Just days before the Fourth of July, 43-year-old Madelyn Sheaffer was banned from the Adventure Oasis Water Park in Independence, Missouri because her string bikini was deemed too skimpy and inappropriate. When Sheaffer refused to either "cover up or leave," park officials called the police and had her escorted out of the community pool. Sheaffer (the mother of a 14-year-old daughter) later posted a complaint on Facebook that has since gone viral. What do Mstars readers think - was Sheaffer rightly ejected from the park just because her swimsuit bottoms were considered too small?
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Here's Sheaffer's lengthy Facebook post, describing the embarrassing amusement park encounter:
"I went to the Independence, Missouri City Pool today with my 68 year old mother, 14 year old daughter, 10, 9, and 7 year old nieces and nephew. We had just arrived and I got inside the pool with the 10 and 9 year old, when two teenage female employees of the pool (the pool is ran by teenagers) came up and told me that I would need to put a cover up on as my swim suit was inappropriate. "This is a family park," they said. "Yes, and I am a family person, I said, and am here with my family." They said I had to cover up or leave, so I said, "What sort of discrimination is this? Is it because you think I am too old to wear a bikini, or because I look too good in one?" There were plenty of 15-18 year old girls at the park in swimsuits equally revealing as mine. This was not a thong. It was a standard, summertime, two piece, string bikini. The same as everyone else, who felt confident enough in their body to wear one. This is summertime...... This is a swimming pool..... "Well I am not covering up, I said, and if you expect me to leave, you had better call the police and have them escort me out. Fifteen minutes later the police did arrive, and said that while they did not agree, they had to do their job. "We can't actually say anything," they said as we walked outside, (as it is a city owned park), ..but I hope from the expressions on our face you can tell how we feel." They were compassionate. They too, thought it was ridiculous. I am a 43 year old woman who did not have the confidence, or the body, to put on a bikini until was 40 years old. I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one. Long story short, I called the media, and will be on tonight's local 41 news. Several people walked out while I waited outside for the newsman, and told me how ridiculous this all was, and complimented me on my swimsuit."
Her story has since gone viral, and support keeps pouring in from all over the world:
"In addition to other countries already mentioned, I have now heard from Greece, China, Hong Kong...and received over 500 beautiful letters from Brazil. I have been wanting to see the world, and now the world is coming to me, and sending much Love. One thing I have learned so far, is that there is a much greater viewpoint and perspective of the human body than what is to be found in Independence, Missouri worldwide,.... and I thank and appreciate you for that! Much Love to those who express pride over shame for all shapes, sizes, in addition to various ages and stages, of this beautiful human body we inhabit our time on earth."
Adventure Oasis Water Park officials offered no comment about the incident. The City Manager was also unavailable, but an assistant told the Huffington Post that "the facility made the call and we rely on their judgment."
What do readers think of Sheaffer's inspiring Facebook reaction?