In summer 2007, scantily clad college student and Hooters waitress Kyla Ebbert found that sexy didn't fly — at least on Southwest Airlines. After boarding a Tucson, Ariz.-bound flight in San Diego wearing an ensemble that included a miniskirt, tank top, sweater and high heels, she was told by a Southwest employee that it was too revealing, and was told she'd need to change clothes if she wanted to remain on the flight.

Although Ebbert ended up adjusting her clothes enough to keep from getting kicked off, she later took her plight to the masses via a TV talk show circuit that included "The Today Show" and " Dr. Phil" — dressed in the offending outfit. But, unlike Lorenzana, Ebbert apparently hopped at the chance to pose for Playboy, appearing in various states of undress in an online pictoral for the magazine just two months later.

Too sexy for the slammer

Don't think the anti-beauty bias stops at the border either. When you start looking around, it starts to feel practically like an international epidemic. From across the pond comes the case of British prison guard Amitjo Kajla. Described as a "petite brunette" with a penchant for wearing makeup and a nose ring, Kajla filed a 2009 complaint claiming wrongful termination because fellow guards — not inmates — had bullied and harassed her for being "too pretty," causing her to quit. Earlier this year, she won an out-of-court settlement.

Too sexy for the show

The Land Down Under hasn't been immune to the scourge of too-sexiness either; in 2005, model Samantha Steele lost her job on the Australian version of "The Price Is Right" game show after producers reportedly felt that Playboy-style photos she'd posed for were at odds with that show's family image. (Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is that Steele's replacement for the job was reported to be a professional male stripper who performed with the stage name "Prince of Darkness.")

Too sexy for the sash

Even in jobs where a certain degree of feminine pulchritude is an unwritten prerequisite, being the wrong kind of eye candy can get one canned for contractual reasons. This is a kind of comely comeuppance that usually pops up in beauty pageants. Miss California 2009, Carrie Prejean, was dethroned in the aftermath of a topless photo scandal (though pageant officials say it was because she failed to appear at events), and, in 1984, Vanessa Williams capitulated her crown as the first-ever black Miss America after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine. And, earlier this year, controversy began to dog Tami Fakih, the current Miss USA, after photos surfaced showing her working a stripper pole in tight shorts and a bra while participating in a 2007 dance contest.

If there's a moral here, it would appear to be that show business gives participants a license that the rest of us will never possess; beauty queens continue, strangely, to be held to some sort of 1950s standards; and bank employees might consider a shopping trip to Talbots.

The rest of us may simply need to "listen to our gut." Or we might listen to career counseler Nicole Williams, author of the book "Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success." She offers some practical advice:

"You should absolutely use your femininity to your advantage," Williams says. "But it should only be one sexy thing at a time — a short skirt, or a sexy pair of shoes or a top. You don't want to overwhelm people."

Now you know.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com