There’s an old saying that “beauty is a curse.” Today we want to explore that concept and share with you 10 stories of people who suffered in one way or another for being too good looking, apparently for their own good.
10. Debrahlee Lorenzana
Up until around 2010, Debrahlee Lorenzana worked in a branch of Citibank as a business banker doing all of the things you’d expect from a person in her position until one day, out of nowhere, she was fired. When Lorenzana enquired as to why she’d been relieved of her position, she received a terse reply from her ex-employer simply stating that her performance had been poor. A statement Lorenzana took particular offence to, because as far as she was aware, she’d been nothing but a model employee and she had the awards and commendations to prove it.
As it turns out, the real reason Lorenzana was fired because she was simply too attractive and her appearance and naturally voluptuous figure was too distracting for her male co-workers. You may notice that absolutely nothing in that previous sentence is Lorenzana’s fault and is in fact more indicative of her co-workers needing a slap in the face, which is why Lorenzana’s response was to immediately sue Citibank for sexual discrimination.
According to her suit, her superiors repeatedly told her to wear less flattering clothes because they weren’t appropriate, when Lorenzana pointed out that she was wearing a fitted woman’s business suit, arguably the most appropriate thing she could have possibly chosen, they criticised it for being too tight, seemingly completely oblivious of what the word “fitted” means. When Lorenzana applied for some training courses so that she could better do her job, the bank refused then proceeded to hand all of her clients off to her male colleagues before telling her that she wasn’t making enough sales. Then, as a final insult, in their official dismissal letter the bank accused Lorenzana of being late for work on days they weren’t even open.
Boy, we’ll bet that sure showed her for trying to wear clothes to fit her figure, huh? But I’ll bet she wasn’t nearly as sorry as …
9. These three unnamed handsome Arabian gentlemen.
Imagine if you went to a festival with a few of your friends and while you were trying to enjoy yourself, someone asked you to leave for being too handsome, you’d probably laugh it off and thank the person for their compliment, right? Now imagine if the person’s expression didn’t crack and they repeated their request for you to leave before motioning towards the exit, you’d be pretty pissed. Amazingly this exact scenario befell three unnamed Arab gentlemen visiting Saudi Arabia.
The men were reportedly told that their very presence was unwelcome because of the effect their perfectly chiselled features could potentially have on the ladies present, before they were freaking deported! According to various sources, the men were asked to leave by Saudi Arabia’s religious police, who are largely responsible for apparently making sure people aren’t too sexy.
Perhaps the most upsetting thing here is that the men were just trying to enjoy the Jenadrivah Heritage & Cultural Festival, AKA, a festival specifically to celebrate how awesome the Saudi people are.
But hey, who are we to judge, maybe those guys really were so handsome they risked causing a riot or something. It’s not like they were asked to leave just because of one paranoid person, not like …
8. Melissa Nelson
If you haven’t heard the crazy-ass story of how Melissa Nelson got fired, we’ll fill you in because it’s a doozy. According to, well, every article written about the story, Nelson was fired because his boss’ wife thought she was too good looking. A decision by the way, the Iowa supreme court agreed was perfectly legal.
According to Nelson she was dismissed purely on the grounds that her boss, James Knight (a man 20 years her senior), may have accidentally cheated on his wife with her, you know, because a husband cheating on his wife is always the other woman’s fault and not an indication of anything else, oh and while we’re at, we may as well point out Knight only hired female staff. An incredulous Nelson immediately filed a lawsuit contesting the dismissal on the grounds of it being so stupid it caused calculators to explode, only for, as mentioned above, the supreme court to deem it legal.
Yes, we live in a world where it’s legal to fire a woman because you’re scared that her looks might lead your husband astray. We’ve got some advice for Knight’s wife, if you’re worried that he may cheat on you, it’s probably something you should address by not firing everyone woman he works with.
Here’s the worst part though, Nelson literally worked in pants and a long-sleeved top, it’s not like she was walking into work in a bikini every day was it? Even if she was, who cares, you can’t fire someone for that, right?
7. Olivia Sprauer was totally fired for something way stupider than that.
One of the most awkward things to experience as a kid is seeing your teacher outside of school, however, as you got older we’re hoping that experience got less and less awkward as you realised that your teacher was a person with a life and hobbies. Of course it should go without saying that as long as the teacher is of good moral standing, they can do what they want in their free time as long as they’re professional at work.
