By: Krystle Crossman
The parents of an 8 year old girl are furious at a public pool lifeguard for “s*xualizing” their daughter. The pool is located at Exhibition Park in Guelph, Ontario. The family was there for a weekend and they said when their daughter saw the pool she took her t-shirt off and jumped right in along with her brothers. Her brothers were allowed to continue swimming. She was stopped by the lifeguard and told that she needed to have a bathing top on before she could continue. A sign was posted that any females over the age of 4 needed to wear a top. Now while this may be a commonplace rule in the U.S. it is not in Ontario where grown woman are allowed to go topless if they choose.
The parents, Cory McLean and Anika Warmington, said that their daughter was ashamed and was embarrassed that she was s*xualized by this lifeguard. They wanted to know why it was okay for their sons to go swimming without any tops on but it was not for their daughter, whose chest looks the same as her brothers’ at that age. McLean and Warmington stated that she is being shamed into hiding a part of her body and she doesn’t understand why. The general manager for the parks and recreation in Guelph stated that the rule was put into place so that everyone could enjoy their time at the pool but also be safe while they were having fun.
While young girls should not be shamed about their bodies this situation brings up an important dialogue about the safety of our children. There are predators out there. You don’t know who they are or what they look like. If there was a predator sitting on the side of this pool and these parents knew that would they be okay with their daughter going in topless? Would you? Unfortunately this is much like [email protected] It should not be something that is s*xualized but it is by many people. It is a sign of the times and we need to be able to protect our children.
What do you think? Are the parents right to be furious for this policy or is this something that should be put into place everywhere for safety reasons?