A student at the University of Iowa is accusing a club in Iowa City of weight discrimination.
Jordan Ramos, 21, says employees at Union Bar refused to let her onto a dance floor platform on two separate occasions because she was not “pretty enough” and “obviously pregnant.”
On Monday night, Ramos appeared on HLN’s Dr. Drew and explained what had happened during one of the alleged incidents.
“He (a bouncer) didn't come up to me,” she stated. “I approached him because I wanted him to actually tell me he wasn't letting me up because of my size. Once [that happened], it completely made me feel like a worthless human being -- that I wasn't as valuable as somebody who might be prettier or thinner than me.”
Singer Carnie Wilson, also known for her weight issues, showed support for Ramos.
“It's disgusting,” she told Dr. Drew. “I've never heard of anything ruder and more presumptuous … it makes people feel horrible.”
HLN reached out for comment from Union Bar, but did not hear back. However, its owner, George Wittgraff, did issue an apology through a local newspaper.
In part, it reads:
"If something was said to Miss Ramos, I am truly sorry. I would like to apologize for that. We're trying to figure this out. Nobody would admit to it, obviously. But we had a big meeting to make sure that we're not disrespectful. We can't be mean to people. It's bad business."
Anti-obesity activist and founder of the National Action Against Obesity MeMe Roth argued that Ramos should have been turned away from the dancing on the platform.
“It isn't like they said she couldn't drink,” she said. “This is a girl who wanted the audience to find her beautiful. It didn't find her beautiful.”
She continued, “It's about a girl that wanted the audience to find her sexual and attractive and they didn't find her to be so. It's the bar's prerogative to say, ‘I don't want you dancing on the bar.'”
Ramos, though, says she just wanted to get a dialogue started around the issue of size discrimination
“We haven't really talked a lot about it and I just hope people understand that," she said. "Yes, obesity is an issue, but we're human beings too, and we deserve to be treated with dignity like anybody else.”
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