My boobs were never welcomed in any workplace in corporate America.
I tried to wear a button-down when I started my first temp job out of college and my supervisor offhandedly remarked that I should try for a look that was a little “less sloppy.” Anyone with big boobs can tell you that “sloppy” is shorthand for “Girl, your massive rack is inappropriate and gross.”
Just so we’re clear -- it’s not like corporate America and I had a meeting about the state of our union. I didn’t walk into a conference room to find the heads of several global businesses sitting beneath a PowerPoint presentation of my covered breasts photographed from different equally unflattering angles.
No one ever looked me dead in the eye and said, “Your boobs make you LOOK sloppy and wanton, please conceal them.” They didn’t have to. The culture at these workplaces was one designed to make me feel quietly ashamed of my own boobs for not following the tacit mandate of propriety.
I got memos at each office about the dress code that all basically said the same thing: “If you brings your boobs to the workplace instead of leaving them on top of your bureau next to the vibrator you use because you find men to worthless and the creams you apply to keep your skin fresh and supple thus taunting us with a never-issued invitation to engage in sexual congress, you must be sure they are tastefully wrapped up.
If during business hours you tape up any hint of gap-osis, and layer your questionable tops with tanks, we could arrange to have a private room for you to go to and suckle a baby.
For those of you who do not wish to suckle babies with your demon sacks, there are other alternatives.
If you wear a suit jacket that is far too large (like, Talking Heads large), but does not strain at the front seams no matter how hard we stare at it, or, an ugly, cowl-necked top in one of several shades of the “mouse feathers” color family, we will have an annual march to keep the evil fun bags turning you all into decorative ornaments on the front of a ship from rotting and falling off. Thank you for your careful consideration.”
I understand that an office maybe isn’t the best place to see how much nipple I can expose before someone notices (spoiler alert: it’s a lot. I AM DEEPLY PALE. #albinokinkanyone).
That said, there’s so much office-politicking and Internet-responding to the quiet-but-pervasive sexism in workplace dress codes, that it’s kind of hard not to be a sniping smart-ass. Especially when so much of it is directed at ladies for being, you know, vile, malicious, jezebels.
Because yeah, dude -- when I wear a top that accentuates my massive buzoombas (which are hard, by the way, NOT to emphasize) I’m doing it with the deliberate intent to make you fearful that any second I could whip off my top and start violently titty fucking you, hissing my schemes for world domination in your ear for the duration.
When an item on an office dress code applies to a dude, it’s for reasons of tackiness, not sexiness. Cargo shorts are not verboten because the sight of a male calf is so hot that you run risk of flooding the office hallways with vaginal juices and drowning all and sundry. They are verboten because multiple pockets and a can-do attitude do not instill confidence in clients.
But I have to keep my fun rack as covered as possible, because if I don’t, I’m a sexualized object who can’t be trusted professionally and that’s just the way it is.
Someday I will own a business, and I will have a dress code that applies a sexualized standard of what is and isn’t allowed upon both genders. Sure, ladies will have to be buttoned up, but all dudes will have to wear undershirts with their button downs. Come on guys, you know all that nipple pressed up against your starched shirt and whorls of dark chest hair is erotic as balls -- and that just ain’t 9 to 5 appropriate. In fact, some might call it sloppy.