It’s 2019, and women’s bodies are still getting policed on a regular basis. Whether it’s online body-shaming or teenagers being told to cover up at school, women’s bodies continue to face constant scrutiny and sexist backlash. And recently, one woman shared that she was even told to “cover up” on an airplane. CNN reports that 21-year-old Emily O’Connor was traveling from Birmingham, U.K. to the Canary Islands via Thomas Cook Airlines when she was singled out for her outfit. The outfit in question? A black, cropped tank paired with high-waisted pants.
She explained that she had worn the same outfit through the airport and hadn’t received any other negative comments. After the airline staff claimed that she was offending people, she asked her fellow passengers if they had a problem with what she was wearing, only to be met with silence. She added that when one passenger yelled at her, calling her a “pathetic woman,” the staff said nothing to him.
Ultimately, O’Connor managed to stay on the flight after borrowing a jacket from her cousin, but she tweeted that the incident left her “shaking and upset”—a totally understandable reaction to being publicly shamed for her outfit.
As of today, March 19th, O’Connor’s initial tweet has been liked almost 41,000 times and retweeted by more than 13,000 people. Thomas Cook Airlines also told CNN that it had issued an apology to her and reached out for more information about what happened.
The company added that it does have a dress code that “applies equally to men and women of all ages without discrimination.” However, it also acknowledged that crew members “don’t always get it right.” What happened to O’Connor is infuriating, and it’s yet another example of how our society shames and sexualizes women. We can do better, people.