Female Government Official's Cleavage Should Never Have Been Photoshopped

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Rathika SitsabaiesanOur friends to the north are in the midst of a Photoshopping scandal. It seems the cleavage shown by MP (that's member of Parliament) Rathika Sitsabaiesan, a 29-year-old New Democrat, in her headshot offended someone involved in placing photos of government officials on Canada's official Parliament website. So they closed up the gap with a few moves of the mouse.

Naughty, naughty! Uncovered by The Contrarian, the "parliamentary cover-up" has been dubbed CleavageGate by Jezebel, the site that makes it a point to uncover Photoshopping disasters. I'll agree, it was bad form for anyone to go messing around with an MP's boobies. But can we just talk about Sitsabaiesan's twins for a moment? After all, she put them out there.

The MP knew she was sitting down for a photo shoot that would be displayed on the government website, and she chose a shirt that displayed her ample decolletage. Didn't she take a gander at the other pictures on a government site? These photos are traditionally similar to those on corporate sites; they reflect the garb worn by the employees of the corporation.

Professional attire is pretty standard. The same guidelines your high school guidance counselor offered for your college interview outfit should hold in an office or the House of Commons. I have a hard time seeing any corporation OKing a shot on their website that features a woman in a low-cut shirt. Just as I'm willing to bet they wouldn't let a man wear a tank top or a baseball cap in their photo.

This isn't about femininity or sexism. It's about respect for one's office.

The House of Commons should have left Sitsabaiesan's chest alone, but not because boobs are off-limits. The picture should have been left for the sake of transparency on the government's behalf. Her constituents should have had their own chance to make up their mind about whether or not they think their MP has the appropriate reverence for the job. It looks like this Photoshopper did this MP a favor.

Do you think a low-cut shirt is inappropriate in a professional headshot? What about the removal of her cleavage?

 

Image via House of Commons

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cocob... cocobeannns

I think it was inappropriate for her to wear such a low cut shirt, knowing she was being photographed. Cover up girl.

ms_mo... ms_morgan

I think they should have turned her away, told her to wear a different shirt.  It's not appropriate, ESPECIALLY for a Government photo.

nonmember avatar Kimberly

"The picture should have been left for the sake of transparency on the government's behalf. Her constituents should have had their own chance to make up their mind about whether or not they think their MP has the appropriate reverence for the job."

--Very good point!

nonmember avatar Mike M

To members of the Taliban any woman wearing anything more revealing than a burka is dressing immodestly. Question then is where do we draw the line on such issues? And the issue of respect goes both ways - to the individual and towards society as a whole. My view is that while it's more difficult to encourage a society to accept individuals as they are, it's far better when society as a whole is taught to be acceptive rather than judgmental and repressive.

Rachel Schiller

I think they did the right thing, she should never have worn a low cut top.

L1558 L1558

I think they should have left her alone, maybe even increased the cleavage, and also let the dudes wear their shirts open with big gold medallions sitting on their chest hair. Popped collars for everyone.


Nah, I joke. 


It's NBD. Some of us chicks have a hard time finding anything besides a turtleneck that will cover the cleave. We're not all A-cups. So I'd rather them Photoshop it then chastise me. JMO!

reiki... reikiharmony

They did her a favor. She put them in a bad position by wearing a low cut shirt in the first place. For example, I have a nose ring. I have never seen any written policies about visible piercings or tattoos, but I keep my tattoos covered and my nose ring removed during work. I would never be foolish enough to put my employer in a position of having to actually tell me to remove the jewelry. Also, even if it were allowed or no one chose to comment on the jewelry, I personally would not want to bring that into the work place, as I feel that it's not professional and, as much as I enjoy my nose ring and my tattoos, I also enjoy being able to put on great suits and work attire and be taken seriously and look like the picture of professionalism when I'm at the office. The minute that line is crossed with the bling of a nose ring or the flash of a boob, there's no going back.

dirti... dirtiekittie

i'm torn on this one. on one hand, she knew what the photo shoot was for - she should have worn a decent shirt. (although i'm curious if this is normal dress for her? or was the cleavage a new development [pun-tastic!] she had?)


on the other hand, i absolutely hate the idea that i must wear skirts & heels to be accepted as "professional". i have a nose ring, but i do wear it to work. i've never once heard anyone say "oh she's not very professional - look at her nose". it has not affected my performance, nor has it affected my relationship with clients. granted, there's a difference between looking nice and just showing up in wrinkled jeans.

RaeAn... RaeAnne.USAF

I just want to point out that everyone on this site is alway saying that we de sexualize breast to much and they shouldn't be taboo. By saying she needed to cover up you're perpetuating that breasts are purely sexual. She does look rather well endowed and finding a shirt that covers everything may be hard for her to do. But saying the shirt is unprofessional is a bit much. There are a lot of tasteful low cut dress shirts much like the one she is wearing. Let her wear what she wants as long as it's in good taste and practice what you preach Stir!!!

nonmember avatar sara

It's just cleavage. You know, from breasts, for feeding babies. Get a grip.

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