A woman posing for a photo.

@tiawould/TikTok

TikToker says she was kicked out of car inspection place because her crop top was ‘inappropriate’ (updated)

'I'm sorry, are you inspecting the car or baptizing it?'

 

Jennifer Xia

Internet Culture

Published Jul 22, 2021   Updated Jul 26, 2021, 7:16 am CDT

A TikToker showed up to a car inspection station in a crop top and shorts and says she was told to wait outside because her shirt was inappropriate. 

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https://www.tiktok.com/@tiawould/video/6987100716875713797
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“What I’m about to show you is potentially very dangerous for the welfare of your car so make sure your vehicle is nowhere near your phone for the next like 10 seconds,” TikToker Tia Wood says sarcastically in her video before showing what she wore to the car inspection. 

The video garnered more than 924,000 views, and the comment section is divided between people who called her shirt a “bra” and people outraged at women’s bodies once again being policed through dress codes.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, businesses are not allowed to turn customers away based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. However, refusing to serve a customer for violating a set dress code is allowed.

@tiawould

the time i was dress coded at the inspection starion

♬ original sound – Tia Wood
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Wood says the car inspection employee asked if she could put another shirt on.

“I actually didn’t put much thought into my clothing before I came here, to be honest,” Wood says in her video. “I didn’t think it mattered.”

Wood says she was told to walk around the side of the building to wait outside where her car would be dropped off, instead of waiting inside with other customers. She says she felt like a “disgrace.”

“I’m sorry, are you inspecting (the car) or baptizing it?” Wood says. 

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@tiawould

Reply to @cheesecakefactorie idk if u heard but women can wear what they want now! cry!

♬ original sound – Tia Wood

Some viewers came to Wood’s defense and said her shirt was not inappropriate, especially given the hot summer weather.

“I’m getting jealousy vibes from the inspection station because you look fye,” one user commented.

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Others said her top didn’t qualify as a shirt.

“That’s a fancy bra at best,” one user commented, to which someone replied, “Oh no. Not a male who has no idea about female clothing trying to judge someone for wearing something they don’t understand. Go back under your rock.”

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Wood was not afraid to respond to comments calling her top inappropriate. 

“Honey, if you are that fucking rattled by what someone else is wearing, seek professional help,” Wood says in a video. “Seriously … Bitch, call me Dante because I will follow you to the center of hell. Or are you actually pathetic that you can’t handle seeing a woman’s abdomen in public? Cope or die mad.”

In a followup TikTok, Wood calls the car inspection place and speaks to another employee about her experience. The employee says the business does not have a dress code and just requires face coverings. 

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“So they told you you weren’t allowed in the waiting area because of your outfit?” the employee says in the video. “I’m asking questions because this is the first time we’ve ever heard something like this.”

The employee calls the incident “odd” and says that “as long as you’re not there naked,” everyone can be an adult about clothing.

People praised how kind the employee was in listening to Wood’s experience and talking to her manager immediately. 

“The respect, the patience, the humanity of this entire interaction,” one user commented. “This is how people need to handle themselves.”

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Update 7:16am CT, July 26: When reached for comment, Tia Wood told the Daily Dot that she hoped her video could change some people’s perspectives about how women’s bodies should not be viewed or treated as inappropriate.

“Women’s bodies are viewed as inherently inappropriate whereas with men, it kind of depends on context and that’s the distinction that a lot of people don’t understand,” Wood said.

She said women’s bodies have been painted as something that should be concealed, which is part of a larger discussion of the even greater harm that is inflicted on transgender women, women of color, and plus-sized women.

“I want to stress that no matter what you look like, there’s nothing wrong with your body,” Wood said. “You don’t need to cover up. There’s nothing shameful about being a woman.”

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While Wood engaged with a lot of women who resonated with her experience, she also wanted men to actively participate in the conversation.

“If you see a woman being mistreated or objectified, especially based on their outfit or what they look like … be an active ally,” Wood said. “I don’t want all the responsibility to fall on women. Even though it was a woman in this scenario, it speaks to a larger issue of misogyny.”


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*First Published: Jul 22, 2021, 12:35 pm CDT