Is Teacher Bae Inappropriately Dressed or Unfairly Targeted?

Talk about hot topics! Social media is all atwitter with photos and commentary about 4th grade teacher Paris Monroe and what she wears to work. Ms. Monroe has been dubbed Teacher Bae for posting pictures of herself in her classroom wearing bodycon dresses, skinny jeans and high heels. Two camps have emerged: Camp Defend #TeacherBae and Camp For The Love of God Woman, Cover Yourself.

I am a woman of two minds on this because there are no quick fix solutions or easy answers on this issue and I think it’s impossible and/or simple minded to fall completely into one camp or the other.

The Teacher Bae Conundrum

Should Ms. Monroe be allowed to go about doing her job in any outfit she chooses as long as she gets her work done or should Ms. Monroe get a new stylist and stop being so provocative in the classroom? The crux of the arguments are as follows.

  • She’s doing a great job, having recently won Teacher of the Month, and she shouldn’t be told what she can wear based on her body type. Her dresses are knee-length, high-collared and don’t show much skin so what’s the problem.
  • She’s too provocatively dressed to teach children and because she’s curvaceous (what we used to call a brick house) she should dress differently for work. Her outfits are a distraction and inappropriate and she should have a better sense of decency.

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My Two Cents

She is dressed inappropriately for work in the classroom. Her outfits are too provocative and it doesn’t have anything to do with her body type. What? Yes. Read on.

There is a foolproof way of determining if your outfits are inappropriate for the workplace or any environment. Are your clothes a distraction? Yes or no. Looking good and grabbing attention are two different things. We all want to look our best wherever we go but we all also take the environment into account. By all means, do your best to look great but if all heads are on swivel to catch a glimpse of you walking by, your outfit probably falls into the inappropriate category.

Everyone has different clothes for different occasions. We have clothes we sleep in, clothes we go to church in, clothes for when we hang out with friends, go out with our lovers and for when we’re looking for a new lover. Ms. Monroe’s outfits fall into the Looking for a Lover Category and if you don’t think so, think about why she was dubbed Teacher Bae.

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Coverage does not equal modesty. Just because your flesh is not exposed does not mean that your clothing isn’t provocative. We have come to believe as a culture that it is merely visible skin that makes an outfit sexualized (or overly so) and that simply is not true. The saying goes ‘leave something to the imagination’ and that usually means that you should cover yourself and show less skin. The trouble with that reasoning is that clothing that covers most of your skin yet outlines every detail of your body is not leaving anything to the imagination except perhaps birthmarks and mole placements.

Body shaming is not cool under any circumstances. Those in the Defend #TeacherBae Camp decry unfair/double standards and criticism against women with thick, womanly bodies. They claim that she’s only being criticized because of her body type and that if she were thin and/or less curvaceous, no one would have anything to say. Maybe. Maybe not. To be clear, all the body shamers can go straight to hell but there is a difference between body shaming and expecting a person to dress appropriately for his/her body type in a given situation. Which takes us back to point number one. Are your clothes a distraction in said environment? If not, rock on. If they are, make a different choice.

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What say you my lovelies? Is Teacher Bae dressed inappropriately? Are her outfits a distraction or is she good to go? I’m dying to know what you think so please sound off in the comments!








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16 Comments

  1. AS
    14 September 2016 / 1:06 AM

    So it is certain kinds of curves that you find unacceptable? For example, would you also find it unacceptable for a fat woman, who say, has trouble finding clothes her size, to squeeze into an outfit that shows her fat roles? Because I’ve seen a lot of teachers with fat rolls. No one seems to have a problem with that. What I hear you saying is women aren’t allowed to be attractive. Since attraction is a subjective thing, that puts the burden on the woman to figure out if she is or is not attractive and some women just can’t help themselves. Short of wearing a burka, they are going to be attractive. This one seems like one of those. There’s probably literally nothing she could wear that wouldn’t accentuate her curves, so it seems very unfair because you are not offering any reasonable solutions here.

    • Patranila
      14 September 2016 / 10:32 AM

      I have not commented at all on a woman’s right to be attractive. I have also not commented on whether or not her curves are acceptable. Her body is what it is, that’s not the point. We are talking about what she chooses to wear to work. Her choices of clothes are not what we consider professional attire. If her school’s dress code affords a more casual style of dress, that’s fine but there are still parameters that one should follow within that construct. If it’s alternative clothing options you’re after, here they are: Instead of wearing form-fitting, bodycon dresses maybe try an a-line skirt or a fit and flare dress. Instead of wearing skinny jeans which are designed to accentuate hips and butts, try a pair of flair-legged jeans or boot cut. See? Easy. No burka required.

    • Steve
      15 September 2016 / 7:22 PM

      If someone’s outfits falls within the dress code of their workplace, they should be allowed to wear whatever they want. She shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of other people in her work environment and she shouldn’t be punished for it.

