Read Dr. Mara’s latest blog:
Standing Strong and Confident in the Wake of Naysayers
“Don’t worry if you’re making waves simply by being yourself.
The moon does it all the time.”
~ Scott Stabile
It’s been hard to write, lately, struck by the bane of writers, “writer’s block.” So, it took a disappointing incident on LinkedIn to get me writing again because I feel the need to turn this negative event into something useful to empower myself and anyone who reads this.
A young woman posted her photograph, sporting her bright red hair and dainty nose ring, with the statement, “This is what a CEO looks like,” noting that she is CEO of her own vegan food company. Most of the responses were similar to mine, in that they were supportive of her job well done. However, while LinkedIn used to be a platform for supporting each other and networking, the atmosphere has changed to some extent, as it has just about everywhere we go, either virtually or in person. Some people are ready to attack and demean. I was struck by the belittling comments about her fashion choices and how she will never make it in the business world. Most of the degrading statements were made by men, some of whom have long been retired. As she pointed out in her responses to the negative comments, she wasn’t asking for opinions about her appearance. She had been making a statement in order to change our expectations of what people are “supposed to look like,” and that she doesn’t need approval from LinkedIn followers, as she owns a successful company and that she is the boss and can wear what she chooses. As I observed, this young woman’s fashion choices would certainly reflect many of her customers’ fashion choices, making her a very savvy businesswoman, as well.
So, I decided to support her, well, because women need to support each other. And that’s when some of the negative came toward me. The naysayers called my statements about giving support rather than demeaning someone for their looks and fashion political. The attacks of me included the old put-down often made toward women of not being “smart, no matter how many achievements, whether academic, business, or otherwise, we might have. While I know that some stranger behind a computer screen doesn’t get to decide my worth or intelligence, and as much as those types of comments reflect on the person making the comments and not on any truth about myself — that attack on my intelligence exhausted me.
KEEP READING HERE…..
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