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Woman going topless at Eugene yoga studio sparks controversy

The woman said she believed the studio was gender progressive, which is why she decided to go topless.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 6:37 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 7:42 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- One Eugene woman is calling out a yoga studio in downtown Eugene, saying it's not being inclusive.

Eugene resident Sydney Bradley told KEZI 9 News that one day while she was taking a class at Wild Spirit Yoga Center, she decided she would be more comfortable without wearing a shirt. She said she believed the studio was gender progressive. 

"It came like a sudden download from above that I would be more comfortable topless and couldn't think of a good reason why my breasts were more unseemly than the several men, one of whom had breasts, in the room," said Bradley.

The day after the incident, the owner of the yoga studio, Jess Dion, called Bradley. Dion told KEZI 9 News she was hoping to have a conversation about the topic of women-identifying people not having to wear a top in class. After receiving the call from Dion, Bradley decided to write an article in the Eugene Weekly about her experience.

However, Dion said the conversation felt more like a personal attack.

"She had never been here before, she had never had a conversation with me, or any of the other teachers or students, and I feel like that was a very bold move," said Dion. 

Bradley said she hopes this ordeal will help women become more comfortable with themselves. 

"Women and all people will feel empowered and entitled to make confident choices for themselves. Safe and courteous but confident choices," said Bradley.

Bradley also said she understands where Dion is coming from as a business partner, but she hopes that business owners, especially women, could be a little bit braver. 

Dion said the conversation could have been better if it had gone in a different direction. 

"Had she approached me and had a conversation about this, we could've met in the middle. You know, around hey, this is important and I hear you on this, also how can we do this in a safe way that asks people to expand little by little," said Dion. 

As far as moving forward, Dion wants to invoke change, but baring it all has a lot of gray area. 

"We could create a topless class for women if they are interested in it. And then the question, is it a topless class for everybody, or is it a topless class for those who are women-identified?" said Dion. 

Dion told KEZI 9 News that Bradley is welcome back to Wild Light Yoga Center anytime, with her top on for the time being. 

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