      • D.A.H
        17 September 2016 / 10:47 AM

        Thank you Steve. The only ones who are leaving negative comments are jealous, hating, females, who cannot wear that type of dress. They’re jealous if her shape, pretty face, everything. Always negative about something. I call them HATING HOES. These same jealous females never gave this teacher praise for being TEACHER OF THE MONTH, they’re just looking at the ways she dress.

  2. 14 September 2016 / 4:00 AM

    I would say she doesn’t seem to be dressed very professionally. Having taught at a high school–I took great care to wear distinctly professional clothes. As a 23 year old, particularly because I wasn’t much older than my students, and because I’m petite, I wanted my clothes to say, “Take me seriously. I am your teacher.” Black slacks, collared jackets, etc. Maybe her school has a very different school culture, maybe because her students are younger, there isn’t so much importance placed on dressing professionally? I’ve never worked in a place that allowed you to wear jeans to work, form fitting or not–so maybe this school just has a very different definition of workwear than I’m used to.

    • Patranila
      14 September 2016 / 10:35 AM

      I agree Rachel. I don’t know what her school’s policy/culture is and it’s probably way more casual which is fine. I still think there are more appropriate choices within a casual office environment.

  3. 14 September 2016 / 11:34 AM

    Sad that society has programmed us to see what Women wear as either appropriate or provocative. I use to fall into that trap myself until my awesome 21 year old daughter through out the years has taught me other wise. Men for years have dictated what is and is not acceptable for women and then women just followed along. We should never be looked at as mere sexual objects regardless of what we chose to wear. Men sexualized our bodies from our breasts to our lips to our hips to our thighs. Sad topic in so many ways but glad that perhaps more conversations can be had. Thanks for sharing with us over at TIUT 🙂

    • Patranila
      14 September 2016 / 11:45 AM

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Do you agree that there are clothes for every occasion and perhaps this is more suitable for date night than work? I don’t think this is an issue of women’s choices being dictated by men. It is true that women’s bodies have been overly sexualized in our culture but that doesn’t adequately or completely address this issue. If a male teacher wore a body-hugging outfit, I’d say he was inappropriately dressed as well.

      • 15 September 2016 / 11:05 AM

        Hummm, Patranila I think at this point in my life I would say sure there are perhaps a few instances were certain items of clothing don’t fit the event. But again I would have to stop and wonder…if a women with less than a curvy figure wore same outfit would it still be “inappropriate”? I think what we as humans get wrapped up in is visuals we can’t get away from sexualizing clothes. No one would be offended at flat chested chic wearing a v neck blouse. That’s just my perspective. As a woman first then a mom I just want to be able to have the RIGHT to wear what I please without it always stirring controversy. Honestly I can’t imagine a man being sent home or pointed out as much if he wore tight pants showing his junk :). Again great conversation piece so glad you shared it with us xo:)

    • D.A.H
      17 September 2016 / 10:51 AM

      Amen!!!

  4. Angela Whittaker
    14 September 2016 / 3:18 PM

    I enjoyed reading this article as it balanced on viewpoints of the teacher’s attire. One suggesting maybe less casual outfits for the classroom and giving the freedom to allow the teacher to dress how she feels most comfortable. The harmony betwixt both arguments I found myself nodding with each point.
    She has a woman’s body and could easily select an outfit that may not accentuate or flaunt it when molding the minds of our youth and being revered as a role model by the children is how my conservative judgmental side of my brain is arbitrating. She could select an outfit to conform to a conservative person’s liking, but what if wearing… some really bagger hammer pants and kitty cat sweater; stifles her creative process in choosing to wear what makes her feel ready to tackle the world? Is that really going to make her a better educator?

    I think that her outfits aren’t as important as her smile and positive body image she is displaying for her students to see. No different than if she was tatted up or had rainbow dyed hair.
    Some points I noticed- her posture is great, not slumped. What I see is that she is radiating happiness not negativity. Any shade that is thrown, it’s coming from media outlets because everyone has something to say to put someone else down. Insecure trolls is what I think those people are.
    She is just wearing clothes, nothing to really make a fuss over.
    It’s not like she went total casual clothes-such as yikes- yoga pants! Then the proverbial S#!t would hit the fan and I’d join in trashing hardcore!

    As a female I feel it is wrong to shame a woman for dressing as a woman, wearing what she feels is her style- you can tell she is self-assured and proud of her body due to the broad smile on her face in every picture.
    We as a public are shameful to belittle that sense of pride and confidence. Girls who are her students and possibly pubescent with body issues should see that ear to ear smile radiating from a woman who is not ashamed of her body. That is something that cannot really be quantified by words how powerful her coming to class representing her own sense of style is.
    This teacher, in my opinion, is not wearing outfits to be distracting to impede on a child’s learning development process. In fact, they are probably learning not only skills for academia but a life skill called confidence and that is what needs to be worn every day. It is also my opinion, that clothes do not determine this teacher’s character, which is why she was teacher of the year. Her intelligence, her morals, her behavior and the quality of her contributions to society determine who she really is.

