If there’s one place a crop top and yoga pants should be acceptable attire, it’s at the gym. But one young woman was just harassed out of a Planet Fitness for daring to work out with her abs showing.
According to Vocative, young Tiffany Austin was at the gym trying to get back in shape after recovering from a car accident. She was raring to go in a cute, hot-pink crop top and matching capri exercise pants, and had only just started her workout when a Planet Fitness staffer turned up and told her she’d have to cover up, because her abs were intimidating other customers.
“Excuse me, but we’ve had some complaints,” the employee allegedly said. “You’re intimidating people with your toned body. Could you please put on a shirt?”
That sounds pretty ridiculous to us, but Austin agreed. But as she was waiting for the employee to come back with a shirt for her to wear, another employee showed up and told her to cover up her intimidating physique. At that point Austin said she felt intimidated and harassed, and chose to take her business and her intimidating abs elsewhere.
This is part of Planet Fitness’ core business model, which is all about making average and unathletic people feel as comfortable as possible by keeping muscle-bound meatheads–“lunks,” in company parlance–out of the gym. The chain takes a hard line against “lunk” behavior like grunting, flexing, dropping weights, or apparently being too fit and wearing a crop top. Anyone caught breathing too hard or flashing a bit of ab is ejected.
Nationally, the chain banishes about two members monthly, often for such shocking offenses as grunting, looking too hot or dropping one’s weights on the ground.
Those offenses even spark a “Lunk Alarm” throughout the gym, with flashing blue lights and a siren noise indicating that a lunk has been spotted, which seems completely ridiculous. Grunting, flexing jerks might be annoying, but we’re pretty sure we’d vastly prefer them to having to work out in fear of a siren going off while we’re on the elliptical.
The chain says it just wants to create a welcoming, judgment free zone where everyone can work out without feeling intimidated or attacked, but it’s completely absurd that they’re doing it by intimidating and attacking people like Tiffany, who was just trying to go for a walk in her cute outfit.