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A college student who was dress coded at the gym for her crop top was allegedly told the policy exists as “a happy medium where girls can still work out with men.”   

A college student who was dress coded at the gym for her crop top was allegedly told the policy exists as “a happy medium where girls can still work out with men.” 

Kylee Graham, a student at the University of Prince Edward Island described the Oct. 9 dress code violation in a Facebook post that has garnered over 1,000 reactions and 800 shares, posting a photo of her gym ensemble: black pants with a black top that revealed a sliver of her abdomen.

“Today I wore a cropped workout shirt to the gym, like I do all the time as do many other women,” the 22-year-old veterinary student began. 

According to Graham, a staffer stopped her when she arrived at the gym and said her outfit was inappropriate, even pulling out a binder to illustrate the policy, which allegedly bans sports bras and open-back or low-cut shirts. Graham responded that her shirt didn’t meet the criteria of the banned items and was told, “OK, you’re fine for today but in the future even wearing a see-through shirt over [the] top would suffice.”

“I must have been staring at her like she was crazy because she replied with, ‘If a man came in here and was wearing a shirt cut so low on the sides you could see his nipples I would tell him the same thing,’” wrote Graham.

While leaving the gym after her workout, the staffer told Graham, “My co-workers and I discussed what you were wearing and decided it was OK.”  The woman also stated that Graham’s “sports bra” revealed her abs and cleavage, saying, “…We are trying to find a happy medium where girls can still work out with men” and “so that [girls] aren’t too much, and distracting.” 

Neither Graham nor a representative from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) have returned Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. According to the UPEI Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre handbook, “Tops/shirts should cover the ribcage.” The UPEI student-led publication the Cadre reported that the athletics department has been trying to reach Graham to apologize.

The student, who says she’s “pretty angry” about the incident, wants answers for why the gym’s dress code appears one-sided. She’s also creeped out by how the staffer drew her conclusions. “How do you think it’s OK to discuss my body with your co-workers while I am working out and then tell me you were discussing and assessing me?” She wrote. “…Women already face enough misogyny and grossness in the gym. Stop.”

Graham wrote, “Abs are not sexual, a back is not sexual, breasts are not sexual unless the woman wants them to be sexual, stop sexualizing women’s bodies doing mundane things and let them live their lives in peace.” She also objected to the notion that dress codes are created to control male sexuality.