On Beauty and Stereotypes

ImageCredit: GioMarsilio

In life, there are some places you go to where your beauty can be a slight disadvantage.

The people you need to promote you into another level in that environment are partly used to seeing beautiful women with little to offer, so when you come on board, there is a default hostility awaiting you.

In places like this, they don’t ask what your name is. They named you already. You are just another beautiful woman perpetuating a stereotype.

They didn’t consult with you before concluding about you. They made assumptions about you and your abilities based on your face. You feel this is unfair and rather vain, but this is life, and at times it owes you no explanation.So instead, of asking what your name is, they ask:

Who are you?

In essence they are saying

”What are you bringing to the table? How can your existence benefit us?”

It is okay not to know at times but in places like this, you cannot not know what to say. The assumption is that you are prepared, and your presence there validates that assumption.
They just laid a demand on you, and value is required. Apart from the obvious i.e delivering value, there is a sense of responsibility that awakens on your inside. You need to break the stereotype so that more women will come into places like this, and their face will never be a standard by which their abilities are judged.

In response to the question who are you? You have two options:

1. First, you can resolve not to react to the hostility, instead of reacting, you respond. You own who you are, your beauty and everything woman you carry. You confidently state who you are, communicate your intentions and answer the question as clearly as you can. You don’t necessarily need to get it right, you just need to pass the message: I am capable and one meeting is not enough for you to conclude about me.

2. You can choose to commonise your beauty and flatten your true self. You pawn the integrity of who you are for who and what they need you to be.
You appease the cabals and move on. What is important is you get the job and just for the road, you also throw it to them that if given a choice you’d rather choose not to be beautiful after all beauty doesn’t pay no bills. Within you, you know you just fed yourself to the dogs. This wasn’t exactly how you wanted it to come out.
But compromises.

This is the reality of life.

You do what you have to do and move on.

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