A Woman Got Kicked Off A Flight Because She Wasn’t Wearing a Bra

July 3, 2019

Airlines have no right to govern women’s bodies. 

It’s 2019 and, yet again, we’ve found ourselves another example of body shaming and sexism. This time, women have been degraded and their bodies dictated all for the sake of an airline dress code.

I am equal parts disgusted and disappointed, but this is a conversation that we need to have.

There are few things more ridiculous than the story I’m about to tell you. Get ready for your blood to boil. 

Earlier this week, a young mother was kicked off a plane for wearing a top that was too ‘low-cut’. Harriet Osborne was told by staff on the flight that her shirt was inappropriate and that for the sake of the children on board, she would have to cover up.

Picture: East News Press Agency

Above is the top that caused all the drama, and can I just say, she looks AH-MAY-ZING! Sure, her nipple covers and tape may not have made for the comfiest travel attire, but does it really warrant removing her from the plane?

HINT: the correct answer is no.

Osborne spoke to The Sun and stated that “the crew were horrible and made me feel cheap. This air hostess confronted me in front of the whole plane and said I wasn’t allowed on in that top.”

Getting the (sexist) message, she popped on her friend’s jumper (pictured below) before trying to reboard her flight. The response was equal parts sexist and shocking.

kicked off a plane
Picture: East News Press Agency

“She’s not coming on my plane.”

I’m sorry, what?

Just to clarify, this fully clothed woman was kicked off her flight home for ‘disruptive behavior’.

As if that wasn’t humiliating enough, Osborne was escorted away, only to be questioned by the Spanish police in the airport, who were just as confused about the situation as she was.

“I never show my body off at home but I felt spontaneous as I was on holiday. It made me feel so self-conscious” Osborne explained, clearly distressed about the situation. She and her friend slept on the airport floor as they waited hours for the next flight.

This woman has every right to be upset and frankly, I think we all should be. The internet is full of kickback, with the general consensus seeming to be that she deserved to get kicked off. I hate to be the one to tell you, but “she was asking for it” is no longer a valid excuse to justify mistreating and shaming women.

This is not just about a shirt or a jumper. Osborne’s situation is indicative of a much larger issue.

Let me break it down:

This kind of regulation institutionalizes the idea that women should be ashamed of their bodies and cover them up. Not only is this damaging for self-esteem but it perpetuates the dangerous notion that women need to conform to sexist standards in order to fit into society.

This is not an isolated incident.

Earlier this year, a girl was publicly shamed (and I don’t say that lightly) for wearing an ‘offensive and inappropriate’ shirt on a flight. Four crew members surrounded the young woman who was wearing a black crop top and announced over the loudspeaker that the plane would not take off until she covered up.

Not only was this treatment unnecessary, but it was also downright humiliating.

Staff collected her luggage and escorted her off the plane for wearing this outfit:

Emily O’Conner was shamed for her clothing but told the Sun that “a gent two rows behind me was wearing shorts and a vest top and nothing was said to him.”

This is a blatant double standard.

It seems that this year has been a step backward for women. I feel like whenever I look through social media or read the news there’s another example of misogynistic attitudes towards womankind.

This kind of thing may seem trivial to you but the solution isn’t just for women to cover up.

Shaming women off planes is by no means acceptable but this is not just about clothing. To think so would be to ignore to reason behind these appalling incidents.

By allowing these events to occur and blaming the victims, we continue to send the message that women are subject to governance; that we can tell them what to do. We are teaching the next generation that you can degrade a woman based on her choice of clothing and the repercussions of this are dangerous, to say the least.

I can’t believe it’s 2019 and I’m still having to say this but we need to stop shaming women. We need to stop blaming them for derogatory social standards which dictate that girls can’t wear crop tops on planes.

It’s easy to just let this go and make sure you wear a baggy T-shirt next time you hop on a plane but this isn’t going away until we teach people this isn’t okay.

So make some noise! Get a little angry! If the most offensive thing we can do is not wear a bra, I say let the revolution begin.

Featured image via unsplash.com


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