‘Sexy’ graduation gown criticised in Amazon reviews

By Colleen Flaherty, for Inside Higher Ed

November 3, 2014

The “Delicious Women’s Phd [sic] Darling Sexy Costume” sold by Amazon, received a lot of virtual eye rolls from academics on social media on Halloween.

The costume, including a short, low-cut gown, cap and stole, is similar in style to other “racy” profession costumes that many critics have panned as sexist, offensive and absurd. Real-life PhD students said this costume was no exception, as well as inaccurate.

But critics had the last laugh, with many using Twitter to encourage followers to read a series of sarcastic “reviews” for the product posted on Amazon, all within the previous 48 hours.

Most focused on how the costume demeans women.

Here’s an example:

“As a lady PhD student, let me say how much of a relief it is to see them accurately describe what we wear every day. I don’t care if it isn’t proper [personal protective equipment], how else will we find husbands if not for our degree in sexy? Bravo to Delicious costumes for supporting women’s education in letting us know that we’re only as smart as our skirts are short.”

Here’s another:

“I can now lecture in my 5-inch gold spiked heels and ‘barely there’ regalia while giving nary a thought to the male gaze and it’s [sic] implications on the prevalence of rape culture in our society. I fully expect my chili pepper rating on [RateMyProfessor.com] to go through the roof once I begin to greet my students in this costume. Hopefully I can keep my post structural hegemony’s [sic] from engaging in some wardrobe malfunctions.”

A few other comments, such as the following, used the costume to criticise their own institutions’ expectation that junior faculty buy expensive regalia:

“We all know that after years of living on a subsistence diet while your undergraduate loans collect interest, it can be difficult for junior faculty to afford their university’s hood and gown for graduation ceremonies. Save yourself $950 by investing in the Delicious Women’s PhD Darling ensemble! Upon seeing you, your students, their parents, and your colleagues will instantly recognize that you are a serious Lady PhD. Such a display of intellectual creativity and gravitas is practically guaranteed to secure you tenure!”

And some were just silly:

“The ‘Delicious Women’s Phd Darling Sexy Costume’ was not delicious at all. But I ate it anyway.”

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show