05/05/14 by Rennie Detore
Planet Fitness stresses in its business plan and throughout all of its locations that it wants to promote a "non intimidating" atmosphere. Apparently, that doesn't only pertain to muscle heads or the member that is sporting washboard abs.
It also includes would be moms.
Planet Fitness recently asked Melissa Mantor, who is 18 months pregnant, to leave her local health club in Charleston. This is according to Mantor, who made waves nationally thanks to the incident with Planet Fitness. Not surprisingly, Planet Fitness is telling anyone who will listen that they didn't ask her to leave but rather offered her a T shirt to cover up her top.
In fairness to Planet Fitness, they appeared to only be adhering to their rules and not necessarily singling out Mantor because she was with child. Planet Fitness has a niche when it comes to how their members look and act. The acting part prohibits members from grunting, yelling and slamming and dropping weights.
As far as the dress code, Planet Fitness prohibits spaghetti straps as far as tops are concerned and doesn't allow stomachs or midriffs to be shown. You would have to think that the manager or employee that approached Mantor most likely because of how she was dressed and offered a solution that seems reasonable. The fact that she was pregnant probably wasn't the issue at hand, but rather an employee simply doing what he or she was told.
That said, the picture that is surfacing of what Mantor was wearing at Planet Fitness hardly seems like the attire that the fitness chain was thinking of when they penned their club rules. Mantor's top hardly exposes anything that would be described as a midriff, although her shirt clearly does sport spaghetti straps.
The issue itself is remarkably polarizing, even thought it seems to be just an open and shut case of a rule being broken, hurt feelings and a customer being asked to leave for that reason alone. Obviously, you'll never know exactly what was going through the mind of the employee at Planet Fitness when they approached Mantor and if their motivation was more about the so called inappropriate shirt or her baby bump.
That question looms large but perhaps an even more intriguing storyline is not so much why the Planet Fitness employee approached Mantor but how the conversation was handled. You have to wonder if this gym employee implemented a shred of professionalism or made somewhat of a scene when he asked Mantor to leave or put on a T shirt, whichever side of the story is correct.
Let's hope the Planet Fitness employee exercised some restraint and casually pulled Mantor aside and thoroughly explained their reasoning for the decision, and that this person truly did offer a T shirt rather than asking Mantor to leave.
If that actually happened, it's hard to rally behind Mantor in this instance. She has every right, however, to believe she was singled if Planet Fitness unlawfully flexed its muscles verbally and made Mantor feel like she didn't belong.
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