Missouri Mom Kicked Out of Waterpark for Wearing a Bikini

Image via Madelyn Sheaffer Facebook

Maybe Missouri should change its moniker from the Show Me state to the only show me if we ask you to state because if they don’t like what they see, they just might ask you to cover up and go home.

Recently, in Independence, Missouri, Madelyn Sheaffer, a 43-year-old mom, went with her family to Adventure Oasis Water Park to cool off. When Ms. Schaeffer, who recently lost 100 pounds, got into the pool with her niece and nephew, two teenage female employees approached her and asked that she put some shorts on. Can you imagine working that hard to lose 100 pounds and finally feeling comfortable in your own skin and self-confident enough to wear a two-piece bikini, only to be asked to cover yourself up?

No, she was not wearing a thong or any other type of inappropriate bathing suit for a family establishment. She was wearing what any woman would be wearing at a water park, a bathing suit. It was the right size and covered her body well, but management felt she needed to cover up or go home. Outside of being curvy and wearing a bikini, it seems unfortunate that she would be humiliated in such a way.

She apparently felt the same way and refused to comply. Ms. Schaeffer asked that officers be called so that she could file a formal complaint. She did and now the whole world knows that Oasis Adventure Water Park wants your money but if you are over a certain age, of a certain body type, or they deem you not attractive enough, you will be asked to cover up. Who owns this joint? Abercrombie and Fitch?

According to ABC News, Ms. Schaffer feels she was discriminated against in multiple ways.  “Just the fact that there were other girls wearing string bikinis – 15, 16, 18 years old – beautiful young bodies, and they are not being told to cover up,” Sheaffer  said. “I mean, do I have to be 16 and look 100 percent perfect to wear a bikini? Or can I be comfortable in my own skin. Am I allowed to have a matured body?”

I think any mom can relate to this story. Having babies changes everything, including our bodies. Even if you lose all the weight, you might not bounce back into the same shape you were previously. You may be more curvaceous or things may be fuller or flatter or gravity may not have been kind. Either way, this should not be a source of punishment.

 You try to lose the baby weight and eventually you find yourself with your children, trying to be a good mom, enjoying the water, so you can have fun with your children. We can’t spend our children’s lives waiting until we get our pre-pregnancy body back before we ever go near a body of water again and we shouldn't have to cover up in such a way simply because we are deemed too old or curvy to wear a certain suit.  If we do, we may never take our children to play in the water, ever. They are only little for a short time. We have to seize the day and live.

No woman deserves to feel the embarrassment the water park made Ms. Schaeffer feel. How often does this happen? How many struggling to get in shape moms have to be humiliated into submission before we say no more? 

 Ms. Schaeffer felt comfortable in her body and was simply wearing a bikini. She just happened to have the body of an adult woman rather than that of a teen. She shared publicly on her Facebook page on July 2nd:

“I am a 43 year old woman who did not have the confidence, or the body, to put on a bikini until was 40 years old. I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”

“I am a 43 year old woman who did not have the confidence, or the body, to put on a bikini until was 40 years old. I will not be discriminated against because I look too good in one.”

As long as she is not exposing herself to anyone, what right does anyone have to ask her to cover up her body because it is not what society approves of as “beautiful”? 

 We should be celebrating one another and supporting the effort to feel good in our own bodies in our youth, after having children and beyond. This is discrimination against the woman’s body, the body that gives birth to all those beautiful teen girls who are Adventure Oasis Water Park approved. This whole scenario is quite simply frustrating. 

Do you feel comfortable enough in your own skin to still wear a two-piece bathing suit? If you do, go you! There is nothing more beautiful than a self-confident woman and a body that grew babies. 

{Related: This is My Belly}

What do you think?

Missouri Mom Kicked Out of Waterpark for Wearing a Bikini

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Heatherly Heatherly says:

    I can see why she was told to leave. I hope she got her money back and will be a decent suit!

  2. Profile photo of Sierra Sierra says:

    For some reason I feel even more beautiful in a bathing suit being pregnant. At first I didn’t but once you start respecting your body and realizing making children is what our bodies were made for it makes you feel beautiful 🙂 Or I hope so at least!

  3. Profile photo of Katherine Katherine says:

    I’m undecided about how I feel about this. If they’re letting teens with their “perfect bodies” were these bikinis without being told to cover up, then it sounds like discrimination. On the other hand, teens don’t usually have that much chest to cover up. I think she should have worn something more in her size. Just because the bottom fits, doesn’t mean the top is covering all it needs to.

  4. Profile photo of Lisa Lisa says:

    I think this lady should have been more mature for her age and wore a more appropriate suit to a family place. If you wanna wear something like that go to the beach. I mean for crying out loud is 15 secs of fame really that important to this lady you are there with your kids so shut your mouth put on the shorts and have a good time with your kids, because I am sure they weren’t to happy being kicked out because their mom threw a temper tantrum like a 2 year old. Put your kids before your pride sweetheart.

  5. Profile photo of cammom143 cammom143 says:

    This is BS she is a beautiful women, and should not be discriminated against for it. I wish someone would tell me to leave for wearing a bikini while all these young girls are running around in bikinis that are more revealing than mine and no one says anything to them. She should hold her head high and keep strutting her stuff. I think this park must be owned by a man. lol I can not apologize for these people but I am truly appalled and am sorry for what those idiots at the park put her through.

  6. Profile photo of Mariah Mariah says:

    Looks to me that her suit was a bit small. But still not a reason to be kicked out.

  7. Profile photo of Heidi Heidi says:

    Wow!! Instead of being kicked out she should have been asked to walk around and strut her stuff!! Why on earth would she be asked to leave? Honestly? I bet you if she had been younger, wearing a fashion bathing suit, or recognizable as some well-known public person she wouldn’t have been bothered. I can’t believe this happens, it sickens me.


Send this to a friend