Pregnant woman 'shocked' after being asked to leave gym as activewear breached its dress code

A pregnant woman has gone viral on social media after revealing she was "dress coded" at a gym for her choice of activewear - a tank top with leggings.  

Emi Romero, a US content creator who is currently five months pregnant, shared her story in a clip to TikTok earlier this week which has since amassed over 3.7 million views and thousands of comments.  

In the clip, Romero said she had recently joined the bodybuilding facility and was aware of their strict dress code, which doesn't allow women to exercise in sports bras. Instead, she opted for a brown tank top and high-waisted leggings, with a slither of her baby bump visible.  

However, the top still seemed to prove too revealing for the wife of the gym's owner, Romero claimed, alleging the woman was "staring" at her as she exercised.

"I'm having a hard time dressing now that I'm pregnant... the owner's wife is staring at me the whole time I'm working out. The owner 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'.  

"I'm like, 'Okay, I know you don't allow sports bras, but I'm not wearing a sports bra right now'. He's just like, 'No, see, I agree with you, but my wife, it's really hard [for her] to differentiate between what's a sports bra... you're either going to have to leave or put on a top."  

Romero, who said she felt "shocked" and "embarrassed" by the exchange, claimed she glanced around and noticed several other women working out in "super short" tops without issue.

Emi Romero's gym outfit
The outfit was seen as breaching the gym's dress code around sports bras. Photo credit: @emiandandrew / TikTok

"I'm like, 'I don't feel like I'm wearing a sports bra, so I don't understand what the problem is here'. And he kept saying, 'My wife has an issue with it', blah, blah, blah."  

She said the facility in question is adorned with photos of bodybuilding competitors, most of whom are dressed in scanty clothing such as bikinis or speedos.

"You have all these photos of people half-naked, which is cool, but like, I can't wear a tank top? He was like, 'Whoa, that's different... these photos are okay'.

"I was trying to be respectful, but honestly, it was pretty offensive. I thought it was the craziest thing. He ends up being like, 'Maybe don't have a membership here', and I was like, 'Okay, I don't want to work out [somewhere] where I feel like this anyway'.   

"It was just the most awkward, uncomfortable encounter and I'm just honestly shocked by it."  

It didn't take long for several viewers to claim they too had been subjected to similar treatment at the same gym as Romero, with many others quick to investigate the facility, the owner, and his wife.  

In a comment, Romero revealed the gym was Dark Horse Fitness in Fredrick, Colorado, which at the time of writing, has one visible one-star review from this week reading: "This gym is absolutely disrespectful! They discriminate against pregnant women... Do not come here! Absolutely horrible mentally to a pregnant woman."  

The gym's Instagram currently has the comments disabled on its most recent post.  

"Literally happened to me at the SAME gym, I'll tag you in my video with the messages," one claimed on Romero's video, while a second commented: "I had a friend tell me terrible stories [about the gym]. She said it was the worst gym in Colorado."  

"I know which gym you're referring to. Cancelled my membership," a third added.  

According to the gym's website, the owner and his wife are both competitive bodybuilders who have spent time in the military.

Others claimed the owner's wife was "jealous" of Romero, with one declaring: "She was BIG jealous. You look amazing and that was way out of line."  

"The outfit is beyond appropriate," another said, with one viewer adding: "Why is there even a dress code."  

"Am I the only person that feels like they were discriminating against you because you were pregnant and working out?" one weighed in.   

A few viewers took the owner's side, with one user noting: "Just throw a t-shirt on - but other girls should have to do the same if that's the rule."  

"It's their gym, if you don't like the rules, you can go elsewhere," another sniped.  

The user who claimed to have endured a similar experience at the same facility, Eryn diZerega, made her allegations in a widely shared video at the end of last year. In the clip, the fitness enthusiast said she was told her romper was "inappropriate" attire by the owner.

"I've been going to this bodybuilding gym recently and they have this rule about no sports bras, which I thought was a little weird, but I really liked everything else about this gym, so I signed up anyway," she said in her video.  

"But the owner comes up to me and he's like 'Hey, do me a quick favour - would you just throw on a sweater over that?' I was very respectful and told him I'd put on my sweater.  

"I put on my sweater and finished my workout. By that point, I already knew I didn't want to keep working out there."