When Tori Jenkins wore a hot pink one-piece swimsuit to the pool at her apartment complex on Tuesday, she couldn’t have anticipated the repercussions of wearing the most popular swimsuit style of the season that followed.
As her fiancé Tyler Newman explained in a lengthy Facebook post that has received nearly 20,000 shares and more than 17,000 reactions, the pair, who are from Seymour, Tennessee, were told about complaints from residents and guests regarding Jenkins’s attire. She was reportedly asked to either change out of her swimwear into something with fuller coverage, cover up with shorts, or leave the pool that they paid a “$300 (£235) fee to maintain” on top of a monthly rent of nearly $1,000 (£785), not including utilities.
“I have never really witnessed sexual harassment and/or ‘rape culture’ until today with Smoky Crossing Apartments,” Newman wrote. “We both kind of sat there in disbelief around five of our friends, some of which are residents and some not.”
Jenkins addressed the issue “politely and calmly” with the leasing consultant in the apartment office. “I regret not accompanying her,” Newman noted. “In the office, the leasing consultant (who, for now, I will not name) insisted upon letting Tori take her picture to show ‘how inappropriate’ her bathing suit was, and instructed her to look into a mirror at her own body.” When Jenkins replied that she knows what she looks like, the consultant reportedly told her “that if she didn’t have kids herself, she wouldn’t understand. She was told that the leasing consultant wouldn’t want her own kids around Tori.”
Jenkins said that she has a “larger butt” than a lot of people and that 95 percent of the things she wears ride up when she walks. But, according to Newman, the consultant told her that a normal swimsuit should fit differently. “She was told that her body, because it’s built more curvy than others is ‘too inappropriate’ for children to be around. She was told ‘there are a lot of teenage boys in this complex, and you don’t need to excite them.'”
Newman said that he’s never seen his fiancée embarrassed to the point where she can’t even look her best friends in the face. “I’ve never seen her cry like she did in our apartment today. Never seen her want to be isolated like that. All because some ignorant a**holes think they can police the size and shape of her body. I’ve never seen a woman so disrespected,” he wrote.
“Today my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her. That Tori is less important than a man’s urges to be sexual towards her,” he continued. ” I would never make her or any other woman feel less than what she’s worth because of her outfit or her looks.”
Newman said that incidents like these perpetuate rape culture — and Jenkins agrees.
Responding on Facebook to the “overwhelming support” she’s received, she also noted that no one has the right to make her feel uncomfortable in her own skin or police her or any other human.
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