Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wear your nylons.


I've been thinking about all the brouhaha surrounding Debrahlee Lorenzana, the Citibank employee who says she was fired for being too sexy, claiming that her bosses at Citibank axed her for her (ahem) assets which were "too distracting" to her male colleagues.

This story is interesting to me- not just because of the "sexy lady factor" and the "woman working in a man's world" slant (which, I believe is all of us)--but also because I am in the process of interviewing for my first legal co-op, which comes with some strict rules on how to dress.

I am no stranger to harassment and finger-pointing in the workplace. In my very first job out of college, I was called into my boss's office after one week to be informed that my attire was inappropriate and that "it's hard to believe that anybody does work around here with her dressing like that." It turned out that the person who reported me "mistook" me for someone else. I didn't get an apology, but I was left feeling like HR hated me and the only thing I could wear to the office was a paper bag.

I understand the importance of dressing appropriately, and always make a point to follow the dress code, wherever I work. My workplace attire has never been inappropriate, but ever since my encounter at the above company, I find that I continuously question myself whenever I have to make a choice about what to wear to work. You see, the thing is, I don't really have a choice in what to wear to work--not if I want a job!

And yes, I do want a job (even if it's unpaid)! However, apparently there are some stringent rules regarding the dress code: I've been told to wear "nothing too flashy" because I "didn't want to take away from what you're actually there for". Stockings must cover bare legs, and shoulders must be covered up. Suits may only be navy, gray, or black, and I must wear sensible heels. Hair should be up and pulled back neatly.

I will follow these rules and I won't purposefully deviate from them, but I wonder, what would happen if I ended up not interviewing in separates AND I forgot to wear nylons? This happened to me on Friday, as I rushed back to Boston at a very high speed to get to a job interview. I threw on a work dress and a blazer and scraped my hair back, but I forgot to wear nylons. I didn't get the job--even though I really wanted it, and now I am convinced it is because the interviewer saw my bare legs and said "Nope, this is not our girl. She has bare legs and that is inappropriate. She can't work here."

This is dramatic, I know, but what would happen if this were the real reason I didn't get the job? After all, I certainly have judged people who have come in for interviews based on their overall presentation. Who determines what is presentable? And why can't we show a little bit of personality in our look? Is it because of judgment? Is it because people really believe that beauty is distracting? Is it because of the knuckle-grazing Neanderthals who can't keep it together every time a woman (or a man) goes by?

Dammit, I can do my job without being distracted by bare legs--and I'm pretty sure that lots of other people can too.

19 comments:

pantyhose45 said...

I would be more distracted if you wore pantyhose. I don't understand how companys think bare legs are more distracting. I think most men would agree. If i see a women in a skirt and no hose I always say "if only she had nylons on"

俊坤戴 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

靜宸 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

原秋原秋 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!..................................................

吳婷婷 said...

當你真心渴望某一樣東西,整個宇宙都會聯合起來幫助你。..................................................

楊容茂楊容茂 said...

希望我的支持可以帶給你快樂--加油.............................................................

青卉 said...

Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

洪瑋婷洪瑋婷 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果............................................................

穆靜謝苡帆如 said...

光這幾句話就價值連城了,讀著讀著小弟的眼眶就濕了...............................................................

邱允成邱允成 said...

~~天天開心~~祝您快樂~~..................................................................

家唐銘 said...

融會貫通的智慧,永遠不會被遺忘。..................................................

沈貞李添睿儀 said...

你快d upday個blog啦~我等左好耐啦/_愛死呀ling之fans上 ............................................................

凱v胡倫 said...

睇完之後覺得有d頓悟..感謝大大分享..˙ 3˙............................................................

偉曹琬 said...

每次看完你的文章,總是回味許久,要經常發表喔。..................................................

偉曹琬 said...

期待你的下次更新喔^____^..................................................

法榮陳法榮陳法榮陳 said...

時間就是塑造生命的材料。

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

喜歡看大家的文章,每篇都是一個故事,都是一種心情~~祝大家開心愉快...............................................................

Colleen said...

When I first graduated college, I had a few job offers on the table. The one that had the highest salary also had a similar dress code policy. I turned it down due to principal and the thought of wearing pantyhose during a Texas summer was just too much for me. If you did not get the job because of panty hose, it is probably not a place that you want to be at anyways.