Thinking about my two favorite things: running and fashion. And whatever else tickles my fancy.
Ladies, stop doing this. Seriously.
To put this in perspective, I’m a 31 year old, 4’11” petite and fit woman. I know, God didn’t give me height, but He gave me the know-how to make it work. Somebody say favor! Anyway, not only am I a young professional compared to the vast majority of co-workers and those I work with in the community, I’m small. Forget the fact that I have a masters degree and years of experience in my field. When you see me, you see young and small.
When I hear “cute” being uttered in my direction, it usually has just rolled off the lips of an older female co-worker. The majority of folks I work with are older than me, and that’s fine. But realize that when you call me “cute,” you are being condescending. Puppies are cute, babies are cute, teddy bears are cute, a grown professional woman is beautiful, phenomenal, strong, sexy, but not cute. “Cute” is something you say to your daughter or niece or even a friend. And though I’m friendly with people at work, we still are interacting with each other in a professional capacity. Which means don’t talk to me like I’m your child, talk to me like I’m an educated adult.
There is such a thing as ageism, and it works both ways. Typically we think about ageism in terms of discriminating against someone for how many years they have, rather than how few. And sure, it’s probably because our society generally values youth more, just look through a magazine for the proof. How could one possibly think that “cute” was condescending? Glad you asked. *Sips tea* Because you draw direct attention to my age, and by design or by happenstance, diminish my professionalism. You diminish how hard I’ve worked to get here. Simmer on this: if you’re older than me and you know the depth of schooling and experience you’ve had to be in the position you’re in, and I’m younger and working alongside or collaborating with or even being a consultant for you, consider the elbow grease I’ve put in to get here earlier. I’ll be over here sipping my tea while you ponder that.
This is not to say that you can’t give a younger co-worker a compliment. Far from it. Just consider your words before they ooze off your tongue. Words mean things. They have specific connotations. “Cute” bears the connotation of small and/or young. And in the workplace it bears a connotation of inexperience and lack of authority. “How can I take her seriously, she’s just so darn cute.” How about this, the next time I get called “cute” on the job, I’m going to advise them that they look “so good for their age.” We’ll see how long it will be before we end up in the Human Resources office. I’ve got my opening statement ready.
Haven’t written in SO long. But you never know if what you’re going through is not really for you, but for someone else to hear. So here it is, my 5 things to express today.
1. Money vs Satisfaction struggle. I love my job. I have a strong sense of job satisfaction working as a local public health epidemiologist. It’s in my chosen career field, so I’m not wasting my degree (thanks Mom, Dad, and federal loan). I came in fresh out of school, undercut on the salary. Five years into practice now, I think I deserve a pay increase. Problem is, I know what our budget looks like. Tough decisions on the horizon. Stay for the satisfaction but no growth? Go private sector, with potentially less job security and unknown satisfaction? Or figure out a side hussle? I don’t know the answer yet.
2. One of my Black Girls RUN! buddies got comp bibs to the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach half marathon coming up this weekend, so I’m running! Hadn’t planned on it. Vowed to never run that race again. It was my first race in 2009 and it was soOo hot, no shade, and I didn’t bring water (learned the hard way). But since I ran another Rock N Roll race earlier this year, if I do another one, in addition to the race medal I’ll get the Heavy Medal for completing two/more events in a calendar year. I want all that bling! So Rock N Roll here I come. I’m just going to claim a PR now, throw that out into the atmosphere.
3. Met with some aspiring Archonettes yesterday (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s youth group for teenage girls). Oh I can see now the etiquette, dress for success, and public speaking workshops are going to be “fun.” We’ve got to teach our (I say “our” as if I’m a parent; I’m not but it takes a village right?) girls confidence. And real confidence doesn’t come from showing all your lady bits. -__-
4. I want to vomit emotions and kick people. Surfing the crimson wave.
5. All in all, I’m still really blessed. My family is intact, my dog is cool, I’ve got a job I love with good benefits, and my bills are paid. I’m not where I want to be yet but it’s a work in progress. It could always be worse. Just thanking God that it’s not, and for that I’ll keep trucking along.