‘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

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree
A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy