- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006

I cringed when I read Stephanie Mansfield’s story on “skinterns,” the female interns who wear plunging necklines and short skirts to work and don’t seem to care who stares.

The point of the piece: College-age interns don’t have a clue about workplace attire. So they wear outfits to work that make their bosses’ jaws drop (or, worse yet, make their tongues wag).

As an intern, it’s a little bit embarrassing. Shouldn’t we, aspirant young professionals, know better? Does it really take a rocket scientist to figure out tube tops aren’t exactly office-appropriate?

I don’t think we’re calculating so much as clueless. The fact that interns dress like the work week is one extended Casual Friday shouldn’t come as a surprise.

We’re part of a generation that doesn’t care much for formality. We introduce ourselves by first names only. We use the wrong fork at dinner. (We’re considered sophisticated if we even know there ARE multiple forks.) We recap scandalous Saturday nights on our cell phones in front of total strangers.

Is it all that surprising we wear flip-flops to work?

I’m no Miss Manners, but I think we’ve gone too far. For many of us, it seems a new workplace wardrobe (and accompanying sense of decency) is in order.

Suit up, skinterns. You’re making us look bad.

Anne Malinee is in the Class of ‘07 at Vanderbilt University.

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