If you're a woman in the public eye, people will be talking about how you look. Last year there was lots of talk about Hillary Clinton using a scrunchie to tie her hair back. And just this month about whether you can be a feminist and be feminine when Zooey Deschanel, asserted in an interview with Glamour Magazine, "We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f--king feminist and wear a f--king Peter Pan collar. So f--king what?"
When you're a woman, it's always about the clothes. And the hair. And the makeup. I've had countless career counselors advise me about straightening my hair: curly hair is not professional. One counselor even advised that glasses were a distraction. (Yes, my glasses at the time were hideous, but still. In case you're curious, I now let the staff at Eye Gotcha select frames for me.)
How do you deal with hypercriticality?
I recently learned the word "Twee." The Flack has a post, "The Art of Twee" with examples of the style of clothing. "The traditional definition of twee is excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint." Cute comes up a lot when I ask how I look if I'm unsure about an outfit or when I've arrived at a party and I'm starting to chat with someone. My favorite outfits tend to be empire waist dresses that stop short above my knee worn with leggings or tights and a pair of cowboy boots. (This was pre-pregnancy, at the moment those dresses don't fit and the boots are in the pile of shoes to take to the cobbler. As soon as I can zip the bodice of those dresses, you can bet they'll be back in rotation.) And I wore this style to work. Probably not professional but seriously, it's comfortable, and you should judge me by whether or not I get results, not on how I look.
So why a post about clothes? When I think it's unfair that women are always judged by their clothes? Because I take confidence from how I'm dressed. When I'm nervous, I pull out the bold colors. Why? Because it's a crutch I started using when I had to speak in public, it gets me over my stage fright. Of course, people are looking at me, I look fabulous.
Later this week I'll be at Alt Summit SLC, "a conference where design and lifestyle bloggers in all their forms — foodies, photographers, travelers, fashionistas, interior designers, product placers, adventurers — come together, share ideas and connect with marketers." You can bet some of the attendees put a lot of thought into their wardrobes for the conference.
My reward for finishing my business cards (to be revealed here on the blog on Wednesday), cleaning up my blog's design, updating my About page? You guessed it, a short pause to shop my wardrobe and plan my outfits (then it's back to rolling out the new look to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). This week's posts will be a little heavy on fashion as I share what I'm planning on wearing at Alt. (My swing coats with their peter pan collars won't be making an appearance in Salt Lake; sadly, not warm enough.)