Finding the confidence to work out in the gym is no mean feat.
Not only do we have to contend with figuring out what the heck half of the machines do (I once has to ask for assistance in getting out of a leg press machine), we find ourselves spending half the time mopping up our pools of sweat, apologising profusely to the person next to us when we accidentally roll off an exercise ball sideways and deciding whether to bare all in the changing rooms.
However, one thing we do know is what to wear to the gym.
Well, we thought we did, until a Charleston University student revealed she was kicked out of her gym for wearing a sports bra.
Last week, College of Charleston student, Sarah Villafañe, took to Facebook to describe the day she was told to leave her college gym due to her gym-appropriate attire.
In the post, the student explains how she wore the gym top to three college classes that day and spoke to several professors who didn't have a problem with her clothing.
However, when entering the gym, she was immediately instructed to change clothes.
'Obviously I didn't bring an extra shirt to the gym and [I] wasn't about to wear my flannel [top] while working out. So I just said 'mhm ok' and went about my work out pretty p*ssed off that they even asked me to change,' she explained.
During her workout, another member of staff approached her and asked for her to put her shirt 'back on'.
'I said: 'I have a shirt on.' They say: 'No, that's not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.'
Despite explaining she was wearing the appropriate athletic attire, the gym manager then came over to her and asked her, again, to put on more clothes, to which she revealed: 'Well if this isn't a shirt... no. I'm not gonna put a shirt on.'
As a result, the student was kicked out of the gym.
I said: 'I have a shirt on.' They say: 'No, that's not a shirt. You have to wear a whole shirt.'
Explaining the situation, Villafañe wrote: 'I bought this outfit to work out in because it's comfortable. What is the issue? Why can't I work out in this outfit? Is my belly button distracting to the general 85 per cent male demographic that your gym serves? I'm forced to leave, why? Honestly I'm so floored that I just got kicked out for this. Do better college of Charleston.'
Villafañe was later told the gym had kicked her out 'for sanitary concerns'.
She wrote: 'They never made those sanitary concerns clear when they asked me to change. They told me I need 'more coverage' and nothing more.
I bought this outfit to work out in because it's comfortable. What is the issue? Why can't I work out in this outfit?
'Not to mention, their website has no written dress code anyway. The dress code at the front of the gym simply says 'Athletic wear must be worn'. I would say that what I'm wearing (whether you believe it's a sports bra or a crop top) is completely normal and considered athletic wear,' she added.
As a result of Villafañe's experience, hundreds of Facebook users have taken to comment on her picture, varying in messages of support and unjust condemnation.
One user wrote: 'It's their venue, they can set whatever dress code they want. Don't like it? Workout somewhere else instead of crying on Facebook.
Another commented: 'Sarah stop wearing your sl*t wear – I mean 'active wear' everywhere you go, and then maybe you wont have a problem.'
Shocking, isn't it?
Fortunately, some right-minded people have taken to Sarah's Facebook to show her support.
One wrote: 'We should be celebrating women in gyms, not forcing them out!'.
Of course, dress codes are put in place for a reason. However, when someone – be it male or female – chooses to wear appropriate clothing for a setting, such as a gym, and is shamed because of it, it's time we start questioning the stigmas and prejudice behind the apparent 'rules' and call them out for what the truly are – ridiculous and offensive.