The fun family outing that they had planned for started out great, so she was really surprised that she suffered unfairness, rage, and humiliation on the same day. Even though the water park food and tickets were expensive and there were many small children playing around her, those things were not the issue. The problem was more serious. After only a few minutes of being in the water, this woman was asked to get out from there. However, she was not about to let this go easily.
Her Name Is Madelyn Scheaffer
This dedicated mom, who hails from Odessa, Missouri, is Madelyn Scheaffer. She was the kind of woman who always made sure that her family did well. However, something big happened in her mid-30s, and saying it shattered her world is not an exaggeration!
Years after that, some waterpark employees tried to undermine her hard work. To say that what she had gone through was a tough time is definitely an understatement. She had been through it all. Therefore, for Madelyn to get that affected by what they did to her – you can imagine that what happened was definitely not good.
It Was Time To Make A Decision
Back in 2005, Madelyn learned something about herself, which made her reconsider her different choices in life. Sometime before that she slipped and fell in the bath and suffered a slipped disc.
In addition, her lifestyle was not doing her body any good. One day, she decided she could not take it anymore and decided to make some changes. The pain which comes with a slipped disc can definitely make anyone reconsider things in their life!
It Was A Sign
After the accident happened, emergency workers got to Madelyn’s home in no time. However, she decided against being moved because she was feeling so much pain. After sending the responders away, she chose to just lay in the bathtub for days.
A Sense Of Calm
While she lay in the bathtub, Madelyn felt a calmness overtook her whole body. Since that was not planned, she thought of it as a sign. It made her realize that she was focused too much on taking care of her family and had been neglecting herself.
She Was Determined To Change
Talking about that time in her life, Madelyn shared, “That should have been the first sign for me that I needed to lose weight, but it took me another year before I made the decision to do something.” Nevertheless, something incredible occurred when she finally mustered up all her strength and willpower.
Best Shape Of Her Life
She managed to shed one hundred pounds within two years. Madelyn truly made a change. Aside from that, even five years later, she remained in good shape. Little did she know, however, that she would soon get into a very big battle of her life.
Mustering The Bravery To Do It
43-year-old Madelyn weighed 170 pounds and was in great shape. What’s more, the mom felt more confident than she did before. One really hot day, she thought of trying something that she had never done before. She knew her body was not actually perfect. Nevertheless, she still put on her new black bikini during her family outing at the Adventure Oasis Water Park. Things started going south, though.
Someone Was Watching Her
At the water park, there were people of different ages and different body types. Madelyn looked at them. However, she did not feel jealous because she was happy with the way she looked by then, and rightly so. It had not been easy for her to achieve this. However, she had no idea that there was someone who was also secretly watching her!
Confidence is Key
It is very hard to lose weight. It is also really hard to build up the confidence to put on a bikini after shedding all that weight. People do not automatically become confident when they drop some pounds. They need to work at it. Madelyn may have felt good initially, but it did not last long.
She Could Not Believe It
After Madelyn put her towel away, she went into the water. Within just five minutes, two female staff members went to her to say something. What they told Madelyn was so unexpected that she could not process it right away.
Employees Say What
Madelyn was squinting up in the sunlight when she asked them to say what they said again. Maybe she just misheard them. Nonetheless, the female staff members completely stunned her.
Her “Inappropriate” Outfit
With a sigh, one female staff member repeated the thing she had told Madelyn. She said the mother’s bikini bottoms were “too small”. She also described them as “inappropriate” and even added, “This is a family park.”
According To Who’s Standards?
Madelyn wondered what was going on. She had on “full” bikini bottoms, after all. After she looked around, she just got more confused. Many other women at the water park were wearing scantier swimwear! There was something wrong here.
She Felt Violated
Madelyn’s face was showing the sudden rush of emotion that she was feeling. She could not stop feeling great embarrassment and shame after she heard what the female employees said about her body. It was a complete violation, she thought.
Taking A Stand
After a few moments, Madelyn stopped feeling that way and became angry. She shared, “I was embarrassed for a second, and then it was no, no way.” Improving herself took a lot of work, so she decided that these fellow women were not breaking her down like that.