Which is probably what 26-year-old Olivia Sprauer thought when she posed in a bikini for a few modelling photos to earn a little extra money. However, Sprauer was forced to resign from her position as an English teacher at Martin County High School when the principle found the photos online. As this article rightly points out, Sprauer wasn’t modelling something that you couldn’t see on any beach in the summer months, but her boss found them distasteful and as a result, she was asked to quit.
For some reason nobody bothered to ask why the vice principle of a school was looking at pictures of women in bikinis during work hours, but what the heck, he was just looking out for his students because we’re sure the kids in Sprauer’s class would have hated having a former model teach them English.
6. Dilek Edwards, the girl fired for being “too cute”
Like our friend, Melissa Nelson up there, Dilek Edwards was randomly fired out of the blue one evening because her boss’ wife thought she was too attractive. Unlike Nelson though, the paranoid lady who cost her a job was an ex Playboy Playmate called Stephanie Adams.
In this article detailing the case, Edwards got an angry, expletive-filled text message at 1 in the morning from her boss’ wife telling her she was fired. Like many of the people in this list, Edwards response was to put on her best “are you frickin’ serious” face and file for wrongful termination. Are you starting to notice a trend yet?
The weird part is, according to Edwards, who is a yoga instructor by trade, Adams’ husband, Charles Nicolai, specifically instructed her to keep the fact that Edwards was giving him physiotherapy (aka, her job) a secret from his wife. We don’t want to start repeating ourselves here, but if your husband is keeping secrets from you about the women he meets, you should probably address that, not fire that poor woman who didn’t do anything wrong.
Speaking of which …
5. Clare, the girl kicked out of prom by creepy-ass dads.
You probably saw this story shared on Facebook and we’re going to share it here because everyone needs to know about it, though we recommend that everyone here reads the original post by the young girl about whom this story revolves around, we’ll summarise it here for the sake of brevity
Basically a 17-year-old girl identified called Clare was kicked out of her own prom, why? Well according to Clare, her teachers told her she was “dancing inappropriately” which could cause some of the boys present to think “impure thought.”
Clare’s first reaction was to point out that she hadn’t been dancing before asking the far more pertinent question of who had complained about her in the first place. Which is when it was revealed to Clare that it was a group of (all male) chaperones had commented on her dancing and deemed it too “seductive.” Why those men weren’t immediately ejected from the prom the second those words left their lips isn’t clear, but what we do know is that a bemused Clare was then told that her dress was too short.
After proving that her dress was exactly as long as the dress code she’d been given stated, Clare was then thrown out of the prom anyway because prom isn’t about trying to look your best in front of your peers, apparently.
Understandably, the story of a girl being kicked out of her own prom because a group of creepy-ass old guys watching her thought she was too sexy, went viral. Clare’s school showing about as much tact as you’d expect, refused to comment on the story before refunding Clare’s boyfriend’s ticket, because he was the person in this story who needed an apology.
4. Corporal Kristine Tejeda, the soldier too pretty to represent the army
When the US army released a series of photos meant to show that women were fighting on the front line just like men, the last thing you’d expect to be an issue is how attractive those women were, because attractiveness has no bearing on how well a person can be a soldier.
However that’s exactly what happened when the person literally in charge of a gender integration study being conducted by the army noticed a picture of a soldier wearing make up on-duty in a magazine article discussing women in the military and wrote a scathing email to a colleague as a result. The email, which was written by one, Colonel Lynette Arnhart, claimed that photos of attractive women undermined the content of the article because “ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead”. She then went onto say that photos like the one she highlighted didn’t show that pretty women were willing to put the work in like ugly women are. Just as a reminder, this was written by the person in charge of a gender integration study.
Here’s the kicker, the soldier Arnhart was talking about, Corporal Kristine Tejeda, was on deployment in Iraq at the time her photo was taken and to top it all off, according to this article by Army Times, she wasn’t even wearing any make-up when the photo was taken, with the exception of eyeliner.
