Suddenly it felt like a thousand eyes at the amusement park were staring at her, and Madelyn could not believe what she was hearing. She felt the anger rising in her chest, but she tried to stay cool and not feel ashamed.
Madelyn stood up, but before she could open her mouth, she saw her children staring at her. Was she willing to risk embarrassing them to prove a point? In a moment of hesitation, the staff said something Madelyn would never forget.
Madelyn was busy raising her two kids and unexpectedly gained weight. She wanted to be a good role model for her kids but was finding it difficult. Every time they wanted her to join in an activity she was too tired.
She decided to make a drastic change and bring fitness back to her life. Madelyn worked really hard but the results started to get her unwanted attention.
Madelyn began to see improvement and felt overall more healthy. She ended up losing almost 100lbs and was happy with the results! Madelyn didn’t want to hide her body but the small town she lived in had other ideas.
On a particularly hot summer day, her kids asked to go to the waterpark. Madelyn was excited to show off a new bikini but never imagined the embarrassment that would follow her from that day forward.
Madelyn got her kids in the car and the family drove to Adventure Oasis Water Park. On the car ride to the park, everyone was excited and singing along to the radio. Madelyn couldn’t wait to cool off and work on her tan.
Getting to the park was easy, but the real struggle was going to take place inside. Madelyn bought her family tickets and then found a suitable spot to sit in the sun. She got comfortable on her towel but then a dark shadow fell across her body.
When Madelyn closed her eyes she expected to feel the sun on her body but soon a shadow fell across her face. As she squinted, looking upwards, she was surprised to find two employees standing above her.
Madelyn was confused. She hadn’t alerted the staff to a problem and got worried there was a problem with the kids. She never suspected she was the problem all along.
Madelyn sat up and asked the employees what the problem was. She was a few years older than both the woman that approached her and felt uncomfortable with the scowls on their face.
One employee quickly pointed at Madelyn and said she would need to cover up or leave the park. Madelyn was confused, all she was wearing was a bikini, just like everyone else. That’s when the conversation took a devastating turn.
The employees told Madelyn her bathing suit was too small and inappropriate to wear at the pool. At first, Madelyn felt embarrassed and remembered how she felt when she was out of shape.
After all her hard work all she wanted was to feel comfortable in her own skin. She felt a rush of shame and quickly began to gather her belongings. Then something clicked in her mind, and the shame quickly turned to anger.
Madelyn looked around her and stopped packing her belongings. Everyone around her was also wearing bikinis. They might be younger and slimmer but everyone was wearing bathing suits. Why should Madelyn be the only one forced to cover-up?
Madelyn pointed this out to the employees but they just laughed in her face. They told her again the bathing suit was too small and she would need to cover up or leave. Madelyn had enough and made a final demand that was impossible for the park to complete!
Madelyn refused to back down. She knew she looked good and she had worked hard for the body and confidence she was displaying. She decided to match the employee’s bravado and loudly told them a shocking statement!
Madelyn was attracting a crowd and said, “If you want me to leave then you better call the police to escort me!” After that, she sat back down on her towel and watched the employees walk away. In another second, Madelyn’s jaw dropped over who stood over her.
A few people had witnessed the interaction and told Madelyn it was good she was standing up for herself. Madelyn looked at her kids and they were happily splashing in the park. There was no way she was leaving when everyone was having a good time.
After a few minutes, another shadow stood over Madelyn’s tanning body. She let out an exasperated sigh but was shocked when she opened her eyes and looked into a police officer’s face. This day wasn’t going the way anyone planned.
The police officer seemed just as embarrassed as Madelyn felt but told her he had to do his job. He told Madelyn the park had called him to escort her off the property. He refused to take her side and patiently waited while she packed her belongings.
By the time Madelyn was in the parking lot she was fuming! How was this happening to her after working so hard to achieve a fitness goal she couldn’t even sunbathe in public? She took out her phone and made an instant viral post.
Madelyn couldn’t believe the circumstances but instantly uploaded pictures of her and the offensive bikini. She captioned the photos, “too much skin for the waterpark” and told her followers she refused to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in her own skin.
Madelyn’s photos and post instantly went viral and the audience was equally divided. While some people praised Madelyn for her hard work, others felt that a mother of two should dress differently. Madelyn would stand up to them all.
Madelyn wanted every woman to feel comfortable in their skin. She refused to back down or feel embarrassed due to age or weight. Madelyn wanted every person who felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit to see her and feel empowered.
While the pictures circulated the town, Madelyn began to get approached for interviews. Under the bright lights and news cameras would she keep the confidence she was preaching to others.
Madelyn was interviewed by ABC News and was distraught over the different public reactions. She still didn’t believe she had done anything wrong and wanted to encourage others to stand up for themselves.
The news anchor wanted to know why the mother of two children was so focused on showing off her body in a bikini. Madelyn knew she would have to share an embarrassing story to gather more support, but didn’t know if she was prepared to be so vulnerable.
Before Madelyn lost over 300lbs she suffered from an embarrassing misstep in the shower. It was a normal day and Madelyn was looking forward to taking a hot relaxing shower. When she got into the shower, her body immediately relaxed, but one wrong turn changed everything.
Madelyn slipped in the shower and couldn’t believe the instant amount of pain she felt. It was a struggle to get out of the shower and she felt as if her body was her biggest enemy. She decided from that day on to focus on herself and never be a hostage to her body.
Madelyn had slipped her disc when she fell and needed to go through intensive physiotherapy to walk again. She decided while she was doing physio that she would also start working out again.
Madelyn believed if she had been stronger then it wouldn’t have been such a challenge after falling in the shower. Now after months of hard work Madelyn was 300lbs lighter. She refused to cover up and viewed her body as a success story!
Support quickly flooded Madelyn’s Facebook and women across the state-supported her message. They applauded her decision to feel comfortable in her skin and wanted to make sure she didn’t feel alone.
The support was overwhelming, and Madelyn got emotional going over it in the interview. From a moment of shame and embarrassment, she felt stronger than ever. What would the amusement park say in response to the media coverage Madelyn was receiving.
Madelyn stressed that her fitness goals didn’t happen overnight. She had made goals for herself and sometimes only did an extra 10-minute walk a day. She repeated to anyone that wondered what the secret was, that it all focused on hard work.
It was a combination of diet and exercise, but most of all she kept her eye on the prize, herself! For the first time in her life, Madelyn was putting her needs before anyone else. She refused to apologize after coming last in so many other ways.
At 43 years old, this was the best shape Madelyn had ever been in. She was grinning ear to ear before the pool employees had come over and embarrassed her. Even weeks after the incident, Madelyn refused to apologize for her choices.
It added insult to injury that it was two younger female staff members that kicked Madelyn out, but she had this final message to the park. “My body is different than the young girls that were walking around in their bikinis, but why should I be made ashamed of my body? I am comfortable in my bikini, and I am happy with who I am.”
While the Oasis Amusement Park refused to answer questions or comments on the incident, Madelyn had final thoughts to share with those that had followed her journey. After not being comfortable in a bikini until she was 40 years old, she thought one thing was more important than anything. Love.
Madelyn wrote, “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.”