A fun family outing was what they planned for but instead, she suffered unfairness, humiliation, and rage. There were a lot of small kids playing around her and the food and tickets at the water park were expensive. However, those things were not the problem. This woman was kicked out from the water after she had only been in there for a few minutes. What they did not know was that she was not letting this go so easily!
Her Name Is Madelyn Scheaffer
Hailing from Odessa, Missouri, the dedicated mom Madelyn Scheaffer did everything she could so that her family would do well. However, during her mid-30s, something huge happened. It shattered her world, to say the least!
Years after that, a few of the waterpark employees attempted to undermine all of her hard work. Madelyn had been through it all, and saying she had had a tough time would be an understatement. Therefore, you can imagine that what happened at the water park was not good since she was affected that much.
It Was Time To Make A Decision
Madelyn discovered something about herself back in 2005. It led her to rethink the choices in life she had made. She had been living with pain due to a slipped disc, which she got after slipping into the bathtub while she was making herself a bath.
In addition, the kind of lifestyle she led did not help her body. One day, Madelyn decided she has had enough. She realized that she needed to make a change. Whoever has experienced suffering a slipped disc and the pain that comes with it can definitely attest that it can cause anyone to adopt a change!
It Was A Sign
Emergency workers arrived at her home in no time at all but Madelyn was in a lot of pain, so she opted not to be moved. She told the responders to just leave her there. For a few days, Madelyn did nothing but lie in the bathtub.
A Sense Of Calm
While Madelyn spent her time there, a sense of calm overtook her whole body. However, she did plan that at all. She decided it was a sign telling her she had not taken care of herself enough as she was busy looking after her family.
She Was Determined To Change
She 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.” Something incredible happened, though, when she finally gathered up her strength and willpower.
Best Shape Of Her Life
Madelyn managed to lose a hundred pounds in two years. She definitely made a change. In addition, she stayed in good shape even five years later. However, she had no idea she was about to face a very big battle in life.
Mustering The Bravery To Do It
Madelyn was 43 years old and weighed 170 pounds. She was in really good shape and felt much more confident than in the past. One very hot day, she decided to try something which she had never been so bold to do before. She was aware her body was not really perfect but she still decided to wear her new black bikini at the Adventure Oasis Water Park during their family outing. However, things did not end well.
Someone Was Watching Her
The people at the water park were of different ages and had different body types. Even though Madelyn looked at them, she was not jealous! At that point in her life, she was happy with her body, and rightly so. She had worked hard in order to achieve this. However, she was not aware that someone at the waterpark was secretly watching her as well!
Confidence is Key
Shedding pounds is very hard to do but so is building up the confidence to sport a bikini after losing that weight. Just because someone drops pounds does not mean they will automatically be confident. They have to work at it as well. Madelyn felt good at first, but that was soon revoked.
She Could Not Believe It
Madelyn put her towel away and went into the water. Not more than five minutes later, two female staff members came to her. They told her something which she could not immediately process.
Employees Say What
Madelyn squinted up at the staff members in the sunlight and then asked them to repeat the thing they said. Perhaps she simply misheard them. Nevertheless, she was totally stunned by the waterpark employees.
Her “Inappropriate” Outfit
After sighing, one female employee repeated what she had said. According to her, Madelyn was wearing “too small” bikini bottoms and they were “inappropriate”. The staff member also added, “This is a family park.”
According To Who’s Standards?
Madelyn wondered what was happening. After all, she was sporting “full” bikini bottoms. When she looked around, she was even more confused. There were many other women who were wearing scantier swimwear! It was clear that something was wrong here.
She Felt Violated
Madelyn felt a rush of emotion. Her face was definitely showing it. After hearing the comments of the female employees about her body, she could not stop feeling deep shame and embarrassment. She thought it was a violation to her.
Taking A Stand
Then, Madelyn stopped feeling like that and got angry instead. She said, “I was embarrassed for a second, and then it was no, no way.” It took a lot of hard work to improve herself. She was not going to let them break her down just like that.
They Singled Her Out
She said, “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 added, “I am comfortable in my bikini. I am happy with who I am.”
Embracing Your Body
Madelyn added, “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.” Regardless of body shape or size, a woman should be free to accept her body and not be ashamed.
Time To Take A Stand
The staff members did not stop looking her up and down accusingly. Madelyn looked at them. If this incident had occurred several years before, she knew she would have been far too shy to stand up for herself, but she was different now.
Standing Up For Herself
Madelyn thought she had to take a stand. Obviously, she was being singled out without good reason. At that time, she had already built up confidence that would not be weakened easily. She intended her confidence to last.
They Gave Her Two Options
Refusing to let it go, the nasty young women told Madelyn she had two options – put on shorts over the bikini bottoms she was wearing or leave. Madelyn became furious and told them that she wanted to speak their supervisor.
Feeling incensed, she replied, “Well I am not covering up.” Madelyn went on to tell them, “And if you expect me to leave, you had better call the police and have them escort me out.” Although she was embarrassed about having been singled out, she also felt she was speaking out for many women.
She Was Booted Out
Eventually, police officers came to the waterpark, much to Madelyn’s dismay. They were there to kick her out. She narrated, “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 Madelyn’s Facebook post, she included what happened with the police. She wrote, “They were compassionate. They, too, though it was ridiculous.” When it comes to something being allowed or not in today’s world, the police surely knows about this.
