We're used to reading about high-school dress code "violations" - at this point, you know the drill. Girls show up to school in parent-approved, acceptable outfits only to be sent home or asked to change. Spaghetti straps? Huge no-no. A hemline an eighth of an inch shorter than finger-tip length? Unacceptable.
You'd think these sort of rules would be confined to high schools. But Sarah Villafañe, a sophomore at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, just allegedly received the same treatment right in the college's gym.
Villafañe, 19, says she showed up for her workout dressed in a pair of leggings and a "crop top" - which looked and acted like a sports bra, but covered more. But for gym employees, Villafañe wasn't covered enough. Apparently, after being asked to change as soon as she walked in the gym, she was approached by a different staff member while doing an abdominal workout in the back corner. "You need full coverage," the woman said, according to Villafañe. "If you have a problem, we always have our boss here."
After going back and forth ("Yes, I'm wearing a shirt," "No, you're not") with the boss, Villafañe was asked to leave. Considering she had worn the outfit all day long on campus, she was confused as to why her workout outfit - which she'd bought from an athletic store that sells exercise clothing - was an issue in the first place. "Went to 3 classes and spoke personally with each of my professors today and they didn't have a problem," she explained on Facebook. "I bought the outfit to work out in because it's COMFORTABLE. What is the issue?"
Plenty of people share Villafañe's confusion. After she uploaded a photo of her outfit and a description of her experience at the gym on Facebook, her post has received nearly 500 comments and over 500 shares. She's since updated that post, saying that the gym explained, after the fact, that they had asked her to leave for "sanitary concerns" - but no employee explained that to her while she was there and the gym has no mention of a dress code, at all, on their website. "Would they have asked a male student in a cropped t-shirt to 'cover-up' for reasons 'sanitary' or otherwise?" one commenter asked. "Yes, because the people whose full coverage shirts are completely drenched with sweat are much more sanitary," another wrote.
"They told me that it was a rule that you cannot wear crop tops in the gym," Villafañe told TODAY. "When I looked at the rules (which are not posted anywhere but on [a] bulletin board on a piece of computer paper), the dress code simply said, 'Athletic attire must be worn.' The rule says nothing regarding crop tops, or midriffs in general."
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