Company shames young woman for bikini photo

A job applicant shared her outrage on social media after a company she applied to shared one of her personal Instagram posts along with a "PSA" to future prospects.

Emily Clow, a 24-year-old from Austin, Texas, recently applied for a marketing coordinator internship at Kickass Masterminds, an Austin-based marketing company founded and primarily run by women that says it is "hell-bent on helping entrepreneurs grow businesses faster than they could on their own."

Clow says shortly after filling out an online application, she was prompted to follow the company's Instagram account "for an advantage over other applicants." When she did so, she says she was shocked to find a photo of herself in a swimsuit on the company's story, along with a piece of unsolicited advice.

"PSA (because I know some of you applicants are looking at this)," the company wrote over Clow's photo. "Do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it. I am looking for a potential marketer–not a bikini model."

"Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private," it added. "But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job."

Angered by the post, Clow sent a screenshot of the company's story to SheRatesDogs, a popular Twitter account that features user-submitted content highlighting unsolicited advances, threats and demeaning insults women experience on social media.

The account shared the photo on Monday, where it has since racked up over 51,000 likes and more than 5,800 retweets.

"This girl applied for an internship at a company, and they put up this screenshot of her in a bikini on their company Instagram, publicly telling everybody they wouldn’t hire her because of this photo," it wrote.

Since the exchange went viral, the company has been forced to take down its social accounts, podcast page and website "because of continued, numerous death threats and thousands of harassing messages," Kickass Masterminds CEO Sara Christensen told In The Know.

Contrary to what SheRatesDogs wrote on Twitter, Christensen said Clow has not been "disqualified" over the bikini image "at all."

"There was no communication to her saying she was disqualified," the CEO said via email. "I have an email communication from her yesterday still expressing interest in the position after the post."

In an Oct. 1 email, which Christensen shared with In The Know, Clow resent her résumé and cover letter and said she hoped to hear from the company soon in regards to the open position. She also asked that the company, "please take down the picture of me from your Insta story," a request Christensen said she honored "immediately."

When asked about the inspiration behind the social media "PSA," Christensen declined to comment.

Following the debacle, Clow took to Twitter to share that she was still "baffled" by the company's action but also astounded by the support she received on social media after sharing her story.

"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.'"

"I appreciate the support, from everyone," she later wrote. "It has truly been a whirlwind of a day."

Words by Alex Lasker.

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