Woman shocked after being asked to leave the gym over outfit

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·5-min read

Sydney-sider Gabi Watson went to the gym in a perfectly normal workout wear but was shocked when she was asked to leave due to her outfit – a crop top and bike shorts.

The 27-year-old quickly took to social media to share her experience on her Insta Story, writing, "Hi everyone. Today I was asked to leave my gym and 'change' (*flashback to church camp*) because a school teacher (who was supervising teenage students) had a problem with this outfit and complained.

Gabi Goddard was asked to leave her gym due to her outfit
Sydney-sider Gabi Goddard went to the gym in a perfectly normal workout wear but was shocked when she was asked to leave due to her outfit – a crop top and bike shorts. Photo: Instagram/GabiGoddard

"It's a hot day, the air con was not on, but apparently this government teacher was concerned about the children seeing so much skin.

"What follows is my complaint email to the principal of the school in question, which outlines the significant issues with such a request."

Gabi then shared the email that she sent to the principal.

In the email she outlined that she, like North Shore high school named in the post, is a client of the north shore gym, and that she was registering a complaint due to the inappropriate actions of the teacher who worked there.

"I am a 27-year-old female and I'm also a powerlifter. This afternoon, as I was deadlifting, I was called over by the gym owner and told that your teacher had asked me to not be allowed to workout in front of your teenage students, due to the shorts I was wearing," she wrote.

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She included the photo of her outfit in the email and added that due to the movements she was performing at the gym, she needed to wear "fitted and stretchy clothes".

"Nevertheless, due [to] the complaint of your teacher, I was asked to leave and change my outfit," Gabi said.

She continued, "As I am not in any way affiliated with, or a representative of your school, I am horrified that your school has sway over the clothing choices (and freedom to exercise) of an independent adult woman."

"Moreover, your school is perpetuating values (with real-life consequences) that are demonstrably harmful.

Gabi email school gym furore
Gabi then shared her email with the principal of the high school, revealing her concerns for what happened to her at the gym. Photo: Instagram/GabiGoddard

"Namely, that we live in a world where 14-year-old boys are given priority over women. Where women are punished for boy's and men's propensity for objectifying women."

"As a government institution, what right do you have to be representing such values?"

She added that she was also a paying member of the gym and didn't understand why their contract "seems to have more influence than mine".

"I would like to reiterate that the outfit I was wearing today was in no way gratuitous. It was very appropriate for the situation, and violated no dress codes.

"I have worn such outfits at many gyms and never had a single complaint.

"It is discouraging that this particular complaint came from a person charged with moulding our next generation into well-rounded adults; ones who respect women and shun rape culture," she finished.

Gabi continued in another Insta Story, saying, "I absolutely should have added that if that teacher's goal was to teach her female students to be ashamed of ever showing their bodies (even in the pursuit of activities that are healthy for mind and body) then she did an awesome job, by publicly shaming me in front of them."

Some of the responses Gabi received
Gabi shared some of the responses she received. Photo: Instagram/GabiGoddard

Responding to a DM, Gabi revealed that she told the manager at the gym of her concerns, they responded, "Well I wouldn't want my daughter wearing something like that, I'm sure you understand."

To which the person she was responding to said, "I wouldn't want my daughter being told what to wear by a stranger, sure you understand mate."

Others questioned how they could support Gabi's complaint to which she said, they could send their thoughts to the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood, Sarah Mitchell.

In another Story Gabi explained that while the gym owners should have stood up for her, they are good people and she doesn't want them to get slammed.

Having said that, she did add that she will "definitely be in contact with them" and will be changing gyms.

The Nasty Woman Club podcast Instagram page shared Gabi's story and, unsurprisingly, commenters were very much on her side.

"This is so infuriating! Angry at the teacher and the gym owner. I am really interested to see how the school responds," one person wrote.

"The inferences being conveyed in this exchange in front of the students is 100 shades of wrong," another added.

Someone else wrote, "How bloody stupid! what a terrible example, instead of correcting any negative behaviour from students (and I hope there was some to prompt the complaint from the teacher and not just them policing other people’s bodies!) they decide to blame you!

"Poor choices were there could have instead been a big teachable moment about personal space and respect!"

The Department of Education has declined to comment on the matter.

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