A New Zealand woman was left humiliated after being asked to leave a public pool because her bikini was considered ‘inappropriate’.
Yvette Harvie-Salter was relaxing at Albany Stadium Pool in Auckland on Saturday (April 6), when the female duty manager pulled her out of the spa and asked to speak to her in private.
The employee claimed the bikini Yvette was wearing was inappropriate, and although there wasn’t a rule banning certain types of swimwear, some of the mums at the pool had made complaints about it.
The 26-year-old explained in a Facebook post she’d worn the same bikini at the same pool for the past few months, but suddenly she was being told to wear something more conservative.
Speaking to The Sun, Yvette recalled her humiliation at the situation:
She asked me if I have any other bikinis at home and I do but they’re all the same. And this is a standard bikini I’ve worn for the past few months.
In that moment I instantly felt shamed and exposed. I felt I had to cover myself up. It was so humiliating.
The duty manager told Yvette she’d need to cover up with a towel if she wanted to stay at the public pool. The New Zealander was outraged at the situation, and argued men in ‘tiny little Speedos’ were never told to cover up.
Her comments were toxic, it really felt like discrimination. I don’t want any woman to have to go through this.
It just feels like body shaming, really. I am really hurt by it.
According to The Sun Yvette was wearing a black version of this bikini:
The 26-year-old and her partner decided to leave the pool after the incident, but staff members were offhand about refunding them.
Yvette wrote on Facebook:
When I tried to address management to get my money back, they all literally laughed about it, I find THAT offensive.
I have been going to this pool up to three times a week for the past couple of years and they’ve just lost a valued customer.
The Sun report Auckland Council, which runs the pool, has now apologised and refunded Yvette after the distressing incident.
Rob McGee, head of active recreation, said:
On behalf of the lifeguard who spoke to the customer and the team at Albany, I would like to offer a sincere apology to the customer.
We are sorry she was made to feel uncomfortable, and the lifeguard who passed on the feedback from other pool users now realises this wasn’t the right thing to do.
She was never asked to leave, however we understand her decision.
We will be contacting the customer directly to apologise and ensure she knows she is welcome back anytime.
Hopefully Yvette will be able to find a pool where she feels comfortable wearing whatever she likes.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.