It’s just so tawdry: all those cheap-looking women in their slinky tops and their short, shorts. And the men too! It shouldn’t be allowed.
After all, who wants to see a bunch of disgusting tramps and vulgar guys sweating?
But that’s exactly what’s going on at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax – and, in its infinite wisdom, managers at that facility have decided to crack down on the visual obscenities corrupting innocent individuals.
Yes, the clothing police have arrived at your local gym.
CBC News reported this week that the centre is “enforcing a dress code for its members that includes a ban on tight shorts and slinky tops.”
The broadcaster quoted a woman named Hazel Gaudet (presumably a patron, but she wasn’t identified other than by her name; perhaps she’s ridiculously famous in Halifax – Look! It’s Hazel Gaudet! – and I’m the last to know), who said she favoured the clothing ban on short, shorts.
“I feel like it makes a woman look like she’s cheap,” Gaudet pronounced. “Makes you look right cheap, like you know she’s not worth nothing. I don’t like the look of it. I find it very degrading for a woman.”
I would suggest that the woman in the mid-riff top and short, shorts, who is maybe bench-pressing weights, using the elliptical, doing core work or whatever else actually values herself enough that she came to the gym in the first place to improve her health and herself. What’s so degrading about that?
And why is she or he wearing the mid-riff top, singlet, or shorts? Because they’re hot – and I mean that in the temperature sense. Anyone who’s ever worked out in a gym knows your core temperature quickly rises indoors and anything you can do – including wearing “slinky” clothing – to alleviate that problem is a help.
The centre’s dress code says shirts must cover the body and shorts must be mid-thigh or longer.
The centre also posted this odd statement in response to the news story: “This was a light-hearted take on an internal awareness campaign of our existing Fitness Centre dress code. This is not a centre-wide dress code policy. It isn’t intended to target any one particular demographic.”
There’s nothing “light-hearted” about it. I actually first heard about this roughly three weeks ago when a friend on Daily Mile posted that she’d been told to “cover up” or leave. I thought the incident was bizarre, but didn’t pay too much attention.
It’s true that the centre accommodates people from a wide variety of cultures. Perhaps, if some individuals are that uncomfortable with what people wear to workout, a time could be set for more moderate clothing, an hour a couple of times a week where “slinky” tops and “cheap” clothing isn’t allowed.
As it is, the ban applies to the fitness centre only; so runners are allowed to wear singlets and shorts on the second-level track. That’s all fine and good, but what if they want to do a weight workout after their run? Does that mean they have to change into a new outfit?
But as Canadian Running Magazine reported, the centre is home to many top athletes such as 800 m Olympian Geoff Harris. Canadian Running noted Harris wrote on his Facebook page: “The Canada Games Center is home to some of Canada’s best athletes in multiple sports and the focus goes to whether someone’s short are not past there mid-thigh. I can say none of my Nike Team Gear would pass the test, does that mean I won’t be welcome to train at the CGC?”
I have taught spin cycling at six different, major gyms across Atlantic Canada, and I’ve never heard of such a rule before. Jokingly, someone on Facebook suggested that along with the ban on clothing at the centre, censored behavior would include “grunting and farting.”
Quoting directly from the centre’s regulations, someone else pointed out that the safety standards state: “Please do not disrupt or interfere in another member’s workout. Profanity or excessive grunting is not allowed.”
Got that, weight-lifters?
I would suggest that strict enforcement of the clothing rule is liable to cause a severe drop in the centre’s enrollment and subsequent revenues. Patrons who seriously want to work out will look to other gyms, including private options such as Goodlife, where they can dress, sweat and grunt without worry of censure.
Runners, cross-fitters, spinners, swimmers (what about those bathing suits, eh?), the last thing they want to think about when they do their workout is what they’re wearing.
Now excuse me: I’ve got to put on some slinky, cheap running gear and go for a workout.