Cornell Student Strips Down For Thesis Presentation After Professor Questions Her “Short-shorts”


Cornell senior, Letitia Chai, stripped down to present her senior thesis after receiving judgmental comments from her professor regarding her outfit choice.

During a trial run of her presentation, the first thing Chai’s professor for Acting in Public: Performance in Everyday Life, Rebekah Maggor, had asked was “Is that really what you would wear?”, referencing the student’s “short-shorts”. Maggor further argued Chai’s outfit by claiming that she was making a “statement” as a speaker with her choice of clothing, and would cause the focus of men in the class to shift away from her actual presentation.

The professor did not stop here. She then asked Chai what her mother would think of her decision to wear that outfit. Chai proudly returned her professor’s questioning by informing her that her mother is feminist, gender, and sexuality studies professor, and is “fine with my shorts”.

Feeling determined to make a point and give the best speech of her life, Letitia started off her senior thesis by speaking up for others who have been criticized or questioned based on other people’s perspectives of their appearance. While giving this motivational and inspiring talk, Chai stripped down to her underwear and called other students in the class to mimic her actions. A significant amount of her peers joined her in this demonstration and others took videos or live streamed the event.

Although Letitia Chai is graduating this year, she hopes to continue the conversation surrounding unfair sexualization. Click on the link below to watch the live-streamed Facebook video to get inspired and to continue the conversation.