University officials in Belgium have been condemned for encouraging their female students to wearing revealing outfits on graduation day.
Women due to graduate from the Brussels Free University next month got unorthodox advice encouraging them to show off their cleavage.
An email disseminated among students told them that “from an aesthetic point of view”, women look better in dresses with their breasts on display.
Men were encouraged to wear “a suit” with no further detail.
An email sent by the university’s medicine faculty said:
From and aesthetic point of view, it is best for young women to wear a skirt or a dress, with some nice cleavage as well – and for the men, a suit. Of course, ladies, this is not mandatory.
The advice prompted a furious backlash from students who felt they were being objectified. The furor is a far cry from discussions on US and British campuses, which more often see esoteric debates about whether men can graduate in skirts.
After criticism began to mount, the university apologized and withdrew its advice, which is said was “contrary to its values”.