woman sitting down to workout (l) woman talking to man (m) (r)


‘Tell the owners. Call him out’: Man jokes about hitting ‘conceited’ woman with a dumb bell at gym while she’s filming a TikTok

‘This is why I’m always terrified to go to the weight lifting area.’


Grace Stanley


Posted on Apr 13, 2022   Updated on Apr 14, 2022, 6:01 am CDT

This article contains descriptions of harassment and assault. 

A viral TikTok has exposed a man for allegedly calling a woman at the gym “conceited” and saying he was going to “hit her with a dumbbell,” sparking outrage about the harassment many women face at the gym.

The video has over 152,100 views and was posted yesterday by fitness and mental health influencer Emily Telesca (@emilyesthetic), who has over 13,600 followers on TikTok.

It starts off with Telesca setting up her camera to film at the gym. She lets the man next to her know that if she’s in his way she can totally move. The man in the video asks why she’s filming, and when Telesca says for Instagram and TikTok, she claims the man awkwardly went silent and rolled his eyes off-camera. 

Afterward, another man comes along and tells her on-camera that the man who was there before him told him, “look at this conceited fucking girl, I’m gonna go hit her with a dumbbell.”

“Oh my God. Damn,” Telesca responds in the video. 

“I’m just kidding,” the man says, laughing.

“That’s kind of mean. I’m far from conceited, I probably have insecurities that you don’t even need to know,” Telesca replies. 

More of the conversation is recorded, although the audio becomes unintelligible. Telesca wrote in text over the video that she was in shock, and tried to make light of the situation because she was uncomfortable. 


Probably the most awkward conversation I’ve ever had. 😩 #ScreamItOut #TurboTaxAndRelax #gymtok

♬ original sound – Emily Esthetic Fitness

“Probably the most awkward conversation I’ve ever had,” Telesca captioned the video. 

In the comments section of the TikTok, many users were outraged by the harassment Telesca experienced.

“This makes me so upset,” one user commented. 

“He was attracted to you but he knows you’re out of his league. So he is projecting his own insecurities on you,” another responded. 

Multiple users argued that Telesca should report the man in the video to the gym’s owners.

“Don’t take that. Don’t make light of his dark joke. Tell the owners. Call him out. It’s not ok to disrespect you like that boo,” one user urged. 

Telesca has not yet provided an update about whether she reported the man in the video to gym management.

Other women in the comments said aggressive behavior like this is why they avoid gyms. 

“This is why I’m always terrified to go to the weight lifting area when it’s all I want to do,” one woman expressed. 

The video highlighted the common experience of women feeling intimidated at gyms. A 2021 study of over 4,000 gym-goers by RunRepeat revealed that 56.37% of women surveyed reported experiences of harassment at the gym—almost three times more than men.

Other TikTokers have posted videos sharing their stories of being gawked at, harassed, or even assaulted by men at the gym. Some women have turned to womens-only gyms for safe and supportive environments, and the TikTok hashtag #womensonlygym currently has over 22.9 million views.  

The Daily Dot reached out to Emily Telesca for comment via Instagram message.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of sexual violence, please visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center by going to nsvrc.org.

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*First Published: Apr 13, 2022, 1:48 pm CDT