Why Was This Woman Shamed For Wearing A One-Piece Bikini?

Life & Culture Editor
06.26.17 2 Comments

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You know the story: Woman puts on swimsuit. Someone decides said woman should not be wearing swimsuit. Demands are made. People start screaming about “impressionable children.” And it all erupts on Facebook where we watch the haters fall all over themselves to excuse the fact that someone was forced to change because they were wearing something too “sexy” or “revealing.” But we’ve never heard the story quite like this before, because while people are quick to call out thong bikinis, the woman at the center of this s&*t storm was wearing a one-piece.

Here’s what happened: Tori Jenkins of Knoxville, Tennessee decided to go for a swim in her apartment complex pool. The pool that she pays $300 a month in fees to use. So she put on her swimsuit — a pink number, pics below — and proceeded outside. There, she was briskly stopped by an employee and told that she needed to cover herself up or get the hell out of dodge.

But, like Billie Mays always said, that’s not all. The complex employees added insult to sexual harassment by making Jenkins come into the leasing office and take photos to prove the scandalous nature of her “thong” (it’s not a thong). Hmmm, bet some lawyer would be delighted to take on a case in which the plaintiff was not only shamed for wearing a swimsuit that was too much (or rather, too little) but then forced to have pictures of herself taken in said swimwear.

And then, the lecture/justification. From Hello Giggles:

Moreover, Jenkins was told that her body is built “more curvy than others.” Because of this, it’s “too inappropriate” for children to be around.

Yuck. And as if things couldn’t get worse? The leasing consultant said that teenage boys in the area didn’t need to be “excited.”

First of all, who hasn’t seen someone in a small bikini by the pool? Ladies wear thongs, dudes wear speedos, and we all manage to get along. Yeah, someone’s always screaming “won’t somebody think of the children?” but have you ever actually seen someone be traumatized by a bathing suit? Were they going to kick out dudes wearing speedos, too? Because those could be traumatizing. And beyond that: Isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to either explain what’s up to their kids or take their children out of the public place where too much flesh is being exposed? Why does the full-grown adult who’s actually doing nothing wrong have to be harassed about it?

Second of all: If teenage boys in the area get excited, you police them, not the person doing the inadvertent exciting, right? Many of us have been teenage boys and know that it doesn’t matter who’s wearing what. The wind can blow the wrong way and BAM, you gotta sit down and put a towel over your lap. That’s on you, though, and not on the person who wanted to swim and didn’t take your hormones into account. So maybe management should have had a talk with the hypothetical boys in question about self-respect instead? Teach them that, hey, you don’t look down on or treat someone badly because of what they’re wearing? That their bodies aren’t on display for you?

As you can already guess, Jenkins was shaken by the event. So was her fiance, Tyler Newman. They each put up accounts of what happened on Facebook, each pointing out just how ridiculous, disgusting, and unbelievable it is that Jenkins was treated with less reverence than the possible sexual urges of the men around her.

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