(Brains and I looking successful above. Note how we still look like a bunch of greebo’s, even though we are dressed up!)
I now find myself reading a lot of Magazines. Most of the content I find is mindless dribble and I have to be honest and say that I’m only interested in either the products they come with, or the hope of finding miracle cosmetics that I don’t already own. Despite this, I still read them from cover to cover and occasionally I am irked by the odd article.
My favourite this month was from Marie Claire’s “Nov 13” edition. “Why your fake lashes might just cost you that dream job.”It’s basically an article written by six “top” HR managers on things that didn’t quite land others a job.
My first gripe of this being … who the hell decided that they were “top” HR managers? I certainly wasn’t asked to fill out a survey on how brilliant they are. Then as I read on through the article, I felt more and more compelled to shout at these idiots for being so judgmental. So I’ll just share a few highlights with you all:
Block Brows – “Only last week I had a girl come in with jet-black eyebrows that were entirely pencilled in. She looked bizarre. Given the “scouse brow” is so widely mocked, it make me wonder if she had any social awareness.”
Colorama – “The recent trend for pastel and dip-dyed hair does not belong in an office. We actively encourage individuality in our teams, but we must also be confident that clients will take our employees seriously.” (My favourite here was the advice on how to get hired by telling readers “if you’re still determined to have a punky edge, keep it low key.”)
Talon Show – “Our written code of Presentation even states that employees cannot have overly long nails.” (Scoff – “written code of presentation? Hilarious!)
There were some other top choice comments referring to people wearing fake tan to interviews and having “greasy locks” with some hilarious advice on “if you don’t have time for a blow dry, use a good quality shampoo” – first off, who the hell has time for a “blow dry” at 6am in the morning when they are running late for work? (An apt moment for me to point out that my hair is so long and thick, it takes me at least 3 hours to dry and style it!)
Without going on too much of a tangent here, although I had to agree that some of the looks wouldn’t be something that I would favour … i.e. the false eyelashes, fake tan, perhaps an unfortunate attribute such as having greasy hair – none of these should stop people getting a job. The problem these days, is that people in positions of “power” think they are superior to everyone else, and they often forget that sometimes people just need to be given a break.
The media are very quick to judge those that fall outside of the norm, and pretend that they are offering you advise if you want to “hold on to that crazy punk trend”, when actually, we should all be allowed to individualise ourselves how we like!
(I’m holding onto that “crazy punk trend” and I bet my makeup has run down my face … how non conforming of me!)
I know lots of people who favour the “block brow” trend, because it’s actually quite “in” amongst those from a similar cultural background as Gem and I. And the comment about the recent trend for pastel dip dyed hair not belonging in an office … say’s who? If this doesn’t affect performance, then why should it matter?
(Does this count as pastel dip dying? Because I always sat in the office with hair like this!)
One of the reasons this article sparked so much enthusiasm for me, is that over the years and through a variety of different employments, I’ve always been judged for how I look, (except since the “fashion world” has taken so “kindly” to our love of black, leather, wet look and studs, we are somewhat more accepted as being “normal” at least until this trend dyes out). I have piercings and brightly coloured hair, even when I wear no makeup and dress smartly I always seem to have a quirky alternative edge about me, but because people don’t understand the culture that I come from they judge me harshly and think I’m a bad person.
Having worked in healthcare, one of the important parts of my job roles was acting in an anti-discriminatory manner, and treating people as individuals. Something that is then mocked entirely when you are forced into dressing and acting like clones. To be fair, there have been times early on in my career, where I thought people higher in the career ladder than me looked terrible! Their fashion sense was hilarious, the shoes they wore disgusting and their makeup pre-dating my existence, but my job role was about giving care to patients, not creating my own judging panel for all of my managers!
Despite others opinion of me, I suceeded in my career as a nurse and still managed to keep some individuality. I didn’t change my hair, and did not take my piercings out. (They are -not- an infection control hazard, thankyou very much!) What I didn’t do, is turn up to work with a face full of stage make up and I at least had some self-awareness that meant when I was at work, I did my work.
So I guess my point is, you don’t have to conform to be successful, if you are good at what you do, are enthusiastic, look after yourself and are passionate about work you can get to wherever you want to be. Don’t let people back you into a corner and don’t let people change who you really are, just because you don’t fit in with their “corporal image”. In the words of some of Gem and I’s favourite Northamptonians … “Who’s gonna care in a hundred years?”
Here’s hoping Gem and I will always look like this …
(Would you have time to blow dry my barnet in 10 minutes?)
On a final note … Keep it true and Metal IS Forever!
Totally hellbent for being me … always … no matter what!
Totally agree! When I moved to Austria last year one of the unexpected bonuses is how much more relaxed about this stuff people are. They really only care about how well you do your job. I see metalheads everywhere here in Vienna, tattoos are so commonplace and the array of hair.colours is awesome!
I have normal hair at the moment because I got fed up with the upkeep of dyeing it, but if I changed my mind on that I would.change my hair! I’m pretty successful too!
I have to say dyeing my hair and having piercings never held me back in the UK, but I worked in local government where there are rules about discrimination and I would have pushed them if required!
What gets my back is when places like say, a call centre, where no-one is ever going to see you are sometimes the worst at having strict rules about “extreme appearance”!
My first “career” job was as a singing teacher in a very posh secondary school, I was only 19 and had pink hair at the time and they hired me on the basis that I was so clearly enthusiastic about music and teaching. I got some strange looks (and mostly from faculty members!) and the odd comment about my appearance, but soon everyone got used to it and it wasn’t an issue.
I later got involved with a “rock school” franchise who told me my red hair, lip piercing and visible treble clef tattoo were unsuitable and would be off-putting to parents who wanted their children to have music lessons! Since cutting our contract with the franchise and going independent I’ve never once had a parent or student complain about my staffs looks (which have ranged from completely clean cut to leather clad rockstars, mohawks and of course my blue hair) as you would bloody well expect in an industry that encourages creativity and individuality!
I think some people just have massive issues about conformity and frankly they can stick them where the sun doesn’t shine!