A picture of fourth grade teacher Patrice Brown went viral on Twitter and Instagram Sunday, accompanied by the hashtag #TeacherBae. In the picture, above, Brown is wearing a form-fitting pink, knee length dress. Initial responses to the photo all hinged on how attractive Brown looks, but backlash came quickly, with some people on Twitter suggesting that she was dressed inappropriately for the classroom.
One user who goes by @breeNaughtyy said: “That teacher looks good af but her attire is just inappropriate to be teaching a 4th grade glass. Little boys are pervs by like 2nd grade.”
The debate over the appropriateness of Brown’s dress is petty, at best, and straight up sexist at its worst. It’s one thing to recognize that Brown has beauty and brains, but the scrutiny and overemphasis on the way she looks rather than what she does speaks volumes. The negative responses are a perfect example of how black women rarely have control over their bodies being needlessly oversexualized in nearly any context.