Today, for the first time in my life my looks became a commodity. Something looked upon as a consideration for a potential job. It has left a strange taste I my mouth.
I am not a model. I am not looking for jobs where one would/should consider looks to be something to judge my ability on. I mean apart from your standard presentable, clean hair, clean clothes kind of thing.
I have a degree in Marketing and Journalism; I worked pretty damn hard to be in the top 15%. I am looking to work in an industry where it’s more about who you know not what you know. But not ever did I expect for someone to ask about what I look like, to see a photo of me, to comment that according to them I am ‘attractive’, to all be put in to consideration to give me a job opportunity.
I am looking for work as a journalist; I want to report on the news. Not the pretty fluff stories, the heart breaking shit that makes you realize the world we live in is not so damn shiny. I know I am not going to get there with the first job, but I didn’t think it would matter what I looked like to get that first job.
I thought all those hard hours I put in at uni would be put in to consideration, the over 12 months I have spent interning, my grades, all the work I have had published, these things would be judged in order to get a job. Not my face.
Yeah, I think realistically to get where I want to go I will have to get in to TV broadcast journalism. But why should I have to look a certain way have to considered for a job. Why cant the fact that I am capable of doing the job be enough?
I have been brought up in a family of very strong influences, who have taught me that it’s not about what or who you are; it’s about what you can do. I have never, ever, been in a position where I have thought because I am a girl I would be treated differently. I didn’t expect that, because I have been taught that success is not about gender or looks, it’s about ability.
Today my world has changed. I hate that it makes me seem almost naïve. I am not that, far from it. But why is there a double standard? I highly doubt a male journalism graduate would have to supply a photo in order to be considered for a job. Why should I as a female have to?
I’ve never been made to feel so inferior, I have worked hard, I have achieved things. It has not mattered that I am a girl, or that I am what society has decided is ‘attractive’. I have achieved these things because I have worked hard, because I have been determined, because I have a brain that I like to challenge.
Today I was made to feel like none of that really mattered. That all that mattered was that by sheer luck, the genes that went together to make me produced something visually appealing.
It’s almost like Tinder for jobs, lets see if this person visually fits the role then maybe we will give them the job. Who cares if they actually have the ability, the dedication or determination to be successful or a good employee?
I am now left questioning, if I have spent the last three years working towards to work in the wrong industry.