News / Ottawa

'I felt humiliated': Gym tells Ottawa woman breasts 'too large' for tank top

"I had no more cleavage showing than any other woman," said Jenna Vecchio, who claims she was asked to cover up at an Orleans Movati.

Jenna Vecchio said she was wearing this tank top at Movati when a staff member told her other members complained it had offended them.

Joe Lofaro / Metro Order this photo

Jenna Vecchio said she was wearing this tank top at Movati when a staff member told her other members complained it had offended them.

An Ottawa woman says she was humiliated and “body shamed” when staff at an Orleans gym told her that her chest was “too large” for her tank top.

Jenna Vecchio, who moved to Ottawa in April from Halifax, said she was working out with her husband on Saturday morning at Movati when a female supervisor confronted her about her attire. She was told other clients at the gym had complained her top made them feel uncomfortable.

Vecchio says she was confused and seriously embarrassed, especially since other women wore similar tank tops. She and her husband left without finishing their workout.

“I said I can’t help it that my chest may appear larger than some other women’s here because of my small frame, but I can’t do anything about it,” Vecchio told Metro.

Jenna Vecchio also posted this screen shot of the Movati website showing other women wearing tank tops at the gym.

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Jenna Vecchio also posted this screen shot of the Movati website showing other women wearing tank tops at the gym.

“I felt humiliated. I was made to feel uncomfortable. I felt degraded."

She said she was told she could finish her workout and come back to the gym – in a t-shirt.

But in absence of a detailed dress code, Vecchio simply feels she was singled out based on her looks.

She took to Facebook to explain the ordeal and to post photos of the disputed outfit. So far, the post has been shared more than 3,000 times.

Vecchio said she used to go to the gym about five times per week, but she has since cancelled her membership and signed up at GoodLife. 

In an email statement, Movati spokesperson Sean Whittal said members are asked to wear "modest athletic attire" and Vecchio's top was seen as contrary to the gym's dress code. 

Below is the full statement:

At Movati Athletic, we strive daily to create an atmosphere where all our members feel welcome, feel comfortable and feel healthy. We ask members to be respectful of each other when in the gym, to include wearing modest athletic attire and appropriate shoes, limiting cell phone usage and keeping the facility clean. It is important to us that all members have a positive experience at Movati, and we take their needs and feelings very seriously. As such, on Saturday when some members of our gym voiced complaints regarding Ms. Vecchio’s attire as it made them feel uncomfortable and was seen as being contrary to our dress code policy our staff assessed the situation and spoke to Ms. Vecchio. While in no way did we intend to embarrass her, we did feel we had to address the issue. We are still looking into the matter, and would be happy to sit down and speak with Ms. Vecchio in more detail as we continue to investigate the incident. 

– Sean Whittal, Area Director, Ottawa, Movati Athletic Group

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