Aussie influencer speaks out about 'hate' she cops when grocery shopping in activewear

Influencer Sophie Allen wearing activewear at the supermarket
The influencer received backlash on social media after sharing a frank video highlighting the judgment she cops for wearing activewear in the supermarket. Photo credit: Sophie Allen / TikTok

Remember that classic ad that debuted on Aotearoa's TV screens about 15 years ago? Togs, togs, togs - undies. If you can't see the water, you're in underpants.

Well it appears that for many people, this principle does not only apply to bathers. Picture this: You've finished your group fitness class and you head to the supermarket for a quick pick-me-up. Whoa, there - if you can't see the elliptical, you're in underpants.

At least that was the experience of Sophie Allen, a personal trainer from Sydney. The 31-year-old went viral on TikTok after she shared a frank video about the "hate" she receives as a woman who shops in her activewear.

"The hate you get being a female wearing a crop top in the supermarket just hits different," Allen captioned the clip, which shows her standing in a Woolworths' aisle in her activewear - a sports bra, leggings and sneakers. 

The clip, which has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times, resonated with a number of women. Many agreed that certain outfits still provoke judgemental responses from strangers, with some sharing their own anecdotes.

"Omg YES! I feel so uncomfortable, but at the same time what can I do? If I have to do groceries after the gym I won't change just for it," one shared.

"I go grocery shopping every Saturday after the gym and the looks I get like... relax people," said another. 

"She's just hot - that's why you have a problem," a third argued.

"If wearing a sports bra makes someone uncomfortable, they are the problem," another commented.

However, the clip also proved divisive, with many viewers echoing the very sentiment that Allen had been highlighting. Several were quick to argue that Allen was ignoring the "basic dress standards" for public spaces.

"Just throw on a damn shirt when going in public. The gym is one place, but going into a grocery store like that is another," one wrote.

"It's like wearing a bathing suit to the movies. The outfit just doesn't match the location," another argued.

"There are basic dress standards even for you, which includes wearing a shirt," a third sniped.

Another hit back that a sports bra is equivalent to men's undies, writing: "That's not a crop top though, that's a sports bra. That's like a guy walking in the store saying 'the hate you get [for] wearing just briefs'."

But the backlash hasn't deterred Allen, who doubled-down on her comments to, saying she regularly receives "disapproving looks" from strangers when shopping in her gym gear. 

"The kind that make you feel uncomfortable just from an energy exchange perspective," she told the outlet.

Stigma surrounding women's clothes, bodies and how they choose to dress is still alive and well, she added.

"It happens anytime I go into a supermarket after a training session in my crop. It's so disappointing that in 2022 women are still being judged for their choice in clothing," she said.

"It feels frustrating that we're still expected to look, behave and present ourselves in a certain way to be deemed 'acceptable' by society."