gym, creep, working out

A guy was caught not being a creep in the gym, prompting praise and discussion over gym etiquette.

Videos of creepy guys staring at or harassing women at the gym are plentiful, and their virality underscores how common such experiences are. However, we don't often see the opposite go viral—the guys at the gym who aren't creepy, who are aware of how their behavior is perceived and who do what they can to make women feel comfortable while they're working out.

Now a video of one of those guys has gone viral.

TikTok user @libbychristensen shared a video she took of herself doing squats on a machine at the gym, which happened to catch a man who was working out directly behind her. (If you're wondering why she was filming herself, some people record their workouts to check their form. Christensen said in the comments that she films each set from a different angle—it wasn't about catching someone else on film.)


The video shows the guy directly facing her from behind (nice choice of set-up, gym) but looking down at the floor before lying back onto the bench press.

Watch:

@libbychristensen

ty for your service kind sir #gymtok #girlwholift #YerAWizard

The video includes "The Golden Girls" theme song, "Thank You for Being a Friend." Christensen wrote that she'd been feeling uncomfortable while doing her hack squats, thinking someone was staring her down. She was thankful to see that the man behind her was looking at the floor and said watching the video back made her "at ease."

"[Thank you] for your service kind sir," she wrote in the caption.

The video has been viewed 4.5 million times and has garnered thousands of comments.

"That's called the 'ah yes the floor is made of floor,'" wrote one commenter.

"I think there’s more guys doing everything they can to make sure it’s very clear they’re not staring at women in the gym," wrote another.

"Most dudes are like this," added another. "This is our special moment to appreciate the nice flooring."

"This is gym code 101 for any decent guy. Head stays looking at the ground or your phone till you're done with the set 😂," wrote another.

Some commenters criticized Christensen's clothing, suggesting she shouldn't wear tight clothing if she's uncomfortable with people looking at her. "Wear baggy clothing if you're uncomfy," wrote one person. However, others were quick to point out that clothing choice isn't an invitation to be a creep.

“Why are we focusing on her clothing," wrote one person. "People still get harrassed or assaulted in things other than ‘skin tight’ attire.”

“I feel like some of y’all won’t be satisfied till females are wearing sweats & a turtle neck to the gym,” wrote another commenter.

"WERE ALLOWED TO WEAR WHAT WE WANT. I wear a huge T-shirt and baggy shorts and still get stared at goodbye," wrote one person.

"These comments… wearing cute gym outfits literally improves my workouts," wrote another gym-goer. "Yes it’s okay for people to look! But to stare and be a creep is not okay!"

Most women know there's a difference between someone taking a quick look at a person and staring creepily at them. It's the latter that needs to stop. And women pointed out that they notice and appreciate the guys who are clearly trying to be gentlemen and not even come close to gawking.

"I always appreciate when they do this. I always notice too like thx for not making me uncomfortable lol," wrote one commenter.

"Anytime I'm in this situation I always try to start my set the same time he does so I don't make him uncomfortable" wrote another. Several commenters pointed out that he was likely uncomfortable in the situation as well, and Christensen wrote "I think he and I were trying to do the exact same thing which is how we got this result 🤝😅"

"Some are so nice and ask if it’s okay to workout on the machine behind me," wrote another. "A lot of the regular creeps at the gym I’ve learned to ignore."

Bottom line: It's really not that hard to not be creepy. 

As this guy shows, it's not that hard to avoid being or appearing to be a creepy ogler. Most people aren't going to be bothered if you just look at them briefly, but staring really is uncomfortable. Women are going to wear gym clothes at the gym, and gym clothes are often fitted and minimal for freedom of movement, reduced chafing and ability to see muscle engagement. Gym attire isn't an excuse to stare at someone while they're working out.

Thanks for being a good example, random gym guy.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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