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17 September 2016 @ 01:26 pm
Black teacher has female body!
Ayeshabrowngirl on September 17th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC)
What do they want her to do, wear a burqua? Sheesh.
faeriefilesfaeriefiles on September 18th, 2016 02:48 am (UTC)
I think that might be the plan. Anyone else notice that we're slipping back instead of moving forward when it comes to a females ability to wear whatever she chooses?
Elenbarathielenbarathi on September 18th, 2016 12:54 pm (UTC)
It might be so, but this example doesn't illustrate that. If anything, quite the opposite: there's never been a time before this when a public elementary-school teacher would have gotten any positive attention at all, for claiming she was being discriminated against by being told her dresses were too tight.

Nobody's saying she can't wear whatever she chooses on her own time, but that dress simply isn't professional attire. Male schoolteachers can't wear whatever they choose to work either; 'sprayed-on' dance-club trousers would be just as unacceptable, regardless of how good the guy's ass looked in them.

Edited at 2016-09-18 12:59 pm (UTC)
faeriefilesfaeriefiles on September 18th, 2016 02:09 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, The bigger question is why? In this "educated" "modern", "enlightened" age of our society are societal mores such that so many people are so afraid of the human form? Why do we so often resort to puritanical definitions of what is and isn't appropriate attire even as we reject the religious reasoning which is the only one that can defend such things? Society sets a standard, and no matter how illogical that standard may be, we force others to comply with it. In my opinion it's all rot. We mock or shake our heads at other countries for thinking anything outside of a full burka for women is immodest and inappropriate. Yet, we have standards that are just as illogical here. The only logical reason to clothe our bodies at all is for personal safety, hygiene and comfort. Anything outside of that when forced on others, is oppression. Yes, I realize my opinion is not "inside the box".
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on September 18th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC)
I'm a clothing-optional Pagan myself, so my opinion coincides with yours. But who ever said humans are logical? Is it not illogical to argue that they 'should' be, when one knows perfectly well that they never will be?

It's not logical to assume that all societal standards about what is or is not appropriate attire in different situations are based on fear of the human form, religious reasoning, or 'puritanical definitions'. What do any of those have to do with, for instance, the necktie, which is positively mandated as 'professional attire', yet has neither a body-concealing function nor any religious significance?

Humans do a great many symbolic behaviors based on status-hierarchy, and they are logical, i.e. adaptive, when considered in that light. Professional attire - whatever it may comprise in a given circumstance - is functional in that it says "I am a person of high status/authority". Would you really put as much trust in a doctor if she wore shorts and a halter top to work, or in an attorney in sweat-pants and a t-shirt at the office? Yet they may dress like that outside their professional capacities, in situations where such attire is appropriate, without loss of status.

This teacher is trying to have her cake and eat it too. She wants respect for her professional status at work, but she doesn't want to conform to the well-established standards of her field. Worse than that, she's trying to make this about body-shaming and racial oppression, rather than admit that she's dressing too sexy for work (and/or that she's gone up a dress-size or two, because that dress would be okay if it wasn't skin-tight.)

So fine; she gets her 15 minutes of fame, but she'll probably lose her job, and if she's foolish enough to sue over this, she'll probably lose her case too. For what? For the 'right' to teach 4th grade while dressed to go out clubbing? There's no logic in that.

My sympathy here is limited, because I spent decades teaching in modest dresses, stockings, makeup, high heels, and all the uncomfortable under-things that go with them; freezing in winter, broiling in summer, and constantly having to restrain the impulse to claw all that shit off my body. It was absurd, and I loathed it, but it was the professional standard of my calling, and complying with it was the price of respect, as I knew long before I got my teaching certificate. Surely this lady knows it too.

Edited at 2016-09-18 05:43 pm (UTC)
faeriefilesfaeriefiles on September 19th, 2016 06:21 pm (UTC)
You have a good point. Clothing as a means of demonstrating hierarchy is indeed a "thing" in our society and in most others as well. I don't find it logical, rather I find it illogical because anyone can put on the "costume" but not everyone is worthy of the respect it entails.

I give my respect and trust based on inner, proven qualities rather than clothing but you're right, most people don't do things that way. :) I've found some of the most amazing people who are always wearing the "wrong" thing... LOL or sometimes nothing at all.

I think people like this lady will be the driving force to spur conversations like this that will, I hope, one day, lead to a society that is accepting of people without respect to clothing choices. At one point a man without a powdered wig was considered low class and a woman in pants was considered completely unacceptable. We've come a long way, but keeping the discussion going is how we move forward.
Elenbarathielenbarathi on September 20th, 2016 05:26 am (UTC)
When I first started teaching, pants were not acceptable for woman teachers - not even pantsuits, which were pretty fashionable at the time. I was in the Midwest, commuting to work by bus, and had bronchitis and chilbains every winter from wearing skirts in chill-factors of -40F. Sandals without stockings weren't acceptable either, even when the temps were in the 90's. It's all very well for people with cars, who needn't walk or stand out in the weather.

Public school is all about instilling social conformity, and the obsessive focus on clothing as status-indicator is part of that. That system doesn't serve either children or teachers well, which is why I got the hell out of it. You make a very valid point about respect - unfortunately, public school demands that it be shown (or at least simulated) to the trappings of Authoritah, regardless of the worth of the person wearing them.

This pretty young schoolmarm would find her status increased if she bought her work clothes from L.L. Bean instead of Ross. It's silly, but so is a lot of human stuff, and it would make her job much easier. However, I'm the last person to advise anyone about fashion, being a lifelong fugitive from the Fashion Police myself.

