A female scientist's tweet about wearing a sparkly dress while giving a speech to students at NASA is giving the Internet all the feels.
Rita J. King, a futurist and executive vice president for business development and co-director of Science House, shared an image of her wearing the gold, sequinned dress as she delivered a talk to wannabe scientists.
The speech was actually given back in November, 2011, as part of a TEDxYouth NASA event for students, but King recently came across the dress while clearing out her wardrobe and decided to share the inspiring story behind the wearing of it.
The tweet explains that King had received a letter from some young girls requesting that she wore something “sparkly” during the talk to show that scientists too could be “sparkly” as well as smart.
King told BuzzFeed News that though she wouldn’t have normally donned sparkles for a NASA speech, she thought it was important to honour the girls’ request.
“I found the sparkliest dress I could,” she told the publication. “I wanted to show them I heard them.”
Cleaning out my closet, I came across this gown and remembered the little girls who sent me a letter and asked me to wear something sparkly for a talk I gave at NASA so they could believe that scientists could also be sparkly. pic.twitter.com/xOcZgkbiRg
— Rita J. King (@RitaJKing) November 2, 2019
After sharing her empowering message Twitter gave King all the clapping hand emojis.
Twinkle twinkle Rita King
Hope you notice what you bring
To fill small girl's NASA dreams
With your sparkling Twitter memes
— Jack Gartre (@JGartre) November 3, 2019
My daughter is obsessed with all things sparkly, and she also likes to use tools and tinker. I love that she can see women like you! 💕
— Ashley Clark (@tankwasp) November 2, 2019
This is so important. The idea that masculine is serious and feminine is frivolous limits the options girls see for themselves and their future lives. This shows them that they don't have to pick between their interests and their identities. Science is for everyone. Thank you!
— katie kawaii (@katiekawaii) November 4, 2019
I’m weeping now. Go you, go girls in science, go sparkles!
— Donna Sink, Architect (@DonnaSinkArch) November 2, 2019
Sparkly scientists inspiring young girls is the lift I needed today.
— decca (@conunlibro) November 2, 2019
Since sharing, her tweet has gone viral clocking up more than 39.5K likes and over 5K comments many praising the scientist for highlighting the issue that many women come up against with regards to mixing feminine clothing in traditionally male-dominated environments.
Others pointed out that women shouldn’t have to choose between their career and their fashion choices.
While the delivery of her speech was quite a few years ago, King says the image could have touched a chord with people now, given the current political and societal climate.
“It seems like at this moment there’s something boldly subversive about getting up there and boldly, unapologetically wearing sequins because girls asked you to,” she told Buzzfeed.
“I hope what they’re responding to is the idea that women have a very important role to play and we have a lot of responsibility on us. Wearing sparkles does not in any way diminish the seriousness of what we’re doing.”