A Texas woman says a potential employer shared an Instagram photo of her in a bikini to shame her in a “PSA” about professionalism and job applications.
Emily Clow, 24, of Austin, told The Daily Dot that she recently applied for a marketing coordinator position at a local business startup, Kickass Masterminds. She said she was drawn to the agency because “it was founded by women” and it “seemed to support women in business.”
Shortly after submitting her application, Clow tells NBC News, a company representative contacted her to say that the firm wanted to proceed with the application process. She says she followed the company’s Instagram page per the suggestion of the employee, thinking it would help boost her chances of landing the gig.
The company then took a screenshot of one of her photos from June in which she is wearing a red two-piece bathing suit, and shared it on Kickass Masterminds’s official Instagram Stories.
The screenshot cropped off Clow’s face but featured her bikini-clad body visible from the shoulders down.
“PSA (because I know some of you applicants are looking at this) do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it. I am looking for a professional marketer — not a bikini model,” the caption said.
“Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job,” it added.
Clow said on Twitter that she was “baffled” that a company would objectify her in an effort to preach about professionalism.
i was objectified earlier today by a company because of a picture of me in a bikini. they claimed it made me an “unprofessional.” they screenshot the photo, posted it on their insta story and called me out.
i am still baffled that the company handled it in such a manner.
— Emily Clow (@emilyeclow) October 1, 2019
“You don’t expect a potential employer to do something like this,” she told NBC. “To have someone that seems really intrigued and wants to meet with you, only to see this is shocking.”
Clow said she contacted the company multiple times and asked it to remove the photo before being blocked after the third request.
A company employee allegedly ended the conversation by saying, “best of luck.”
Instagram Stories automatically disappear after 24 hours.
“I know many women my age have gone through the job application process as I have,” Clow told the Daily Dot. “No one would have expected a potential employer to use their application as an example without their permission, let alone use a bikini picture from social media to deem someone as unprofessional.”
Clow received an outpouring of support from other social media users who criticized Kickass Masterminds’s attempt at a PSA.
TBH she looks great and I’d argue she’s a good marketer… https://t.co/5vzhaWf7WX
— Erika K Nardini (@EKANardini) October 1, 2019
PSA: if you’re a woman with a body and you have ever worn a bathing suit you are unprofessional, incapable of being a marketer and you should be ashamed of yourself according to *Kickass Masterminds* a Houston-based, “expert-led” marketing agency.
This is abhorrent. https://t.co/7zLgpQaGgc
— Amanda Nielsen (@amanda_nielsen) October 2, 2019
Since Clow posted about the incident on Twitter, Kickass Masterminds appears to have taken down its website and social media accounts.
“It seemed they didn’t believe there would be repercussions for their action,” she said.
Attempts by The Hill to contact the company’s founder and CEO, Sara Christensen, have not been returned.