#TeacherBae Gets Backlash For Having Curves

Recently on Twitter and Instagram, pictures have been surfacing around about second grade Atlanta teacher Patrice “Tricey” Brown. She’s seen wearing a fitting pink dress that sat below her knees while enhancing her curves. Because of this, Brown received social criticism that reached new paper headlines, which lead to her suspension by the Atlanta School Board. Some argue that her dress was decent, and some have other things to say about it. The hashtag #TeacherBae was associated with the picture as it reached the trending topic on Twitter. Here’s what I have to say about it.

Women of color have received a lot of shame for their curvy bodies over the years and are often times told to alter their clothing so that so that it won’t be a distraction to whatever environment they’re in. With me, growing up in public schools meant that I always had to find ways to follow the dress code to a T. There was a time where I wore a long maxi dress in high school. The dress covered my shoulders and went all the way to the bottom of my ankles. I was sent to the main office by one of the administrators because my dress wasn’t “fit” for the educational environment. How could this be a distraction in class where majority of my time was spent sitting down? Why is it that, if anyone, was focusing on my outfit rather than what teacher’s lesson?

Eurocentric beauty standards are often the guide to ratify is one is pretty, in shape, or healthy in general. This isn’t just in school or business settings. Especially for women of color, we are expected to be this size and that other, but it doesn’t work out that way. We shouldn't feel ashamed for how we're framed, due to the fact we have no control over it to begin with.

If we break down and analyze the real problem we get this: the dress that Ms. Brown wore wasn’t inappropriate. The dress covered cleavage, if shown, and it also sat right above the knees. But since, Brown’s curves “over-sexualized” the attire, it then became distasteful for a classroom setting. If another woman of a smaller size wore the same dress, would it be deemed inappropriate as well?

Black woman and curvy women in general have no control how their body are made or carried. How do you expect someone to hide something that stands out as it is? While we’re focusing on what Brown is wearing, we’re also forgetting the fact the she is certified to teach children and educate them so they can then move forward to the next level of education. Whether she is wearing this dress, a Lane Bryant suit, or casual jeans and a t-shirt, she will still held her credentials as an educator.

Curvy women are more than their bodies. If people opt to look past that, they’ll see why decisions like this are problematic. It's sad that the misjudgment of attire lead to this smart, beautiful woman to have her liscense remandated.