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Queen's University lecturer slams 'Don't dress like Kim Kardashian' guide for graduates

By Cate McCurry

A Queen's lecturer has branded the university's warning to students to "cover their cleavage" during their graduation ceremony as "sexist nonsense".

Alex Schwartz, a law lecturer, hit out at the Belfast institution after it issued online advice to women that they should not dress like US reality TV star Kim Kardashian for the event.

As revealed in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph, the university also told students that cleavage and short skirts were "out of the question".

Mr Schwartz posted on Twitter: "What is wrong with QUB's PR people? Honestly. I'm proud to see our students speak out against this sexist nonsense."

Queen's said the webpage included news, tips and information for graduating students.

The 'style tips' went on to say: "Possibly the biggest mistake I see at graduation is girls treating the event like a night out.

"Graduation is a formal event and the dress code should match this. Short skirts and cleavage on show are totally out of the question. Think Grace Kelly, not Kim Kardashian, at least until the day is done; you can always change before heading out."

It has been criticised by students, who described the advice as "deplorable".

Lawrence Dushenski, who is the opinion editor for the university's independently-run newspaper, said it was "completely unacceptable" for universities to dictate what women can wear.

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"The implication is that the young ladies dare not embarrass their family and the school during this most important day, and the moralising by implicating that short dresses and cleavage are in some way evil and bad things is not what you would expect from this institution of higher learning," he said.

"The young ladies who this message was targeted at have spent years studying, and have paid significant fees to do so.

"So for the school to attempt to insert themselves into such a significant day for so many is nothing short of unacceptable.

"If the graduating ladies want to wear a short skirt and show some cleavage on one of the most important days of their lives, they should not worry about the very institution that they are graduating from imposing such arbitrary moral tones on them."

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