It started out as a fun day out with the whole family. This was why it was such a surprise that she would become enraged and humiliated all on the same day. Her problem wasn’t the kids playing near her. It wasn’t even the expensive tickets to the water park and the pricey food there. This issue was more serious than any of those things. This woman was in the water for a few minutes at most when she was promptly kicked out. She was not going to let this slide.
Her Name Is Madelyn Scheaffer
A dedicated mother, Madelyn Scheaffer is from Odessa, Missouri. She’s the kind of woman to do everything in her power to make sure her family was well taken care of. However, something significant took place when she was in her mid-30s. It’s not an exaggeration to say it shattered her entire world.
Seven years later, there were several employees at that water park who tried undoing all her hard work. She really had been through it all. A tough time is an understatement. For a water park to affect her the way it had – you can only imagine that whatever happened was not good.
It Was Time To Make A Decision
Back in 2005, Madelyn discovered something about herself that made her reconsider all her choices in life. She’d been suffering from a slipped disc. She had slipped and fallen into the bathtub when she leaned over.
The way she was living was not good for her body or mind. Until, one day, she decided she had had enough. This was the moment she realized it was time for her to make a change. All the pain of a slipped disc is more than enough for anyone to change their ways.
It Was A Sign
When the accident occurred, emergency services came over in no time. However, Madelyn was in so much pain that she couldn’t bear to be moved. She got to the point where she sent the medical responders away and simply laid in the bathtub for two days.
A Sense Of Calm
As she was spending time there, a sense of calm overtook her whole body. This wasn’t part of her plan – at all. She saw it as a sign that she had been neglecting herself too much while looking after the rest of the family.
She Was Determined To Change
Madelyn said: “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.” Well, something incredible happened when she finally had the strength to get up.
Best Shape Of Her Life
Two years later, she had reached an incredible milestone: she lost a hundred pounds! It was a huge life change for her. Five years after that, she was still in good shape. She had no idea she was about to get into one of the biggest fights she would ever be in.
Mustering The Bravery To Do It
At age 43, she weighed 170 pounds. Madelyn was in the best shape she could be and had felt more confident than she ever did. One hot day, this mother decided to try something she’d never done before. She was aware that her body was far from perfect. All the same, she decided to wear a new black bikini and go to Adventure Oasis Water Park with her family. Well, things took a turn for the worse when they were there.
Someone Was Watching Her
Madelyn looked around at the bodies of the people in the water park, from young to old. She wasn’t jealous of them at all. By that point, she was happy with the way she looked. And for good reason! She had worked so hard to make it happen. Little did she know that someone had been secretly watching her.
Confidence is Key
It’s a very difficult thing to lose weight, not to mention build up the confidence to wear a bikini after being overweight. It isn’t a given to get confidence after losing weight – it’s a work in progress. Madelyn felt good, but soon, that would be revoked.
She Could Not Believe It
She put away her towel and sat down for a bit before going into the cool water. She had been there for all of five minutes when two female staff members approached her. They said something to Madelyn that she couldn’t immediately process.
Employees Say What
Squinting up at them in the sunlight, Madelyn asked them to repeat what they had said. Maybe she had just misheard them? She was totally stunned by what these employees said nonetheless. She couldn’t believe what they were saying to her.
Her “Inappropriate” Outfit
One of the employees sighed and repeated what she had just said. She told Madelyn that her bikini bottoms were “too small” and “inappropriate”. “This is a family park”, she continued on, explaining. How was this right?
According To Who’s Standards?
After all, Madelyn was wearing “full” bikini bottoms. She was so confused as she was looking around at all the other women at the water park. Many of them were wearing scantier swimwear! Obviously, something was wrong here.
She Felt Violated
Her emotions were all over the place and her face did nothing to hide them all. Madelyn couldn’t help but feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed after hearing what these female employees commented on her body. It felt very violating.
Taking A Stand
However, after thinking for a few moments, she was able to get her emotions under control. Instead, she started feeling angry. “I was embarrassed for a second, and then it was no, no way,” she said. She worked far too hard to allow these women to tear her down.
They Singled Her Out
“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 said. She continued, “I am comfortable in my bikini. I am happy with who I am.”
Embracing Your Body
“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.” Women of all shapes and sizes should be allowed to embrace their bodies and not be shamed.
Time To Take A Stand
She turned to look at the staff members. They kept on looking her body up and down with accusing expressions. If this incident took place a few years ago, Madelyn knew she would have been much too shy to stick up for herself. Well, this was happening now.
Standing Up For Herself
She knew it was high time for her to take a stand. After all, it was clear that they were singling her out for no real reason. Her confidence wouldn’t be broken easily. She had spent too long building it up and she intended it to last.
