Saturday, June 5, 2010

Too sexy for her job

photo by Saswat Pattanayak
Gallery: Debrahlee Lorenzana too sexy to work at Citibank?

According to Lorenzana, who worked for a New York branch of Citigroup, she was told not to wear items of clothing such as turtleneck sweaters and pencil skirts because her figure proved too much of a distraction to her male co-workers.

Though some of the photos that have been submitted to websites are a bit more on the provocative side, the photos taken by her lawyer of her everyday work attire show a professionally-dressed lady who just so happens to have a bangin' figure.

I remember reading a blog or article online recently (unfortunately I forget where) about how thin women can dress in skimpier clothes than a curvaceous woman and have her attire considered not sexual at all. I've been pouring over fashion blogs in the past couple of months and have been frankly shocked with what some bloggers state that they are wearing to work (or what some teen bloggers state that they are wearing to school). Slender gals somehow come off as professional in miniskirts whereas a curvier lady would be denounced as trashy and thrown out on her butt.

And obviously there's that whole other issue in which men assume that a woman dresses a certain way to get their attention. Debrahlee tried to look less provocative by wearing less makeup, and they told her she looked sickly. She wore her hair curly, and they told her she should just straighten it every day. I mean, heaven forbid she dresses nicely because she wants to look nice and feels good doing it. Obviously she's only dressing nice because she wants men to notice her!

Debrahlee told the New York Daily News that she's been harassed almost every day of her life because of her figure. She gets harassed in the supermarket with her son, just wearing sweatpants with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. Boy, do I know that feeling!

I'm overweight (by a lot), but I also have big boobs and a pear/hourglass figure, so when I'm not having comments hurled at me about how fat I am, I'm having comments hurled at me about how 'hot' I am. For example, when I was in college, I'd walk to the store once a week for groceries and this little old man who was always sitting with his cronies outside his apartment building always had something to say. Finally one day I hollered back that his comments were really creepy. And then I moved.

I've spent the past couple of years working in an environment where I was allowed to dress really casually, and before that I worked out in the woods where grubby t-shirts and nylon hiking pants were the norm. Now that I'm trying to move into a career where I'll be required to dress professionally, I'm concerned about people not taking me seriously because of my figure. I don't want to have to wear minimizers or anything, but I've already caught 5th graders staring at my chest. And that's when I'm wearing a t-shirt. Creepy.

As far as Debrahlee's lawsuit, ABC points out that she may be unable to follow through with the suit for one minor unrelated reason - because she signed paperwork agreeing to arbitration when she was hired to work for the company.

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