The Police Agreed
Madelyn narrated in her Facebook post, which went viral. She continued, “They were compassionate. They, too, though it was ridiculous.” The police would surely know what should and should not be allowed in today’s world.
Looking Too Good In A Bikini
“I am a 43-year-old woman who did not have the confidence or the body, to put on a bikini until [I was] 40 years old,” Madelyn kept going in her post. She said, “I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”
Wearing A Bikini At Any Age
She described, “This was not a thong. It was a standard, summertime, two-piece, string bikini… the same as everyone else, who felt confident enough in their body to wear one.” Regardless of body type if other individuals were in the same thing she should not have received such unfair treatment.
It Was Completely Unfair
“I felt like it was both age and body discrimination and I felt like I could look around me and I could see a handful of other girls half my age, wearing the same size swimming suit and not being singled out and told to put on clothes or leave,” she said in her anger. But what could she possibly do about this?
It Went Viral On Facebook
After Madelyn took to Facebook to explain how the waterpark discriminated against her, people from various parts of the globe found out about it. They could not believe the way the staff members of the Adventure Oasis Water Park treated her. She would not stop there…
Spreading The Word
However, Madelyn was aware that they were not going to realize the errors of their ways with only the online name and shame game. What else could she do? She was going to blow this up even more not for herself but for any other woman out there who hadn’t had the courage.
She Received Local Support
“Long story short, I called the media and will be on tonight’s local 41 news. Several people walked out while I waited outside for the newsman, and told me how ridiculous this all was, and complimented me on my swimsuit,” she said. We are glad that the post got more traction than she thought was possible!
Supporters From All Over The World
She took to Facebook to express her gratitude and surprise at the way the post was received. It was shocking that so many strangers supported her! Madelyn said, “In addition to other countries already mentioned, I have now heard from Greece, China, Hong Kong…and received over 500 beautiful letters from Brazil. I have been wanting to see the world, and now the world is coming to me, and sending much Love.”
Appreciation For The Human Body
“One thing I have learned so far is that there is a much greater viewpoint and perspective of the human body than what is to be found in Independence, Missouri worldwide… and I thank and appreciate you for that!” Madelyn shared.
Appreciating What We Have
She also said, “Much Love to those who express pride over shame for all shapes, sizes, in addition to various ages and stages, of this beautiful human body we inhabit our time on earth.” But what was she hoping to achieve by shining a light on the unfair policies of the waterpark?
Money Is Not Going To Fix The Problem
“While I stand by my grievance that I was discriminated against at Adventure Oasis Water Park, and I do not believe it should happen again,” she said, “It is not money that is going to correct the issue, but a change in the swimming park’s “appropriate swimming attire” policy, and also an improvement involving better education and orientation of their park management.”
Change In Policy
We have to agree that this is the only way to improve the matter of things over there! Hopefully, they will heed her wise words sooner rather than later. Or if those are their standards they should be equally and fairly enforced and understood. In today’s day and age, however, body positivity and embracing is highly on the rise and being promoted. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is happening everywhere and the next story is even crazier…
Sarah Villafane is a student who frequently works out in the student gym at her College, the College of Charleston. She was an avid goer and had never had any previous issues at the gym. Sarah made her way to the gym after attending her classes, but what they had to say was not okay.
Her Gym Top
Sarah had attended 3 classes that day in the current outfit she was wearing and she often wore gym clothes during the day. This is a common thing, we often choose gym clothes on days filled with errands or if we know we are ending the day off with a workout.
A Matching Set
Sarah was wearing black leggings and a black matching cropped sleeveless shirt. The shirt slightly cropped not showing too much belly and her leggings high-waisted. A common combination at any gym or on any gym influencers feed.
Sarah went about her workout when she was approached by an employee at the gym. The employee said that she had to change her shirt as it was inappropriate. Sarah was stunned, she could not believe what this employee had actually said. What did she do?
No Other Option
Sarah simply told the employee she does not have another shirt. She resumed her workout and went about her session as nothing had happened. Although she felt a bit embarrassed, but this was not the end of it.
She moved on to the back corner of the gym where she was doing abs on the floor and to her dismay, an additional staff member approached her. Sarah recalls the staff member asking her to put her shirt back on when she said, “I have a shirt on.”
The Staff Member Argued
The staff member replied, “no that’s not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.” Sarah responded by asking, “how is this not a shirt?” Where the staff member went on to explain that she needs full coverage.
The staff member explained that if she had a problem they always have their “boss” on the premises and she simply laughed and told them they can feel free to send him over if they are being serious.
She was then approached by the manager of the gym who said that if she did not change her shirt she must, in fact, leave the gym. This was even more embarrassing for Sarah, and this was happening in front of all the other students in the gym.
Referred To As Boss
The manager or “boss” as they called him told Sarah, “I need you to put on a shirt or I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.” Sarah exclaimed, “But I have a shirt on.” When he responded, “Are you gonna put a shirt on?”
Gym clothes are supposed to be comfortable, wearable and sometimes show a little skin. At any gym, throughout the decades they have been tight, flexible and a little showy- we think showier than what Sarah was wearing specifically.
She was forced to leave and embarrassed. It was no the way the situation should have been handled in the first place. The employees could have been kinder and explained it was not them but their policy- they were simply enforcing it. However, this was not the case.
Taking It To Media
Sarah took to Facebook where she explained the situation and expressed her frustrations. She was infuriated. She expresses how even if her top was considered a sports bra it was still athletic wear and thus, should have been allowed. No condemnation should have occurred.
Responses swung both ways with some agreeing with Sarah and others agreeing with the gym. Some even commented on the fact that she would wear that to classes and said it was appropriate for the gym but not class, ” I would question how appropriate they are for class or lectures or discussions with your professors,” said Caryl Hogan.
The gym later reached out and said that they had a good reason why they handled the situation in the way that they did. This reason leads us to believe that the situation was simply mishandled as they should have explained from the get-go. What was the reasoning?
The gym said that covered t-shirts or vests are expected and part of the dress code due to sanitary reasons. Although the dress code at the front of the gym says “Athletic wear must be worn.” However, the employees discussed her coverage and never mentioned sanitization.
Some of the comments on Sarah’s post declared the same thing- that their college gyms require students to wear shirts that do not cut-off or crop to minimize skin contact with machines and equipment.
The reasoning seems valid and we think that they simply should have explained this from the beginning. Moreover, the employees should have been friendlier and more helpful in the sense to explain to Sarah why there are those standards and what they are.