Looking Too Good In A Bikini
Madelyn added, “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 continued,, “I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”
Wearing A Bikini At Any Age
Madelyn described what she wore at the water park that got her kicked out. “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.” Whatever the body type was, there should be no unfair treatment.
It Was Completely Unfair
Madelyn was angry and she said this: “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.” However, was there anything she could do about this?
It Went Viral On Facebook
In her Facebook post, Madelyn explained how she was discriminated against at the waterpark. People from all over the world were able to read her post. They were shocked to find out about the kind of treatment she got from the staff of the Adventure Oasis Water Park. Her post may have gone viral but she did not stop there…
Spreading The Word
Madelyn knew that the online naming and shaming was not enough for the water park to learn their lesson, but was there anything else she could do? She came up with the idea of blowing things up even more. However, she did not do it for herself. She was thinking of the other women who had no courage.
She Received Local Support
Madelyn recalled, “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.” The post receiving more traction is truly welcome news.
Supporters From All Over The World
Madelyn took to Facebook again to express her surprise at and gratitude for the way her post was received. She was shocked by the large number of strangers supporting her! “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 shared.
Appreciation For The Human Body
Madelyn wrote, “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
“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,” Madelyn added. However, the question is what did she hope to achieve by spotlighting the waterpark’s unfair policies?
Money Is Not Going To Fix The Problem
Madelyn explained, “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.”
Change In Policy
There is definitely room for improvement in the way things are at the waterpark! We just hope that they listen to the wise words that Madelyn have said sooner rather than later. If they do not intend to change their standards, then they should make sure their employees understand and enforce those standards equally and fairly. However, these days, it seems that embracing body positivity is being promoted. Unfortunately, this type of thing continues to happen everywhere and it is possible you will find the next story crazier…
Sarah Villafane attends the College of Charleston. She frequently works out at the student gym at the college. She had never had issues there. One day, however, something happened.
Her Gym Top
That day, she had gone to three classes in the same outfit. Wearing gym clothes during the day was common for Sarah and it is common for us as well. We usually wear gym clothes on days when we have to do a lot of errands or if we want to end the day with a workout.
A Matching Set
Sarah wore a black cropped sleeveless shirt and a matching black leggings that day. The shirt was a bit cropped but her belly was not really showing too much. Her leggings were also high-waisted. This is a common combination on many gym influencers’ feed or at many gyms.
Sarah had started her workout when she got approached by a gym employee who told her she needed to change shirts. The staff member said what she was wearing was inappropriate. She was shocked and could not believe what she heard. What did she do?
No Other Option
Sarah told the employee she had not brought another shirt. Then, she continued with her workout. She tried to go about it as though nothing had happened. She, however, felt a little embarrassed. Unfortunately, things did not end there.
When Sarah moved to a corner of the gym in order to work on her abs on the floor, another gym employee approached her, to her dismay. This staff member asked her to put on her shirt, so Sarah said, “I have a shirt on.”
The Staff Member Argued
The gym employee told Sarah, “No, that’s not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.” She asked, “How is this not a shirt?” Then, the staff member explained to Sarah that she has to have full coverage.
This gym employee also told Sarah that their “boss” was always around if there was a problem. Sarah laughed and told them that if they were really serious, they were free to ask their boss to talk to her.
The manager approached Sarah. She was told that she had to change shirts or leave the gym. Sarah felt this was more embarrassing since there were other students in the gym when this happened.
Referred To As Boss
The “boss” (this is what the staff called the manager) said to Sarah, “I need you to put on a shirt or I’m gonna have to ask you to leave,” and she responded by exclaiming, “But I have a shirt on.” Then, he asked, “Are you gonna put a shirt on?”
Gym clothes should be comfortable and wearable. They may also show a little skin. Throughout the years, gym clothes have been flexible, tight, and a bit showy.
Sarah was not only embarrassed but was also forced to leave. There could have been a better way to handle the situation. The employees could have had more kindness in explaining to Sarah the gym’s policy. They could have told her they were enforcing it.
Taking It To Media
Sarah posted on Facebook what had happened. She was infuriated and expressed her frustrations. She may have worn a sports bra, but it was athletic wear. It should have been allowed. She should not have been condemned.
The reaction to her Facebook post were mixed. Some agreed with her while others sided with the gym. In addition, there were comments about Sarah wearing the same outfit to her classes. Caryl Hogan said, “I would question how appropriate they are for class or lectures or discussions with your professors.”
Later on, the gym reached out and said there was a good reason the situation was handled that way. We think the situation was mishandled. From the get-go, they should have just explained everything, but what was their reasoning?
The gym explained that vests and covered t-shirts are included in the dress code because of sanitary reasons. According to the dress code posted at the gym, “Athletic wear must be worn.” The employees, however, only discussed Sarah’s coverage. They never mentioned sanitization.
Some comments on Sarah’s post said the same thing. It is a requirement at their college gyms that students wear shirts that are not cropped or cut-off in order to minimize skin contact with the equipment and machines.
It appears the reasoning is valid. Explaining it from the start would have been better. A friendlier approach would have made all the difference.