Hello Sweet Readers!
Confession time: I most definitely back-wrote this post, for days such as these when I am totally fried. Today, I have so many thoughts to share, but none will come out right (expect that one, it was fairly clever...get it: right and write).
In any case, clearly if the puns are emerging I am in an exhaustive state. So today’s post is not current. It was written before I transitioned to my present job. However, the sentiment always feels relevant to me in one aspect of my life or another. It is something I constantly mull over. I hope this post ignites some magic for you. An approach you had not yet considered. Or a feeling of being seen and understood. Or perhaps, something entirely different. Without any further rambling from my tired brain...enjoy sweet readers!
All day long I have longed to write a post about how we are expected to present ourselves in the workplace.
My partner and I work at the same office, our guidelines for presentation are the same. These guidelines include a collared shirt, clean, work-appropriate clothing, free of holes. However, while they may be the same on paper I can’t help but feel added pressure when I get ready in the morning.
Cody rolls out of bed, puts up his hair into a bun, throws on his collared shirt and pair of slacks. Contrarily, I spend thirty minutes putting on a full face of makeup, choosing an outfit that covers my hairy pits and legs, cinching up a bra and grooming my freshly washed hair. Nowhere in my hiring contract does it say, “You must have a full face of makeup on, wear a god-forsaken titty trapper, and exile your body hair to a corner hidden deep beneath your clothing.” However, I still feel this pressure.
In the office I present myself in a way that does not feel true to myself. In my day-to-day life I do not wear a bra, hide my body hair, worry about having freshly washed hair, or plaster my face with product. But at work I find myself fearful that one day my boss will discover my hairy pits and fire me, or send me away for french braiding my hair instead of perfectly curling it.
While these expectations are not written, they hang in the air. In part, I think they come from my work environment. However, I also believe they come from the standards I grew up understanding to be beautiful and professional - in movies, media, or the Bellevue Bubble. But as time passes, I realize the beauty standards I see in the Facebook videos, magazines, and movies are quite frankly, bullshit.
I have worked incredibly hard to feel beautiful fresh faced, hairy and often a little smelly. But at work I put my pride and self-love away. Today, I decided I was done with that.
In recent years I have learned that when I reject myself in any way I reject my entire self. I reject my joy, my love, my confidence - all the good parts go too. So, I decided from today on I’m bringing my whole self to work - fresh faced and all.
So here I sit here in the office (yes, writing a blog post at work, step off) fresh faced, hair french braided, and bra free. Although, I’m not breaking any written rules I still imagine my boss walking through the doors and looking upon me with disdain. But I know in time this fear will dissipate. And if one day my boss does look upon the way I present myself with disgust I will happily hand in my notice on the spot, because nobody's got time for that!
Despite my fear, I honestly feel great. My face can breathe, my breasts can flop freely about and I am not tasked with pushing curly strands out of my face every two seconds.
Better yet, I had two absolutely incredible conversations with clients today. The conversations were filled with joy and passion, talks of travel and truly fulfilling work with foster children. I did not feel judged or devalued. Rather, the complete opposite, I felt more connected to myself and in turn, the people around me.
So here’s to our authentic selves. Here’s to presenting ourselves in the unqiue ways we feel most comfortable. Here’s to setting aside beauty standards and figuring out our own definitions - and this could totally be a full face of makeup, but it’ll be because you CHOSE it! And I really can’t forget, here’s to an extra half an hour of sleep in the morning for this woman right here!
Sending love to all of you! As always, thank you for reading, for wandering and wondering with me! I am so thankful for each and every one of you!