They Gave Her Two Options
The young women refused to let the matter go. They told Madelyn that she had one of two options: she could either put on a pair of shorts over her bikini bottoms, or she could leave the park. By this point, Madelyn was furious and asked to talk to their superior.
“Well I am not covering up,” she told them defiantly. She continued, “And if you expect me to leave, you had better call the police and have them escort me out.” Aside from feeling embarrassed for being singled out, she felt like she was standing up for all women.
She Was Booted Out
To her dismay, police officers eventually arrived 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.”
Even The Police Agreed
In the Facebook post she uploaded, Madelyn said: “They were compassionate. They, too, though it was ridiculous.” Naturally, her post went viral. Well, the police would know what should and shouldn’t be allowed nowadays.
Looking Too Good In A Bikini
“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,” Madelyn said in the post. She said: “I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”
Wearing A Bikini At Any Age
She explained, “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.” No matter the body type, if someone was in the same situation, they shouldn’t be treated this way.
It Was Completely Unfair
“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,” she said. But what could she do about it?
It Went Viral On Facebook
After Madelyn posted her experience on Facebook and spoke about how the water park discriminated against her, people from all over the world found out about it. They couldn’t believe the way the staff members treated her. This wasn’t the end, however.
Spreading The Word
Madelyn was aware that the employees wouldn’t realize their mistake with just online shaming and naming. What else could she possibly do? She would have to blow this up even more – not for herself, but for all the other women out there who didn’t have the courage to do so.
She Received Local Support
“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,” she said. We’re happy that the post got as much traction as it did.
Supporters From All Over The World
After the post gained all that attention, Madelyn took to Facebook to express her gratitude. It was shocking that so many strangers from all over had supported her. She said, “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.”
Appreciation For The Human Body
“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!” Madelyn shared.
Appreciating What We Have
She added, “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.” But what did she hope to achieve by speaking about the policies of the water park?
Money Is Not Going To Fix The Problem
“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,” she said, “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.”
Change In Policy
We have to agree that this is the only way to improve things over there. Hopefully, they’ll listen to her sooner rather than later. Or, if those are their standards, they should be equally and fairly enforced. Nowadays, however, body positivity and embracing are on the rise. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is happening everywhere. This next story is even crazier.
Sarah Villafane is a student who works out in the student gym at her college quite often. She attends the College of Charleston. Up until this point, she had never had any issues or problems at this gym. She made her way there after her classes were done for the day, but what they told her was not okay.
Her Gym Top
That day, Sarah had 3 classes and she wore her gym clothes all throughout so she wouldn’t have to carry extras. This is rather common as we often wear gym clothes on days that are filled with errands so we know we’re ending the day off with a workout.
A Matching Set
Sarah wore a simple pair of black leggings along with a matching black cropped sleeveless shirt. The shirt didn’t show too much of her stomach and her leggings were high-waisted. This was a common combination at any gym, really.
Sarah did her workout as usual when she was approached by an employee at the gym. The employee said that she needed to change her shirt since it was inappropriate. Sarah was stunned. She couldn’t believe this employee actually said that. What could she do?
No Other Option
Sarah just told the employee that she doesn’t have another shirt. She went back to her workout and continued as if nothing happened. While she felt slightly embarrassed, this wasn’t the end of the story at all.
She relocated to the back corner of the gym where she was working on her abs on the floor. To her dismay, another staff member came up to her. Sarah said the employee asked her to put her shirt back on when she said, “I have a shirt on.”
The Staff Member Argued
To that, the employee replied, “no that’s not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.” Sarah asked in response, “how is this not a shirt?” The staff member went on to explain that she had to have a shirt with full coverage.
They explained that if she had a problem with it, they have their ‘boss’ on the premises. Sarah simply laughed and said they can feel free to send him over if they are being serious. And so, the employee walked away.
That was when Sarah was approached by the manager of the gym who said if she didn’t change her shirt, she would have to leave the gym. This was even more embarrassing for Sarah. It was all happening in front of all the other students in the gym.
Referred To As Boss
The manager, aka the ‘boss’, told Sarah, “I need you to put on a shirt or I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.” Sarah said defensively, “But I have a shirt on.” His response was, “Are you gonna put a shirt on?”
Gym clothing is meant to be wearable, comfortable, and sometimes show some skin to allow the heat to escape while working out. At any gym throughout the decades they have been tight and flexible. We think they used to be more revealing than what Sarah happened to be wearing.
Forced to leave, Sarah was embarrassed. It wasn’t the way the situation should have been handled in the first place. The employees could have been kinder and explained that it wasn’t them, it was their policy that they were enforcing. However, that wasn’t the case.
Taking It To Media
Sarah took to Facebook where she explained the situation and her frustrations on the matter. She was absolutely infuriated. She spoke about how even if the top was considered a sports bra, it was still counted as athletic. Meaning that it should have been allowed. No condemnation should have occurred.