Gym Deems Woman Too Fat To Exercise

An Oklahoma woman was kicked off exercise equipment at her gym for being too heavy, illustrating how obese people are shamed even when they try to lose weight.

According to a TV news report via Popscreen, employees at an Oklahoma City gym called Mademoiselle told Sandra Ruiz she was too big to use their machines. They said she could use the aerobics room instead — but she pointed out she could just as easily do aerobics on her own. The gym offered her a refund, but she says that if they had a weight limit, they should have made that clear before they signed her up.

Gym employees apparently claimed that Ruiz might break the equipment, but it would seem prudent for a gym to invest in machines that could tolerate a wide range of bodies. It's possible that the gym workers were simply discriminating against Ruiz (I'd like to see what the manufacturer-designated weight limits for the machines really were), but whatever the case, they certainly subjected her to humiliation by kicking her off equipment she was trying to use. Her case illustrates the double bind obese people often face — they're frequently called lazy and told to work out more, but then face stigma when they do. The Mademosielle employees may not have been malicious, but Ruiz still got the message many overweight people in America get every day: stay inside and be invisible.

Woman Told She Was Too Fat To Workout At Gym [Popscreen]