Deniz Saypinar, a Turkish bodybuilder and Instagram model, was banned from an American Airlines flight from Texas to Miami because flight attendants claimed her attire was “offensive.” The 26-year-old influencer, who came to the United States to gain freedoms she didn’t have in her own country, is speaking out against what she deems a sexist policy.

Saypinar was the first woman in Turkey to be granted status by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, which she used to move to Los Angeles and pursue her fitness modeling career. The influencer, who boasts a million followers on Instagram, wanted to “experience freedom,” she didn’t have back in Turkey.

This plan was turned on its head when Deniz Saypinar was refused entrance onto an American Airlines flight, which was due to depart from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday. According to Saypinar, flight attendants said she was wearing too little clothing and prevented her from boarding.

In a now-expired Instagram story, Saypinar explained what happened during the chaotic situation. She told her fans that “you will never believe what happened to me at Texas Airport.” In the post, she told her one million followers that flight attendants called her “naked” and said her outfit “disturbed other families.”

Deniz Saypinar was refused boarding on an American Airlines. Flight attendants say she was practically "naked" and was banned from flying.
Deniz Saypinar was refused boarding on an American Airlines flight. Flight attendants say she was practically “naked” and was banned from flying. Photo Credit: Instagram

The model was forced to reschedule her flight, causing a full-day delay in her travel back to Miami. “I am not naked,” Saypinar claimed to her followers. “I am an athlete, and now I have to wait here until the morning.”

Deniz Saypinar is the first non-American citizen to win the U.S. National Bikini Fitness Competition, after bringing home gold in the 2021 tournament. The model, who has made quite the name for herself, bulging muscles and all, told her followers that “I like to wear feminine clothes that reveal my femininity, but I never dress in a way that will offend anyone. I’m mature and civilized enough to know what I can and cannot wear.”

She continued, insisting that “I don’t deserve to be treated like the worst person in the world for wearing denim shorts. What separates us from animals if humans can’t control even their most primitive impulses?”

Deniz Saypinar felt she was mistreated at the airport and that the flight crew “insulted” her sexy attire. “They wouldn’t let me on the plane because I wore these shorts in the United States,” Saypinar pointed out, who is no stranger to booty shorts, tight outfits, and revealing clothing choices.

In her Instagram post, Saypinar showed off her “offensive” outfit, which included a brown top, shorts, and trainers, partially covered by a blouse tied around her waist. Fans were not happy to see Saypinar treated that way, and used the comment section to demean the American Airlines policy.

“It is 2021, and there is still a dress code you have to follow to board a plane, of course, only if you are a woman,” one frustrated fan wrote. “This is ridiculous.”

Another commenter urged readers to “teach society to respect women, rather than telling women what to wear or what to do.” For many, this was more than just a banned boarding, but a political statement about equality, and the work the United States still has left to fix centuries-long gender disparities.

Deniz Saypinar's Instagram followers are outraged that the fitness model was banned for her outfit. Fans demand change to policy and respect for women.
Deniz Saypinar’s Instagram followers are outraged that the fitness model was banned for her outfit. Fans demand change to policy and respect for women. Photo Credit: Instagram

For American Airlines, it was not a political statement, but a matter of policy. In a statement provided by the company, an American Airlines rep said that “On July 8, American Airlines denied boarding for a customer traveling from Dallas-Fort Worth to Miami. As stated in the conditions of carriage, all customers must dress appropriately and offensive clothing isn’t permitted onboard our flights.”

“The customer was advised of our policy and was rebooked on a subsequent flight,” the rep continued. “The customer has since arrived in Miami.”

Deniz Saypinar is known for her lean physique, tight muscles, and near-perfect body. She works as a personal trainer and is present in the bodybuilding competition circuit, where she puts her muscles on full display for judges. Apart from her Instagram account, Saypinar also runs a successful YouTube channel, where she posts informative videos regarding exercise, diet, and weight loss.

There’s no question the Instagram model likes to wear as little clothing as possible, but is that a reason to ban her from a flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!