Last week, Madelyn Sheaffer and her water park ejection for the crime of wearing a bathing suit virally became popular on the web.
The Madelyn Sheaffer story had so many popular angles for web interest — boobs. Body image. Shaming. Age discrimination. Boobs.
Since the humiliating incident, Sheaffer hasn’t shied away from interest in her story. The 43-year-old bikini babe has been interacting both on Facebook and with the media about her experience, advocating for standards to be changed when it comes to age, decency and dress codes.
Madelyn Sheaffer is not nearly old at 43, and several Hollywood heartthrobs are the same age and often grace covers splashing in the surf, bikini clad. But Sheaffer raises an important, if perhaps unfixable issue — who decides whose bodies are worth seeing at the water park?
It all goes back to a visit to Adventure Oasis Water Park, and the bikini Sheaffer wore. She was booted from the park, and now says that she wants change rather than a lawsuit after she was, she says, discriminated against.
On Facebook, Madelyn Sheaffer writes — a long update we are reproducing in full about why she went public with the water park bikini controversy. She says:
“17 years ago, when I had young children, there were no swimming parks within 22 miles of my family. I had grown up with a community swimming pool within 2 miles of me. My mom would buy my brother and I a season pass, and we would spend our entire summer, for summer on end, walking to the park each day, spending the entire day there. I remember falling into bed each night super happy and exhausted. My mom was a single mom, so this was a big help to her as well.
“By the time I had children, there had been a dramatic increase in insurance prices for these family owned pools. Every pool shut down, with the exception of private pools owned by individuals and apartment complexes. I called the City of Independence 17 years ago and talked with someone about the lack of swimming parks for the youth in our community. At the time he said, there just was not adequate funds, but it was being discussed.
“Now it is 17 years later, and the City of Independence has a nice water park at last. It was not there for my children, but it is there for the hot, summer, children of Independence as a whole, and believe me there are a lot of them. While I stand by my grievance that I was discriminated against at Adventure Oasis Water Park, and I do not believe it should happen again, it is not money that is going to correct the issue, but a change in the swimming park’s “appropriate swimming attire” policy, and also an improvement involving better education and orientation of their park management.
“Without legal counsel, I have decided that in lieu of a lawsuit which awards me money, I would like to pursue these changes. I support a swim park’s decision to decide and define what is appropriate, but it must be determined in a manner that is not discretionary, or according to the judgement of uneducated and possibly in some way personally biased, teenage girls and boys. Private Schools and other organizations have set standards as far as dress code that are easily gauged and applicable without leading to opportunity for discrimination. A shirt two fingers wide, and shorts that go lower than your index finger are easily measured and applied. How can this be applied to city owned swimming parks?”
Madelyn Sheaffer confirms she is meeting with the New York Post to discuss the water park bikini controversy tomorrow.