Curvy = Inappropriate and Skinny = Professional?

Jessia Rabbit

While casually perusing through my Facebook feed, I encountered a friend lamenting over something rather interesting. She posted a picture of herself in a dress she was thinking about wearing to her upcoming graduation pictures (she’s graduating college next May). The dress is fitted, and while being slightly below the knees, still manages to show off her (very) enviable, curvy figure. Quite frankly, many women only wish they could look like her in that dress.

The point I’m making is that when she posted the picture of herself in this dress, her followers began commenting on how “unprofessional” she looked in the dress and how “unbecoming” it would be of her to wear it to her graduation pictures. My friend blasted back essentially saying that just because an article of clothing happens to show off her hip-waist ratio (a hip-waist ratio she was born with and thus has no control over) doesn’t mean that it’s unprofessional. She also added that if she were “skinny,” a dress like the one she had on would be perfectly “appropriate” for the work place. But because she’s curvy, it’s a problem.

I wanted to know what you guys think. Does a woman’s natural body shape determine whether or not a piece of clothing is “professional” or “work-place appropriate”? Does society have a tendency to place the unprofessional or inappropriate label on women who have natural curves, leaving women who are skinnier free from ridicule? And further, just who determines if a piece of clothing is “appropriate” anyways? (hint: it’s almost always a man)

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