I hate to tell you ladies that if you are going to be your own woman crush, you’re going to have to do more than workout and eat well, you’re going to have to be your own defender, pioneer, and pin-up girl. You’ll need courage, self-belief and a Teflon attitude because as a woman spreads her wings, there are many people waiting to clip them.
This is a time globally where many women are standing up for sexual harassment and discrimination. Read Ireti Bakare’s excellent BellaNaija article saying it’s time for Nigerian women to stand here.
Unfortunately, discrimination can even occur during a simple workout as I recently found when trying out Fitness Central gym in Lekki, Lagos. In the words of Lasisi Elenu “Sometin jus happen right now!” I was enjoying working out there when Patience, a trainer, interrupted me to say my gym attire was too revealing (see pic below).
I was told that WOMEN were not to wear gym wear showing their tummy/chest as “We don’t want any distractions or complaint from female members that the guys were harassing them.” Distractions for who? MEN of course Patience admitted. So, instead of warning men not to harass women, the gym warns women not to distract men, continuing the myth that men can be provoked into harassment, assault and rape by what the victim does or does not do. Puhleeze!
Whatever your opinions on modesty don’t let THIS follow us into 2018. Oprah said, “A new day is on the horizon.” But the reality is whether you are Aisha Buhari or Amber Rose you have to be ready to stand up if you want to seize it. I stood up and to their credit the Fitness Central owners contacted me apologising for my bad experience. They said the staff member’s actions were wrong, that it isn’t their position that they don’t want guys to be distracted, that they believe in equality but a past infiltration of prostitutes had lead to a policy on revealing clothes.
Apology accepted but excuse me, wearing a sports bra does not make you a prostitute either! God deliver us! Fitness Central your dress policy is still body shaming!!! If anyone needs a clue on this, read this great, common sense piece that went viral.
There are top athletes who train and compete in very revealing outfits (Serena Williams anyone?). So do you, Boo as the saying goes and there are many great gyms where staff don’t care if your tummy is on show. They just want you to have a great workout. Speak up, use your voices and seize your “New Day”.
Our move of the week, the squat kick is perfect for kicking naysayers into the long grass and your goals a little higher. Also good for legs, bums and tums.
Oya, let’s go!