Woman Gives Speech In Sequin Dress As Students Wanted To See ‘Sparkly Scientist’
By Yimin Huang, 05 Nov 2019
Rita J. King, a futurist and executive vice president for business development and codirector of Science House, has posted a now-viral tweet showing herself in a sequined gown while speaking at NASA.
The picture accompanying the tweet shows her speaking at a TEDxYouth NASA event for students at the National Institute of Aerospace, NASA’s think tank in Langley, Virginia back in November, 2011.
The tweet explains that King found the dress again after cleaning her closet, and recalled young girls who sent her a letter requesting that she wore something “sparkly” during the talk. This was to show that scientists too could be “sparkly.”
King told BuzzFeed News that she doesn’t usually wear such a dress to work. However, she decided that it was an “important request” since the young girls wanted to see a “sparkling geek.”
She then went looking for the “sparkliest dress” to show the girls that she valued their voices.
Her tweet went viral with more than 39.1K likes to date, as many women could connect to the struggles of wearing feminine clothes in male-dominated environments. Many Twitter users brought up the question of why women have to choose between “being a scientist” and “being sparkly.”
Another user conveyed the important message that femininity should not be equated with being frivolous, while masculinity with being serious.
King herself was touched by the number of responses to her tweet, and found it especially pertinent in a socio-political climate that she described as “a very painful collective moment” especially for females.
She also emphasized that women do have a lot of “responsibility” and that “wearing sparkles” should not affect the perceived “seriousness” of their duties.
Cleaning out my closet, I came across this gown and remembered the little girls who sent me a letter and asked me to wear something sparkly for a talk I gave at NASA so they could believe that scientists could also be sparkly. pic.twitter.com/xOcZgkbiRg— Rita J. King (@RitaJKing) November 2, 2019
This is so important. The idea that masculine is serious and feminine is frivolous limits the options girls see for themselves and their future lives. This shows them that they don't have to pick between their interests and their identities. Science is for everyone. Thank you!— katie kawaii (@katiekawaii) November 4, 2019
My sparkling gold engineer to-be:— Michael O'Neill (@MichaelJONeill) November 3, 2019
“A girl can love science and still wear a killer pair of high heels.” pic.twitter.com/rXrzi9GjUh
That is absolutely cool. I try to get my 7 year old granddaughter into science. I've been trying to explain that in case being a princess doesn't work out she needs a career backup plan. But when she's performing a space walk she'll still be my princess.— John Bolton's Avenging Moustache (@AdamReizner) November 2, 2019
[via BuzzFeed News, cover image via Shutterstock]
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