A young girl's day at a public pool was ruined when, according to her parents, she was shamed and sexualized for not wearing a bathing top.
When 8-year-old Marlee McLean arrived at the city pool in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, last weekend, she took her shirt off and ran in, along with her younger brothers. That's when a lifeguard stopped her and told her she had to put her top back on. According to pool rules, girls over the age of 4 must wear appropriate bathing attire, which includes shirts, at the pool.
For Marlee's parents, however, the rule feels more like a double standard that does more damage than good.
"She's been sexualized by a stranger and at the same time shamed into hiding this mysterious sexuality that she's too young to even understand," dad Cory McLean told CTV News.
Mom Anika Warmington added: "If they want children to wear clothing from the neck down, then all children should have to wear it."
Still, the city's parks general manager of parks, Kristene Scott, has no plans to change the policy and maintains that it was put in place "to provide a safe and enjoyable recreational experience" for everyone using the pool.