They Singled Her Out
She explained, “My body is different than the young girls that were walking around in their bikinis, but why should I be made ashamed of my body?” Madelyn continued, “I am comfortable in my bikini. I am happy with who I am.”
Embracing Your Body
Madelyn continued, “My first reaction was why are you singling me out? They said that my bottoms were inappropriate. That was funny to me because they are full-size bottoms.” All women, regardless of their size and body shape, should not be made to feel ashamed of their bodies. They should be given the freedom to embrace their bodies.
Time To Take A Stand
The two female employees kept looking Madelyn up and down accusingly. In response, she made sure to look at them. If this had happened several years before, Madelyn knew that she would not have stood up for herself since she was far too shy but now, things were different.
Standing Up For Herself
Madelyn knew she had to make a stand. They were clearly singling her out even though they did not have a good reason. Unfortunately for them, she had built up confidence that would not be shaken easily. She intended to have confidence that would last.
They Gave Her Two Options
It was clear that the nasty young women were not going to let it go. Madelyn was told she had only two options – wear shorts to cover up her bottoms or leave. Furious now, she told them to ask their supervisor to come and talk to her.
Madelyn felt incensed and responded, “Well I am not covering up.” She continued, “And if you expect me to leave, you had better call the police and have them escort me out.” Despite feeling embarrassed about having been singled out, Madelyn also felt she was taking a stand for many women.
She Was Booted Out
Eventually, the authorities arrived at the waterpark, much to her dismay. They came to kick her out. “Fifteen minutes later the police did arrive and said that while they did not agree, they had to do their job. ‘We can’t actually say anything,’ they said as we walked outside… but I hope from the expressions on our face you can tell how we feel,” Madelyn recalled.
Even The Police Agreed
In her Facebook post, Madelyn narrated what happened when the police came. “They were compassionate. They, too, though it was ridiculous,” she wrote. Surely, the police must know whether something should or should not be allowed in our world today.
Looking Too Good In A Bikini
Madelyn also said, “I am a 43-year-old woman who did not have the confidence or the body, to put on a bikini until [I was] 40 years old.” She added, “I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”
Wearing A Bikini At Any Age
Madelyn said this as she was describing what she wore that day. “This was not a thong. It was a standard, summertime, two-piece, string bikini… the same as everyone else, who felt confident enough in their body to wear one.” According to her, there were other individuals wearing the same thing, so what she got was unfair treatment.
It Was Completely Unfair
Feeling angry, Madelyn said, “I felt like it was both age and body discrimination and I felt like I could look around me and I could see a handful of other girls half my age, wearing the same size swimming suit and not being singled out and told to put on clothes or leave.” So, what did she do about this?
It Went Viral On Facebook
In Madelyn’s Facebook post, she explained how the waterpark discrimination against her. People from different parts of the world learned about what had happened to her. For them, how Adventure Oasis Water Park staff treated Madelyn was shocking. Even though her post had already gone viral, she did not stop…
Spreading The Word
Madelyn knew that for the water park to learn its lesson, the online naming and shaming game was not enough. Therefore, she thought of blowing the whole thing up even more. However, this was not for herself. It was for the other women that had no courage to do it themselves.
She Received Local Support
Madelyn explained, “Long story short, I called the media and will be on tonight’s local 41 news. Several people walked out while I waited outside for the newsman, and told me how ridiculous this all was, and complimented me on my swimsuit.” It is good to hear that the post acquired more traction!
Supporters From All Over The World
Madelyn made another Facebook post, this time expressing her surprise as well as gratitude for how her other post was received. She could not believe how much support she was getting from strangers! “In addition to other countries already mentioned, I have now heard from Greece, China, Hong Kong…and received over 500 beautiful letters from Brazil. I have been wanting to see the world, and now the world is coming to me, and sending much Love,” she said.
Appreciation For The Human Body
Madelyn included what she had learned from the whole thing. “One thing I have learned so far is that there is a much greater viewpoint and perspective of the human body than what is to be found in Independence, Missouri worldwide… and I thank and appreciate you for that!”
