"Do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it," the company wrote in its Instagram Stories.

By Faith Brar
October 04, 2019

When Emily Clow applied for a marketing coordinator position at a business start-up, Kickass Masterminds in Austin, Texas, the last thing she expected was to be objectified and humiliated online.

The 24-year-old told NBC News that she initially felt hopeful about the position, given that a company representative had reached out shortly after she applied to say that they wanted to move forward with her application. They'd also recommended that Clow follow the company on Instagram, which she did.

Then, one day while watching Kickass Masterminds' Instagram Stories, Clow saw a photo of herself in a red two-piece bathing suit with a warning message to potential applicants.

"PSA (because I know some of you applicants are looking at this) do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it. I am looking for a professional marketer - not a bikini model," the message read. "Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job." (Related: Nabela Noor Speaks Out About Body-Shaming After Posting Her First Bikini Photo)

Horrified, Clow shared a screenshot of the company's Instagram Story on her Twitter:

In a now-viral post, Clow explained that the company had screenshot the photo from her private Instagram account and shared the image on its Instagram Stories without her permission. She told NBC that she asked the marketing firm to remove the photo multiple times—but it didn't. Instead, the company blocked her on Instagram.

Thankfully, though, since it was an Instagram Story, the post only had a 24-hour lifespan and eventually went away on its own. Still, it left an understandably negative impact on Clow. (Related: Why Body-Shaming Is Such a Big Problem and What You Can Do to Stop It)

"You don't expect a potential employer to do something like this," she told NBC. "To have someone that seems really intrigued and wants to meet with you, only to see this is shocking."

"I am still baffled that the company handled it in such a manner," she added on Twitter.

Clow also tweeted a screenshot of the company's LinkedIn page, where the firm ironically describes its ideal client as someone who "yearns for freedom" and is "ballsy enough to chase after it."

"This is f***ing hilarious, considering," Clow wrote alongside the screenshot.

Since Clow's post went viral, Kickass Masterminds' website and social media pages have all been made private or taken down. Meanwhile, Clow has received an outpouring of support on Twitter. (Related: These Body-Positive Women Will Inspire You to Wear a Bikini with Confidence)

"Girl you had so many people behind you a marketing firm shut down ALL their online presence," wrote one person. "I hope you get a 10X better job that realizes looks, confidence, and capability aren't mutually exclusive."

Though Kickass Masterminds' social media pages don't appear to be public at this time, several people managed to scour the company's social accounts before Clow's post went viral, and at least one person found an Instagram photo of a staff member flipping off the camera:

Even better: A woman from a different marketing firm invited Clow to send over her resume, explaining that her company doesn't discriminate against personal Instagram photos.

"Emily, I own a marketing agency in Austin," the woman wrote. "We happen to be open to Professional Marketers who are ALSO bikini models. If you’re still looking for an internship, let's see how I can help."

Here's the thing: While employers often use Facebook and Instagram to get a better idea of prospective hires, it's downright inappropriate and discriminatory to use photos from someone's personal Instagram account to make a point or set an example. It's 2019, and posting bikini photos (or any photo wearing whatever the heck you want) should not disqualify you from being hired. Major props to Clow for standing up for herself and encouraging employers to think twice about their social media use.


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