woman talking(l+r), Woman in her gym outfit(c)


‘You’re definitely a topic at their dinner table’: Woman says gym owner ‘dress-coded’ her at the gym—he blamed it on his wife

'My wife has an issue with what you’re wearing.'


Natasha Dubash


Posted on Mar 5, 2024   Updated on Mar 5, 2024, 9:17 am CST

A woman says that the owner of her gym recently cited her for a dress code violation and said that it was his wife who was uncomfortable with the patron’s outfit choice.

Emi Romero (@emiandandrew) usually posts TikTok videos about her family life, but on March 3, 2024, she shared a story about an incident that recently happened to her at her gym.

As she films herself from the inside of her car, Emi says, “So today, I got to the gym like I normally would. I’m wearing a tank top and leggings, and basically, I’m five months pregnant, so I have a little bump.”

The video cuts to a photo of her in the alleged gym outfit, revealing Emi in full-length leggings and what is clearly a tank top. 

Emi explains that she is a member of a bodybuilding gym and notes that there are numerous photographs of competitors up on the walls in “tiny bikinis and their little man underwear.” She also says that she had been informed about the gym’s dress code, which does not allow members to work out in sports bras. 

“I thought it was a little strange for a bodybuilder gym. But I was like, ‘OK, that’s fine,’” she says, before adding that she’s been going there regularly with no issues, but lately, because of her pregnancy, she’s been having a hard time dressing for her changing body.

“So I’m wearing this tank top today, right?” she says. “And the owner’s wife is staring at me the whole time I’m working out. And [the] owner kind of walks [over] halfway through my workout. … He’s like, ‘Listen, my wife has an issue with what you’re wearing right now. We don’t allow sports bras.’”

Emi says she told him she wasn’t wearing a sports bra, but the owner responded, “‘No, I agree with you, but my wife, it’s really hard to differential between what’s a sports bra. … You’re going to have to either leave or put on a top.’”

Emi says she was shocked and embarrassed. She says she pointed out other female gym patrons who were working out in tops smaller than hers as well as the photos of the competitors on the walls who were dressed in bathing suits. 

Emi told the owner, “‘I don’t understand. You’re a bodybuilder gym. You have all these photos up of people half naked, which is cool, but like I can’t wear a tank top?’” 

In then end, she says the owner said that maybe the gym wasn’t the best place for Emi to have a membership.

“It was the most awkward, uncomfortable encounter. Honestly I’m shocked by it,” says Emi.

The TikToker’s video received over 989,000 views in a single day of being on the platform, and viewers were equally shocked at the treatment she received. 

“I was expecting something super tiny but there isn’t ANYTHING wrong with your outfit,” wrote one person about Emi’s tank top. 

“You’re definitely a topic at their dinner table. His wife’s a hater because you’re gorgeous,” said another, suggesting that the wife was jealous of Emi. 

“Why is there even a dress code,” asked a third, and Emi responded in agreement, saying, “It’s 2024…. Like come on.”

@emiandandrew Make it make sense… idk what do you think? #dresscode #gymtok #pregnancy #pregnancyworkout ♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim

It appears that Emi isn’t the only woman whose clothing has been policed at this particular gym. In a follow-up video responding to a commenter who said the same thing happened to her, Emi says that four other women have messaged her to share that they had the same experience at that very gym. A number of commenters also aimed to identify the gym, but Emi hasn’t confirmed the name of the gym.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Emi via TikTok direct message and to the gym in question via email for further comment. 

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2024, 11:00 am CST