Last week, a woman walked into an Ohio tanning salon, took a tour, received one tanning session, then purchased a $70 tanning package. But when she returned to Aloha Tanning the next day to tan some more, she was told that they'd changed their policy overnight and she was suddenly too fat to tan.
"He said, 'Sorry, but I'm not going to let you tan today because we've just implemented a new policy where anyone over 230 pounds can't go in one of our beds,' " McGrevey said. "I was just so shocked and embarrassed and humiliated."
The first day, McGrevey had tanned in a standup booth. When she returned the next day, that booth was broken and she was told traditional beds are off limits to heavy customers.
"It really upset me. It's discrimination," she said. She asked for a refund; she had paid nearly $70 for a month's worth of tanning.
"He said, 'No, we don't give refunds," McGrevey said. She then called police, filing a report against owner Justin Hileman.
Now, I can't be sure of exactly how much weight McGrevey gained in those 24 hours between signing up and being turned away, but I guess it's POSSIBLE she had her torso grafted on to the body of a Clydesdale by a mad scientist with a centaur fetish (Human Centaurpede!) and thus was drastically heavier than she had been the day before. Either that or Aloha Tanning is run by a bunch of sadistic, fatphobic fucks. The odds seem pretty even either way, and if it turns out to be the centaur thing then I apologize for my language and will personally send Aloha Tanning a summer sausage and a block of cheddar cheese.
However. If it's the other thing. First of all I'd like to say that tanning is completely dumb and dangerous and we should all stop doing it. Immediately. Your skin is fine. Skin cancer is bad. Stop trying to change your skin into other skin. Okey dokey.
But second of all, that said, fat women have just as much of a right to court cosmetic cancer as thin women do. If the tanning beds have a weight limit based on actual physical limitations (McGrevey says she was asked "if I was aware how many times he had to replace the acrylic on those beds because of heavy people"), then that's fine. Customers should be informed up front, in a respectful manner, before you take their money. You also might want to look into investing in sturdier tanning beds, because fat people are everywhere and have money to spend. But to sell someone your services and then turn around and deny them your services in a dismissive, humiliating, and public way—that's not a failure of customer service, it's a failure of basic human decency. Be better.