Lorna Jane Wants Size 8 Receptionist?

4 min read
Lorna Jane Wants Size 8 Receptionist?

One of Australia’s leading fitness wear and sportswear companies for women, Lorna Jane, has done more than ruffle the feathers of people online recently. They’ve downright plucked them. The company hit the news of late when their job posting for a Fit Model/Receptionist starting getting the worst kind of attention. The job posting, which was later removed by the company but remains in infamy online, states the company is looking for a Receptionist to double as a Fit Model in a small size, before posting a very specific set of measurements.

Has the world gone mad with political correctness? Or has Lorna Jane really stepped out of line big this time?

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Lorna Jane’s History

Unfortunately, Lorna Jane, despite the company’s party line for empowering women, hasn’t exactly set a healthy precedent in the past through its public relations. They were in the limelight in 2012 when they co-opted a pro-anorexia motivational line (Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels) into one of their own advertisements. And for many women the brand is seen as promoting an unattainable body type through their advertising, as well as through their limited sizing.

The Convenience Argument

As the backlash of their job posting continue to hammer Lorna Jane, the brand is strong to their original argument: the posting was a matter of convenience. It just so happened that when the time came to advertise, there were two part-time jobs available at the office, one as a receptionist and one as a small size fit model. And yes, being a fit model is a legitimate career path, and a necessary aspect of the fashion industry. A quick look over shows a number of postings for fit models, some with size requirements and others with measurements. There are even a few fit model/receptionists. So is this a case of the internet mob making too much of a judgement too quickly, eager to string up a fashion brand with something of a vendetta against the larger community?

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The Attractive Receptionist Argument

On the other side of the fence we have the Lorna Jane critics, who are arguing on a number of good points. The first point is, can Lorna Jane be so discriminatory in their hiring process? Obviously Fair Work Australia has guidelines as to whether jobs can be advertised to a specific gender, and although in their ad Lorna Jane make no mention that it’s women only, the definition is more than implied. Their second (and certainly loudest) point is, what right does Lorna Jane have to advertise for a tiny receptionist. Is seems reasonable to assume that they’re doing this to ensure the ‘face’ of their company is petite and attractive. Like so many vintage job advertisements from a time less enlightened, is Lorna Jane essentially carving away the ‘fatties’ from the herd of potential employees so as not to give the company a bad name?

Where They Went Wrong

The folks at Lorna Jane may very well have had entirely pure motivations at heart when they posted the job in question, but there are a few things they could have done differently. Certainly, it seems that although the job is certainly a legitimate one, the extensive duties required from the receptionist, versus the tiny size required from the fit model, makes this job posting a little too specific. But at the same time, with the baying mob that is the internet ready to tear apart those who step out of line, there might have been no way to avoid this mishap.

Where Do You Sit?

Now that you’ve had a look at both arguments, where do you sit? Are you with Lorna Jane, or against them?

Feature Picture: Brisbane Times

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About Author

Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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