As a final insult to Tejeda, one of the people Arnhart sent her email to forwarded it to the people in charge of public affairs with a note asking them to “use ‘real’ photos that are typical, not exceptional” when they put photos of female soldiers in articles. Completely ignoring the fact that the photo of Tejeda was real, she was physically in Iraq when the photo was taken, it doesn’t get much more real for a soldier than that and because Tejeda had full lips and nice skin, her achievements were trivialised by her own superiors. Since when were women not allowed to be attractive and badass, last time we checked (by which we mean the last time we watched Jenette Vasquez kick ass in Aliens), the two terms weren’t mutually exclusive.
Unsurprisingly, after Politco broke the story, Arnhart stepped down from her position. Tejeda is currently still kicking ass as a member of the national guard.
3. The dating site for beautiful people, hacked by the “ugly virus”
Because we’re scared that this list is getting a little too depressing, let’s take a minute to all collectively enjoy a slightly sillier story.
BeautifulPeople.com is a dating website with a rather peculiar twist, in that only “beautiful people” are allowed to sign up, we’re not making that up. To be judged as beautiful one must first sign up and then allow themselves to be judged by people who are already using the site, if these people deem you attractive enough, you’re allowed to use the service. If not, boohoo go look for meaningful human interaction elsewhere, uggo!
As you can hopefully tell, we’re being sarcastic with that latter sentence, though we don’t begrudge people for dating people they find attractive, we’re a little uncomfortable with the idea of this website. Dating is already a pretty stressful experience, imagine how crushing it would be to be told that you’re too ugly to look for love.
Apparently at least one former employee of the site agreed with us that the whole concept of excluding people based on looks was kind of a really awful thing to do when in mid 2011 they uploaded a virus to the site that let anyone sign up.
The virus, which was bluntly dubbed “the Shrek virus” allowed tens of thousands of people to join the site without first going though the stringent rating process, sadly exposing the poor beautiful people who did go through that process to a slew of ugly people.
As soon as the site became aware of the virus, these new members were banned from using the service due to their less than desirable appearence and the effect it was having on the sites more, discerning users who simply couldn’t handle having to be in close proxmity to average looking folk.
We think we speak for everyone when we extend our condolences to these poor, beautiful people, for having to deal with such an injustice. Because we all know that the most attractive quality a person can have is judging people for purely aesthetic reasons.
2. The man told he couldn’t pose topless, because he was too fabulous
Andrej Peji? is a model whom it is difficult to describe, but impossible not to love. Peji? first came to the attention of the media in 2011 when he walked on the catwalk modelling both women’s and men’s clothes in the same show.
Since then, Peji? has remained a catwalk staple, modelling clothes for both genders for some of the biggest names in the industry, a feat made possible by his strikingly androgynous appearance. Peji? has stated in interviews that he believes himself to be between genders and that he doesn’t mind being referred to as either gender, but the important thing to note for this entry is that, biologically, Peji? is male. Remember that.
In 2011 Peji? posed shirtless for a magazine cover, a cover that was then censored by Barnes and Noble, solely due to the fear that someone would mistake Peji? for a woman due to his fabulous golden locks. If you’ve never seen a magazine rack, men pose shirtless for magazine all the time, hell, just take a look at any random cover of Men’s Health magazine.
Nevertheless, due to Peji?’s feminine features, the cover was deemed too “risqué” and as a result, it was covered up with a big-ass plastic sleeve. Peji? was essentially told that he couldn’t pose as a man, because he was already too beautiful as a woman.
1. Gozde Kansu, the lady fired for wearing a dress on TV
Gozde Kansu was a presenter on a Turkish TV show called Veliaht, on which she decided to wear a sparkly, low-cut dress as women are want to do when they’re young and on TV. A day after Kansu appeared on TV wearing a dress you could buy at any store, she was fired because a big time political party in Turkey at the time didn’t agree with her dress sense.
Awesomely, Kansu’s first instinct was to go on the offensive and straight away she began blasting her producers for not having the balls to stand up for her and she was later quoted as saying “I am bored of debates sparked over women’s bodies … Nobody wanted to go against the political will which attacked my low-cut dress”.
Which is the best line we can think to end on because Kansu gets this problem, it’s not about women or how attractive they are. It’s about people in power trying to stop people from dressing in a way that makes them feel happy, and that’s just not cool.