A woman claims she was asked to leave the swimming pool at her own apartment building for wearing a swimsuit that was deemed “inappropriate”.
Tori Jenkins was at Smoky Crossing Apartments, in Tennessee, with her fiancé Tyler Newman, when staff members received complaints about her pink one-piece.
A staff member reportedly told Jenkins to “cover up or leave”, while another said her outfit would “excite” teenage boys at the complex.
Newman later shared photos of Jenkins’ swimsuit on Facebook, saying: “I have never really witnessed sexual harassment and/or ‘rape culture’ until today with Smoky Crossing Apartments.
“Today my fiancée was faced with either changing her bathing suit, covering up with shorts, or leaving the pool.
“Tori was accused of wearing a ‘thong bathing suit’ and told there were complaints about the way she was dressed after roughly three minutes tops of us arriving there. We both kind of sat there in disbelief.”
Jenkins then went to the apartment office to talk to the leasing consultant about the incident, where she claims she was further mistreated.
“The consultant told Tori that if she didn’t have kids herself, she wouldn’t understand. She was told that the leasing consultant wouldn’t want her own kids around Tori,” Newman said.
“When Tori explained that yes, she does indeed have a larger butt than a lot of people and that 95% of the things she wears ride up when she walks, the woman told Tori that a ‘normal bathing suit covers your entire butt’ and again deemed my fiancée’s body inappropriate.
“She was told that her body, because it’s built more curvy than others, is ‘too inappropriate’ for children to be around. She was told ‘there are a lot of teenage boys in this complex, and you don’t need to excite them’.”
Newman suggested the way Jenkins was treated is largely down to cultural sexism.
“Today my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her. That Tori is less important than a man’s urges to be sexual towards her. I think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, but I also respect her. I would never make her or any other woman feel less than what she’s worth because of her outfit or her looks. This is how rape culture continues to grow,” he said.
“I’ve never seen my fiancée embarrassed to the point where she can’t even look her best friends in the face. I’ve never seen her cry like she did in our apartment today. Never seen her want to be isolated like that. All because some ignorant assholes think they can police the size and shape of her body. I’ve never seen a woman so disrespected.”
Newman added that a sign by the pool states “duly appropriate attire must be worn at all times” with a “no cut offs” policy, but he did not think Jenkins’ suit violated these rules.
He ended his status: “My fiancée should be able to wear a bathing suit without being sexualised and demeaned. She shouldn’t feel violated.”
More than 32,000 people have reacted to the status, with many commenting to show their support for Jenkins.
On her own Facebook page, Jenkins said she was overwhelmed by the support she’d received online, but she also wanted to respond to a few of the negative comments.
She said she had tried on the swimsuit in a larger size before buying it, but didn’t feel her breasts were secure in the bigger option and worried about flashing by the pool.
She also clarified why there wasn’t a photo showing the front of the swimsuit.
“There was a front facing picture. I took it down after reading so many hateful comments about my stomach and so many intensely explicit sexual comments. That is the whole issue. I will not be reposting it because that isn’t the area of my body in question,” she said.
In a statement given to HuffPost UK, a Smoky Crossing spokesperson said: “Smoky Crossing is a welcoming family community. Multiple residents within our community complained and expressed concerns regarding Ms Jenkins’ swimwear. In accordance with our pool policies, which are posted near the swimming area, one of our leasing consultants requested Ms. Jenkins wrap a towel around herself when she was walking around the pool. Ms. Jenkins was never asked to leave the pool.
“In addition, our leasing agent did not state that Ms Jenkins’ swimwear would ‘excite teenage boys’.
“Ms Jenkins and Mr Newman are valued members of our community. However, we feel it is inappropriate to equate requesting Ms Jenkins to cover up with sexual harassment or ‘rape culture’. Smoky Crossing denounces harassment in all forms.”
In response to their statement, Jenkins told Goodhousekeeping.com she is sticking to her story.