When Madelyn Sheaffer went to Adventure Oasis Water Park in Independence, Missouri on Tuesday, she thought she was in for a day of silly, wet fun. But what she got instead was a whole lot of controversy. See, while Madelyn, 42, was splashing around in one of the park's pools in, what else, her bathing suit, two park employees came up to her and asked her to put shorts on over her bikini. Thinking the request was absurd, Madelyn opted to stay in her swimsuit, saying "Why should I have to put on a pair of shorts when I am wearing the same size bikini bottoms as the girls in the pool?". A supervisor was then called over, and Madelyn was asked to leave. Again, the mom refused, and police were called to escort her out of the park.
Yes, a mother was escorted out of a water park for wearing a bikini. Yay, America.
Madelyn is convinced that the reason she was asked to cover up was because of her age and "fuller figure". She said: "Just the fact that there were other girls wearing string bikinis – 15, 16, 18 years old – beautiful young bodies, and they are not being told to cover up. I mean, do I have to be 16 and look 100 percent perfect to wear a bikini? Or can I be comfortable in my own skin. Am I allowed to have a matured body?" Amen to that, sister. Shouldn't we be accepting of bodies in all shapes, sizes, and ages? Why should one person be asked to put shorts on while others aren't? I really can't see what the problem is here. Madelyn was wearing a string bikini -- one that covered up everything. Are we that prudish? Or are we now picking and choosing who we want to see in swimsuits?
The thing that makes this story all the more upsetting is the fact that Madelyn recently lost 100 pounds and was excited to finally feel comfortable in a bikini. She's proud of her body -- as she should be; as anyone would be. I imagine being asked to cover up after all her hard work was a serious emotional blow for her. "I am very comfortable from where I once was to where I am today," she said.
As of now, Adventure Oasis Water Park is yet to comment on the incident. But I think it's great that Madelyn made this a national issue. Their reasoning for kicking her out is flat out ridiculous -- she was wearing a bikini while in a pool. And everyone needs to know that.
Check out Madelyn and her swimsuit. What do you think of this?
Image via ABC