    We don’t often scrutinize a man’s attire based on his body shape. If there were a cut handsomely attractive male teacher wearing shirts that accentuated his perfectly chiseled muscles or pants that hugged his bum fiercely, would we critique his outfit choices so vehemently? I know I probably wouldn’t make a big fuss really- sure I would think- he looks good and move on-not debate about his outfit choices being a possible distraction to youngsters. Personally, I think the teachers with foul coffee breath/body odor, are far more distracting to kids than a teacher’s stylish, modern outfit choices. So she’s not dressed in ugly kitty cat sweaters like my teachers used to do, that’s ok with me. The point for that statement is a lesson for parents concerned with teachers dressing less than conservative for your liking – I didn’t grow up into an adult wearing kitty cat sweaters and I doubt the kids will want to dress exactly like their “teacherbae”.She is like her students will end up wearing what makes them feel confident, empowered, unique and special. Individualism is going to prevail.

  5. TC
    16 September 2016 / 10:47 AM

    Great article full of wisdom and insight. What happened to setting the example? Part of the problem is society has redefined sexy and acceptable. At the end of the day impact is everything, if the children,co workers or boss is distracted by your dress than it is inappropriate .If your attire is causing problems then you have to make some changes. The work is quick to say I should be able to do what I want and you can but every choice comes with a consequence. My wife is very conservative in her dress yet very beautiful because her beauty is wholistic inside and out. I believe young women that feel they have to show themselves are broken inside. The outward appearance speaks confidence and success but inwardly their is something missing. The question is why the attention? When a person is secure in themselves they do not need to be seen or heard. Their words the way they carry themselves and their actions speak for them. Stop hiding behind what the world says is acceptable and think about the effect. There is a time and place for everything and children are very impressionable. As an educator, husband, father and pastor I believe women are gifts and are to be treated with dignity and respect. Regardless of what anyone says a woman has to govern herself as a woman of virtue. How you carry yourself could help men to realize you are precious as oppressed to being targets of opportunity. Unfortunately in today’s society the level of perversion has increased a hundred fold due to exposure and easy access. Yes you should feel good about what you wear but here is the reality the impact could be devastating. Isn’t amazing how we have bought into looking and feeling good but is that always true? Ultimately it is your decision how you dress but think about this does it matter if it has an adverse impact? Does it cause people to view you negatively? Is it as simple as being about you? Is there a difference between personal and professional? I am a man with daughter Only you can decide and it is always your choice but be careful of the choices you make.

  6. Remack
    16 September 2016 / 5:44 PM

    What is wrong with all of you who are writing these negative comments about this young lady? Nothing she’s wearing or doing is inappropriate. Just because you’re not able to pull this off and look as good as her don’t mean you should try and dump on her. All of you who writing about what she shouldn’t do and what you wouldn’t do or wear need to stop. The real reasons are you can’t do it and look as good. You don’t have the body to pull it off and you all are just OLD, Out of SHAPE Haters that have a feeling of intense hostility toward this young lady that you may or may not know that look good being her. You can work out in the gym 24 hours a week and not look that good. So this lady is wrong for looking good. You don’t understand why it’s not you that everybody is talking about that looks good in everything she wears. Get a life. You all are showing the world how small minded you are. If you want to break the internet like this young lady, fix yourself up. Go back to gym and work off that baby weight. Push away from the table and stop eating day and night. Stop putting off changing your diet until after the holidays and just go and fix those things about yourself you don’t like anymore. Get up and pick up the things you let go all of these years ago after you had the children, once you got married and or divorced. Do what you can to fix yourself up. Let’s not do what we can to tear others down. Take the high road.

    • D.A.H
      12 October 2016 / 7:05 AM

      Thank you Remack, I couldn’t have said it better. Most of these haters are jealous, can’t pull this look off, and are simple minded, lol. Pathetic they are😅😅😅

  7. Richelle
    11 October 2016 / 4:26 PM

    If it were a man with his junk being tightly exposed due to his “curves” we would be up in arms about the inappropriateness of it in the work place and especially around children in a classroom. There is no difference. If you can wear it to the club or on a date then it does not belong in the work place and that goes for men & women across the board. This isn’t about rights it’s about common sense.

  8. D.A.H
    12 October 2016 / 7:00 AM

    Are you people still squawking about this woman, especially you jealous females who are hating on her shape, and what she’s wearing??? Some of you women are unbelievably petty for no reason. The Teacher didn’t get a reprimand evidently the school board didn’t have a problem about her attire, I’m quite sure a couple of petty and jealous female co-workers have said something to their boss about her. She still has her job, and was given awards for being a great teacher.

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