A woman who just wanted to get some damn exercise says she was accused of "intimidating" fellow members at her local Planet Fitness. Her crime? Daring to wear a crop top that bared a too-toned stomach while working out. An outrage! Nay, rank villainy!
KTVU has the story. Tiffany Austen (hoping to get back in shape after a car accident) says that a few minutes into her workout she was approached by a gym staff member, who told her, "we've had some complaints you're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?" Austen didn't see the problem with her ensemble, but agreed to put on a gym-issued t-shirt. While she was waiting for the cover-up, another staffer approached her with the same complaints. At which point she got her money back and bailed.
"I felt intimidated and harassed by the place that says no intimidation," she told KTVU.
Oddly enough, this is all in line with the Planet Fitness brand, which is about rolling out the red carpet for the Average Joe. They give out free pizza and bagels. Their ads mock stereotypical bodybuilders, and anything perceived as "gymtimidation" can get you kicked out, like the New York man booted for grunting. Gyms typically have dress codes that ban tank tops, because apparently Planet Fitness is the bar at the Ritz. And as a business strategy, it appears to be working: the company's CEO recently informed Business Insider that Planet Fitness is the fastest-growing fitness franchise in the U.S.
The company told KTVU that if Austen was criticized for being fit, it's "not in line with Planet Fitness whatsoever," but stood by the dress code itself. Because what America really wants in a gym is a reminder of what it felt like to be busted for a too-short skirt by the assistant high school principle.
Photo via Getty.