Working out on a regular basis is conducive to great health and a longer life with fewer instances of sickness and disease. However, not all who go to the gym do so on an even playing field. However, this is often when intimidation creeps in to rear its ugly head. Gym enthusiasts come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience. This can lead to insecurity in those who are settling into a fitness routine for the first time, or are striving to become physically fit over time. Many a soul has given up the fight for fitness due to the common intimidation that arises from being in close proximity to those who are in great shape.
The issue has come to the attention of many gyms and as a result, some are enforcing dress codes in order to keep up the customer morale and avoid unnecessary intimidation of those who might feel offended by the ample showing of skin, as is the custom of many. There are some who feel that this type of display is inappropriate at best. For many, going for a workout should not have to feel like a beauty pageant, and yet, this is how many patrons feel when they stroll into their respective workout facilities and select a treadmill, only to be barraged by a forest of heaving breasts and rippling abs.
Alternatively, there are some people who frequent the gym because of this spectacle. However, these people represent a much smaller percentage of the population. The intimidation some people feel when comparing one’s respective level of fitness to others generally comes from doubts and insecurities of one’s own abilities to achieve the same level of physical fitness. To improve the atmosphere and address these insecurities, gyms have been implementing dress codes that will allow patrons to come and go with less instances of physical intimidation.
As a result, many who had previously been experiencing anxiety due to intimidation were beginning to improve. Unfortunately, this is not the same experience of everyone. Others claim to be the objects of discrimination for doing nothing more than working hard and having a shapely physique. Recently, news has surfaced of gyms turning away members who desire to wear skin baring workout attire due to what has now been coined as “gymtimidation”. The situation has been difficult to say the least, for gym owners to broach in efforts to make everyone involved feel respected. While the attempts to placate those who might be intimidated by others via a dress code has addressed some of the issues, there is still a percentage of these same gym patron who find themselves on the opposite side of the coin.
While it is the right of everyone to participate freely, the grapple continues in the debate. While one side feels that modesty is essential and that no one should have to feel intimidated while trying to better themselves, there are those who firmly believe that the bodies they have striven so hard to create should be left to one’s own discretion to flaunt or cover up. Some say that this too, is intimidation in the form of flagrant discrimination.
By: J.A. Johnson