We’ve all been there. Turned away from a club because those super comfy converses, which seemed like a god send instead of those 4 inch heels, were deemed ‘inappropriate footwear’. Obviously it all depends where you go out. We wouldn’t dream of wearing jeans and flats to any swanky London venue in the West End, we can always rely on Unit 1 (Arena) to accept us in the standard black jean and converse combo. Whilst we may not like it at the time, it’s accepted that you can be turned away from a club if you’re too drunk, underage or not adhering to the dress code. However, in our multi-cultural society, we’d never expect to be turned away from a club because we were “too dark” or “too fat”.
None of us would expect to face such discrimination in our daily lives. Let alone in an establishment we are paying to get into as well as using our hard-earned money when inside, but unfortunately Lin Mei, 29, fell victim to such abuse. After being invited by a promoter to the popular London club, DSTRKT, a venue commonly visited by the likes of Rihanna and Jay-Z, Mei was refused entry and took to Twitter to vent her anger after being told her and her friends couldn’t go in due to their skin tone and weight.
The story soon went viral after which Mei was contacted by the promotor insisting there is nothing wrong with claiming people are “too fat” to get into a club, whilst another highlighted the issue that mixed race girls were fine and that those with darker skin should try another club in the area.
In response to the surge of media support, a peaceful protest was held outside the London club on the 29th September, attracting supporters from across the city promoting the #DoILookDSTRKT slogan. Twitter was soon flooded with other sympathisers from across the UK, offering their support by sharing similar experiences. Highlighting that this is a prominent issue, not just in London but nationally. An issue that is often overlooked because people are unaware of their personal rights when confronted at the door, or don’t quite know how to handle the situation when faced with a big, burly bouncer.
The DSTRKT management team issued an official statement claiming they “have always operated an anti-racist door policy” and that they “condemn any type of racism or discrimination”. They claim that the night in question was very busy and as the four women had not made a reservation they could not let them in at the time.
Despite this, no one should be made to feel like they are being discriminated against for any reason; but before you hit the clubs this weekend make sure you know what’s what when it comes to club entry and your rights…
1. It is against the law for anyone to be discriminated against because of race according to the the Equality Act of 2010.
2. There are no industry wide policies regarding dress codes, instead these are specific to each establishment – so basically, if you’re worried about your fancy dress attire, check with the club before you don your superhero cape or peroxide blonde wig!
3. If you are deemed to be too drunk, you can be refused entry. It’s as simple as that.
So for the most part, whilst your main concern may be getting to the club before your 10:30 entry ticket expires, or whether a coat is required for the walk and worth the cloakroom fee; keep in mind your personal rights and don’t be afraid to question these if you feel something is wrong.