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The Student Who Presented Her Thesis in Underwear: A Controversial Incident that Sparked a Conversation about Body Shaming in Academia

Can you imagine presenting your thesis wearing only underwear? This is what happened to a student at San Francisco State University, who decided to remove her pants while presenting her thesis after being told that her shorts were too short by her professor. The incident sparked a conversation about body shaming in academia and the double standard that applies to women.

What happened

During a Zoom class, the student was interrupted by her professor who told her that “the shorts were too short”, and suggested that she find another pair to wear for her pre-recorded presentation. After attempting to find another pair of shorts and struggling to find suitable ones, the student decided to remove her shorts and proceeded to present her thesis in just her underwear.

The incident was witnessed by her classmates and professor, as well as the panel for her thesis. The student’s classmates reported that they found it empowering and bold, while some faculty members described it as unprofessional.

Social Media Reaction

The incident quickly went viral and attracted mixed reactions from social media users. Some applauded the student for standing up to body shaming and criticized the double standard that exists for women, while others criticized her for being unprofessional and disrespectful.

Some tweets on the incident included:

  • “The student who presented her thesis in underwear deserves standing ovation for standing up to the oppressive and sexist demands of her professor.”
  • “This incident is a clear reflection of the gender disparity and double standard that exists in academia, #stopbodyshaming.”
  • “Unprofessional, inappropriate, and disrespectful, that girl just threw away her degree.”
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The incident also sparked a wider conversation about body shaming, gender norms, and the need for more conversation and awareness of these issues in academia and society as a whole.

Key Takeaways

  • Body shaming in academia exists, and it affects women disproportionately.
  • The incident is a reflection of the double standard for women and men, and the need to challenge and change gender norms.
  • The incident sparked a conversation about body shaming and the need for more awareness and discussion of these issues in academia and society as a whole.
  • The mixed reaction to the incident shows how polarizing these issues can be and highlights the need for more inclusive and respectful dialogue.


What is body shaming?

Body shaming refers to the act of mocking or criticizing someone based on their physical appearance, often perpetuating harmful stereotypes and ideals.

Is there a double standard for women in academia?

Yes, women tend to face a higher degree of scrutiny for their appearance and behavior in academia, which can perpetuate harmful gender norms and ideals.

How can we combat body shaming in academia?

Raising awareness, education, and more inclusive and respectful dialogue can help combat body shaming in academia and broader society.

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