Woman Fights Back After Company Shames Her Over Bikini Photo

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When a Texas woman applied for a position with a potential employer, she couldn’t believe it when they publicly shammed her over the bikini-clad photos she posts on Instagram. “I am looking for a professional marketer – not a bikini model,” the company posted online with her picture. However, she decided to fight back.

Emily Clow
Emily Clow (Photo Credit: YouTube)

Emily Clow saw a job posting for a marketing position at an Austin-based company that helps entrepreneurs build their businesses. She thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to put her social media and sales knowledge to good use. However, the Texas woman realized that the potential employer was using her personal social media posts against her shortly after submitting an application.

After requesting additional application materials from Clow, Kickass Masterminds took a photo of her in a bikini from her Instagram account and posted it to the company’s Instagram Stories, warning other applicants not to “share your social media accounts with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it.”

Clow told NBC News that she was taken aback when she saw a photo of herself in a red two-piece bathing suit with a cautionary notice to prospective applicants. “You don’t expect a potential employer to do something like this,” she said. “To have someone that seems really intrigued and wants to meet with you, only to see this is shocking.”

Kickass Masterminds included a message along with the bikini snapshot. It read: “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. Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job.”

Kickass Masterminds shared this image of Emily Clow. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Emily Clow retaliated against the public humiliation by using social media. “I was objectified earlier today by a company because of a picture of me in a bikini,” she wrote. “They claimed it made me an ‘unprofessional.’ They screenshot the photo, posted it on their [Instgram] story, and called me out. I am still baffled that the company handled it in such a manner.”

Clow said that she contacted the company three times to request that the photo be removed: twice through Instagram messaging and once through email. The business blocked her on the social media platform after her third attempt. The CEO and creator of Kickass Masterminds, Sara Christensen, did not reply to demands for comment from the media.

In her apology posted on Medium, Christensen said that Clow had made “an error in judgment” by publicly shaming her. “To anyone watching: I am a great case study in what NOT to do,” Christensen said. “I have absolutely learned a lesson in this event, and while I’m not ready to publicly address it in detail, I will let you know if or when that changes.”

At the height of the viral outpouring of anger against Kickass Masterminds, the company deleted its Twitter account and made its Instagram account private. Its website and LinkedIn were also deleted, the New York Post reported. “I think them going dark is just interesting in itself because I think they realize they made a mistake,” Clow said.

One critic noted that the bikini shaming wasn’t just inappropriate, but hypocritical, as the company has a swimsuit photo on its own social media account. “The irony here is that they have a bathing suit photo posted on their ‘professional’ Instagram,” she writes. Another critic announced she had reported the company’s Instagram account for harassment and bullying.

Clow claimed she posted about the bad experience to shed light on the serious issue. “I thought this was a situation that I feel like a lot of women deal with on a daily basis when they’re they’re job hunting,” she said. “I figured that, ‘Hey, I might as well talk about this,’ because if I talk about it I know someone else is going through this and we can start a conversation and see if there’s a way to fix the issue.”