"My gym filmed me working out and put it on social media. I hadn't consented.

“My gym filmed me working out and put it on social media. I hadn’t consented.

“What bothers you so much?” asked another friend in the chat. “You’re on social media all the time. What’s the difference?”.

It’s true, I’m on social media quite a bit and don’t edit my photos – often I’m in far more embarrassing and unflattering situations than gym video. My appearance was not the problem.

What appealed to me was that I had allowed myself to be very vulnerable in that space, and then I was filmed and shared on a public social media channel where everyone could see it. I had asked not to be filmed. It shouldn’t have happened.

My friends were also annoyed. They kept seeing each other on social media too, but they felt stuck – they didn’t like it, but they didn’t want to “make a fuss”.

Not me. Although I knew it had to be an oversight, the gym had to know. Usually it’s a great place – the classes are fun and challenging, the instructors encourage everyone to train as a team and use each other’s energy to uplift us all. And best of all, he feels safe. Well, he had felt safe. It wasn’t like that now.

It was late so I emailed the gym asking why this had happened.

And then I shared it in my Instagram stories, because even though I was upset, I wasn’t sure I had the right to be. I was in their gym, after all. Was I unreasonable? I asked. Precious? Should I just suck it?

My inbox exploded.

Hundreds of messages poured in, including many from women who explicitly told their gym they didn’t consent to being filmed or photographed and were filmed anyway, along with photos and videos of themselves posted on Facebook and Instagram.


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