You know who I really want to sympathize with? Debralee Lorenzana, the banker who was allegedly fired from Citibank for being too sexy. When the story first broke a couple of weeks ago, my initial reaction was dismay at one more woman being Windexed off the glass ceiling. But then Debralee started talking and hasn’t shut up since. Every interview I read with this woman – and she is everywhere, no one can say she isn’t taking full advantage of her new notoriety – makes me a little angrier and a lot more irritated.
In a Village Voice interview (via Jezebel) she says, “If being less good-looking means being happy and finding love and not being sexually harassed and having a job where no one bothers you and no one questions you because of your looks, then, definitely, I’d want that. I think of that every day.”
See, Debralee is one of those people who likes to chronically whine about how hard her life is because she’s just too darn pretty. Everyone knows somebody like this. In college I had a roommate who was blond and tiny and blue eyed with eyelashes so long she was constantly tugging on them to prove they weren’t falsies. And her favorite topic of conversation was how hard it was to be her. To this day her Facebook statuses say things like “I ate 6 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups today and I’m still a size 0! Why can’t I gain weight??! I’m having Ben & Jerry’s for lunch – wish me luck!!!!!” If she could mind-read what I’m really wishing her I’m sure we’d no longer be Facebook friends.
There are other permutations of the I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt persona: the guy who claims he’s been fired from every job because he’s too smart and his bosses feel intimidated by him or the reality star who claims that everyone hates her because she’s just too honest and “real” for reality TV. But none of them get under my skin quite like the I’m Too Pretty person.
While I do understand how beauty could be detrimental in some situations – I swear I’m not totally missing the empathy gene – it just screams false humility to me. By telling everyone not to look at them, they’re inviting everyone to do just that. Like when Jessica Biel told Allure magazine that she doesn’t get offered many good movie roles because she’s too beautiful. I wanted to write her and ask if perhaps it’s because she’s not a good actress? I saw 7th Heaven, people. Not to mention how insulting this attitude is to people who have to live with the very real and much worse effects of being not pretty in a society that values nothing more than sex appeal. My roommate once said to me, “I wish I could just trade places with you for a night – you know, so I could blend in and watch the guys without being mobbed by them. You’re so lucky!” What she really meant of course was that I should feel lucky to be her official purse holder/seat saver/designated driver.
But I have to admit that where Debralee really lost her case with me was when footage from a 2003 plastic-surgery reality show surfaced showing her getting multiple surgeries including implants, a tummy tuck and lipo to acquire her desired shape, one she describes as “t*ts on a stick.” First she decries Citibank’s actions, “Are you saying that just because I look this way genetically, that this should be a curse for me?” and then we find out that actually she’s not this way genetically.
Unfortunately, none of this should matter one iota in her case against Citibank. If she was truly fired for wearing “turtlenecks and pencil skirts” despite having above par performance then she deserves to win her discrimination suit. But that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Can Citibank fire her for being obnoxious?
What do you think about Lorenzana being fired for being “too sexy”? Do you know someone who is always complaining they’re too sexy/smart/rich/thin? Is my annoyance really just sour grapes?