Appreciating What We Have
Madelyn also added this: “Much Love to those who express pride over shame for all shapes, sizes, in addition to various ages and stages, of this beautiful human body we inhabit our time on earth.” However, what did she hope to achieve by drawing attention to the waterpark’s unfair policies?
Money Is Not Going To Fix The Problem
Madelyn made things clear. “While I stand by my grievance that I was discriminated against at Adventure Oasis Water Park, and I do not believe it should happen again, it is not money that is going to correct the issue, but a change in the swimming park’s “appropriate swimming attire” policy, and also an improvement involving better education and orientation of their park management,” she said.
Change In Policy
With the way things are at the water, we definitely see some room for improvement. Hopefully, Madelyn’s wise words will not fall on deaf ears. If they choose not to change their standards, they should ensure their standards are understood and enforced equally and fairly. These days, however, embracing body positivity seems to be promoted. This kind of thing unfortunately still happens everywhere and perhaps you will think the next story is crazier…
Sarah Villafane goes to the College of Charleston and frequents the student gym of the college in order to work out. She never had any issues there until one day, when they said something to her that was not okay.
Her Gym Top
That day, Sarah wore the same outfit when she attended three classes, and when she went to the gym. Sporting gym clothes even during the day was common for her and we know for many people as well. In our case, we usually choose to wear gym clothes when we know we have to do many errands or if we are thinking of working out after all our activities for the day.
A Matching Set
Sarah wore high-waisted black leggings and a black cropped sleeveless shirt which was not really showing much of her belly. This outfit is common at many gyms and on the feed of many gym influencers.
Sarah started her workout. Then a gym employee came up to her to tell her she had to change shirts. According to the staff member, what Sarah was wearing was inappropriate. This stunned Sarah. What did she do?
No Other Option
Sarah said she had no other shirt and continued with her workout, trying her best to act as if nothing had happened. She felt embarrassed, though. Unfortunately, it did not end there.
Sarah then went to a corner of the gym and worked on her abs on the floor. Unfortunately, another staff member came to her and asked her to wear her shirt again. “I have a shirt on,” Sarah replied.
The Staff Member Argued
This was the staff member’s response: “No, that’s not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.” Then, Sarah asked, “How is this not a shirt?” According to the gym employee, Sarah needed full coverage.
This member of the staff also said that their “boss” was always available if Sarah had a problem. She laughed and said that if they were serious, they could ask their boss to speak to her.
The manager approached Sarah and said she should either change shirts or leave. Sarah felt even more embarrassed because the other students that were in the gym were looking at her.
Referred To As Boss
The “boss” (as what the staff called the manager) said, “I need you to put on a shirt or I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.” Sarah’s response was “But I have a shirt on.” Then, he said, “Are you gonna put a shirt on?”
Gym clothes should be wearable and comfortable. Sometimes, they may show some skin. Throughout the years, they have been tight and a little showy.
Not only was Sarah embarrassed but she was forced to leave as well. The situation could have been handled better. With more kindness, the staff could have explained the gym’s policy to Sarah. They should have told her were only enforcing it.
Taking It To Media
Sarah created a Facebook post, narrating what had happened. She felt infuriated, so she expressed her frustrations. Her top was a sports bra, but it should have been allowed since it was athletic wear. She thought there should have been no condemnation.
People reacted differently to her Facebook post. Some sided with Sarah while others thought the gym was right. There were also comments on Sarah deciding to wear the same outfit when attending classes. Caryl Hogan wrote, “I would question how appropriate they are for class or lectures or discussions with your professors.”
Later, the gym reached out. They said the situation was dealt with that way for good reason. We think the situation was not handled well. From the start, they should have simply explained everything. However, what was their reasoning?
The gym said the dress code includes vests and covered t-shirts because of sanitary reasons. However, the employees only discussed Sarah’s coverage and did not mention sanitization.
There were also comments on Sarah’s post saying the same thing. Their college gyms require gym-goers to wear shirts that are not cropped or cut off. The reason for this is to keep skin contact with the machines and equipment to a minimum.
It seems there is valid reasoning here. It would have been better if the employees explained things and were a bit friendlier in their approach.