Debrahlee Lorenzana Can’t Help It If She’s Not ‘Short, Overweight,’ and Boring Like the Other Women at Citigroup


Studies have proven that people who are good-looking get better jobs and promoted faster than people who are not. But according to Debrahlee Lorenzana, a financial-services professional the Village Voice calls "a head-turning beauty" with "J.Lo curves meets Jessica Simpson rack," you can also be too good-looking to succeed. Last summer, Lorenzana was fired from a job she'd held at the Chrysler Building branch of Citigroup after, she says, she was warned repeatedly that her clothes were too distracting, tight, and inappropriate. But in her lawsuit against the bank, Lorenzana says that the bank was merely discriminating against her for her God-given good looks, her Latina heritage ("Where I'm from, women dress up — like put on makeup and do their nails — to go to the supermarket. We're feminine"), and for the fact that she was a sexy, proud woman in general. To make these points, she repeatedly disses her female colleagues.

For instance, she points out, her outfits were nothing compared to the ones worn by other women in the building. When a colleague gently suggested that her pants were too tight, she tells the Voice, she fought back, saying, "If you want to talk about inappropriate clothes, go downstairs and look at some of the tellers!"

"Some tellers would wear their pants so tight, it was like they had a permanent wedgie," says Lorenzana. "It was totally inappropriate."

And those were the ones who bothered covering up their crotches at all!

Lorenzana points out that, unlike her, some of the tellers dressed in miniskirts and low-cut blouses. "And when they bend down," Lorenzana says, "anyone can see what God gave them!"

Sluts! What her managers were reacting to, Lorenzana alleges in her suit, wasn't her clothes, it was her. She was simply, compared to the other women, too well put-together, too magnetic, too good-looking.

Other female employees "were able to wear such clothing because they were short, overweight, and they didn't draw much attention," she later wrote in a letter describing the meeting to Human Resources, "but since I was five-foot-six, 125 pounds, with a figure, it wasn't 'appropriate.' " She was also furious. "Are you saying that just because I look this way genetically, that this should be a curse for me?""

"It's so tiring," Lorenzana tells the Voice. "My entire life, I've been dealing with this. I couldn't take it anymore!" Thankfully, she appears to be in capable hands. Her lawyer, Jack Tuckner, "had a professional photographer shoot her in various work outfits in his office near Wall Street" as part of a lawsuit. That will show them.

Is This Woman Too Hot To Be a Banker? [VV]