NDSU Wellness Center has problematic enforcement of guidelines
Personally, when I go to the gym, I like to be as covered up as possible. I don’t take ‘gym pics’ or make any attempt at looking cute. Like many people, I go to the gym to sweat and therefore leave the gym looking gross.
However, I understand that for many people, their gym attire is a sign of pride. If someone has been attending on a regular basis and wants to prove it, then they’re going to do everything in their power, including staring at themselves in the mirror to no end, to show off.
The idea of showing off your body is all fine and good, but there seems to be a different standard for what men are allowed to show and what women are.
On more than one occasion, I’ve heard of girls in sports bras or low necked tops being asked to change. It is in the dress code policy for shirts to be worn at all times, so you would think this makes sense.
However, there are also strict guidelines about how shirts need to cover the nipples and not have armholes that dip past the elbows. Not to call anyone out, but I’ve seen some men wearing tank tops that barely cover a sliver of their chest. At that point, it’s more for decoration than anything.
I’ve never heard of a man (and I’ve asked) who has worn a top like this to the gym being asked to go change. There are many reasons as to why this may happen, but the easy answer is that it is probably seen as a lot easier to ask a girl to go change. We’re already made to feel shame for just having boobs, whereas men can parade their nipples around with no interruption.
In the swimming area, there are certain types of swim attire that aren’t allowed for women. I was with my friend at the pool when she was wearing a bikini. Everything was covered, but a worker told her she couldn’t wear that swimsuit to the gym again because it was “too revealing”.
Meanwhile, a male swimmer in an American flag speedo so small you could see his pubic hair was parading around without complaint.
In an ideal world, my friend and Mr. Tiny Pants could both live their lives at the gym in peace, but only one of these people was talked to. The design of their swimwear was not to blame, their sex was.
Honestly, I could care less what anyone else wears to the gym. I’m not in the practice of staring at anyone else while they work out. However, it just seems that if we require regulations on one sex than we should require it of any other.
Girls can’t wear sports bras for fear of revealing their nipples? Well, then men with low tank tops should have to wear pasties. Girls can’t wear swimsuits that reveal they have boobs? Then men should have to wear swim shirts.
If these guidelines sound like a ridiculous thing to ask of men, welcome to what it’s like being female at the gym. This is not a rant about the inequalities between the sexes (although we could get into that), this is merely to say that gym policies should either reprimand everyone the same or should roll back their rules on women.
As for me, I’ll probably be working out in a parka. But all you put-together gym-goers keep on keeping on.