What she really needs is a beautiful, black, curvy, fashionable older mentor who can teach her how to put more elegance in her personal style. She'll be glad of more elegance in a few years, when Time and Gravity have started doing those things they do, and she'll get a lot more respect.
faeriefilesfaeriefiles on September 20th, 2016 09:22 pm (UTC)
You're right that she has to conform if she wishes to get respect based on her looks. I've done it, I'm sure most people have done it. I've also crossed the lines a lot but I choose my battles because it's hard to get a pass from the fashion police. :)
msrat1900 on September 17th, 2016 07:35 pm (UTC)
If there's anything more of a societal handicap than being black, it's being female. So said Shirley Chisholm, anyway.
faeriefilesfaeriefiles on September 18th, 2016 02:46 am (UTC)
I saw that floating about the social media and it's crazy how hysterical people are becoming over a fully clothed adult woman. Sighhhh maybe the USA will grow up someday but it apparently won't be today.
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on September 18th, 2016 11:24 am (UTC)
*shrugs* I don't approve of dress codes to begin with - especially for adults - and it's true she's not showing an inappropriate amount of skin, so if there's an actual written dress code for teachers at her school, she's probably not technically violating it.

That said... c'mon, get real; she's packed into that dress like sausage in a sausage-casing. This is not because she's black, and it's not because she's curvy either. I'm white and non-curvy, and I can tell you flat-out without any doubt, I'd have been immediately sent home from every school I ever taught at, for wearing a dress that tight.

IMHO, crap like this trivializes the real issues around skin color and body-type. Yes, according to prevailing standards the lady is inappropriately dressed for teaching, and if she was a skinny white chick, nobody would even be arguing the point.

It's also true that she's very beautiful, looks smokin'-hot in that dress, and would certainly turn every head at the club. I'm sure she's getting way more shit than a less-attractive woman would get for wearing the same clothes, because some people are jealous, and others are horndogs. But there it is: it's a dress for the club, not for the classroom. And just incidentally, she ought to wear something under it that won't show VPL.
Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Danielresonant on September 19th, 2016 01:18 am (UTC)
That wouldn't be considered clubwear here. My manager dresses like that. But she does at least accessorize - seriously, that's rather plain.
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on September 19th, 2016 03:31 am (UTC)
Really, she wears her clothes that tight? That's a bit unseemly, but hey, if the standards of her job allow it, it's her own business. The standards of public school don't allow it, and they wouldn't allow a man to teach in skin-tight pants either.

A good rule of thumb is that if one's bosses or clients are looking askance at one's attire, some wardrobe modification is in order. Parents tend to be uncomfortable with any sign that Teacher has an adult life outside the classroom - and children are aware of sexuality at a much younger age than most adults are comfortable admitting. Fourth grade is the Age of Dirty Jokes, and all kinds of crude little songs and rhymes, which many parents find offensive - I wouldn't be surprised if this teacher has already got some of those going around about her.

Looking at her Instagram page, it's pretty clear that she's very heavily invested in looking sexy. So, fine; one is only young once; she should make the most of it while she can... but not at work, because that's a sure ticket to trouble for any teacher.

Edited at 2016-09-19 03:54 am (UTC)
Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Danielresonant on September 19th, 2016 12:14 pm (UTC)
Well, we're in a manufacturing environment. My manager is, well, management, but still has to go out on the shop floor regularly. If she had loose clothing, Health & Safety would scream.

Doesn't seem like very sexy attire to me,but then again I'm a gay male.
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on September 19th, 2016 02:32 pm (UTC)
If you are shaped like that, your options are "something like that" or "something like a mumu or burqa."

Your only other option that that is a variation on a tent.

Take a look at that picture, and in your mind, sketch over it an outfit that you think would be appropriate. What does it look like? Is it something you think a person should be comfortable wearing?
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on September 20th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
No, they're really not. A dress can be sleek and form-fitting without being ruched so tight that it wrinkles across the front like that, and shows every line of one's underwear. (If fourth-graders can see one's 'unmentionables', be sure they are mentioning them, and not politely either, the little beasts.)

It's very easy to sketch an appropriate outfit over that picture. Same dress a size or two larger would be a good start, with a proper slip under it, and perhaps a blazer over it - there's nothing like a blazer for 'professionalizing' an outfit.

To be tactlessly blunt, it's clear from the lady's selfies that she knows very well that she's got a great butt, and means to let the world know it too. That's fine, but she needn't emphasize the point quite so much at work: a more flared skirt in a less-clingy fabric would look good and still show off her figure, without inspiring surreptitious verses of 'Baby Got Back' on the playground.

"Is it something you think a person should be comfortable wearing?"

Well... what person? I myself would not be comfortable in any of the clothes she's wearing in her pics, but apparently she likes them. It would drive me nuts to have my legs bound up in a tight pencil skirt like that, and as for her under-things, I've no doubt that when she takes them off, every seam of her Spanx has left its mark - I couldn't stand that, but she must be okay with it.

I'm the kind of teacher who runs and climbs with the kids, sits on the floor or the grass, and goes in for messy art projects and science experiments. Therefore my own idea of 'appropriate teaching attire' is jeans and T-shirt or sweatshirt, but this idea was not embraced by most of my principals, so I generally had to wear clothes and shoes I found uncomfortable and impractical.

That's just how the world of Education works: there is a dress code, written or not, and it's often prudishly old-fashioned, because parents expect teachers to look like the teachers they had twenty or thirty years ago. I'm not saying it 'should' exist; I'm just saying that it does exist.

If the expected standards of professional attire are the most important problem one has in one's classroom, either one's got a job too good to jeopardize over a trivial point, or one would be happier in a different job. I don't know which it is for this lady, but she sounds like a good teacher, so it's a pity she picked a battle she can't possibly win.