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Young Women Leaders

Archive for the tag “women in power”

Is Beauty a Blessing or a Curse?

My American teacher and mentor posed a question to me this summer: Is Beauty a Blessing or a Curse? From time to time since then I have pondered this question and tried to look at it from different perspectives. A few weeks ago I texted a few friends and family members about this. Thank you Erika, mom, Simon for your input!

So, my first thought was that beauty is a blessing, but since my mentor is sharp, I knew the answer would not be that easy. Of course, when you have beauty/looks/attractiveness others will be prone to treat you better, right? (?) To a certain degree I believe that is true. But if a random person came up to you, asking you a question, wouldn´t it depend more on their kindness, smile, way of being polite affect the way that you would respond?

Still, knowing looks is the first thing that people see about you, it gets a good-looking person on the positive side at first. And a not-so-good-looking person is at a disadvantage. Maybe? And the first impression lasts, supposedly.

But it can be a curse too: I for one have prejudice against good-looking people. I become suspicious. Like “they have their looks and now they´re going to use it to get what they want.”
And it can be a barrier. I´m scared to talk to good-looking people! There, I said it! It´s scary to look at very good-looking people, just because of how they look. Why? Weird.
Beauty can also give unwanted attention, looks, catcalls, people just being interested in you because how you look. A shallow attention I assume.

(Rob Lowe basically says it´s crappy to be good-looking!)

And maybe others can´t see past your looks, thinking that you got where you are because you are good-looking, you can´t be sharp, can you? Is it a barrier to be good-looking in academia for example? You´re supposed to have glasses and not care about your looks, because knowledge is all you care about? You´re not shallow like that are you, because you´ve got your brilliant mind! I know there is at least two professor at my school that are always mentioned with the addition “he/she is so good-looking!” Why do we do that?

Nerdy girlSource: Piratecake

I guess kindness and honesty is just as important when talking to a person, maybe more important in the long-run. And once you get to know a person´s inside, those thoughts of looks disappear in some way. I mean, if you realize a good-looking person is mean, their looks don´t matter anymore. They become unattractive because of the way that they behave. A good-looking outside doesn´t really matter if you are ugly on the inside. And if you are beautiful within, your outside doesn´t matter as much, right?

But that takes some careful thinking about the way that they look and what they are actually saying and the way that they behave. And do we always think about that? And do we think about it differently for men and women? In leadership? I think women in leadership are expected to care more about their looks than men are. What do you think?

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Gotta post Jackson Katz

Inspiration!

Partners in crime – what it means to your sanity

Last Sunday I finally got together with my friend A-Conk on Skype. It´s been way too long, you know the way it is when there´s an ocean and six hours of time difference in between. Anyhow, it makes me happy to know how quickly we pick up where we left off, and how much she energizes me in what she does and what we do together (never mind that ocean and time difference).

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I got to know Al at the end of my junior year in college. We were both Political Science majors, but had never taken any classes together until then. Since we were both gone fall semester junior year (she in Washington D.C. and I in Santiago, Chile) we had to take this class called Methodology (or Methods as it is known) in the spring. So we had Methods together, and at the same time one of our honors classes on poverty alleviation with my mentor Welker. During this time we got to know more ABOUT each other but we didn´t hang out. But in the summer we were basically the only people around on campus, and Welker set us up to become friends. Why? Because we are meant to be together!

Look, I come from the cold and ice of Sweden and Al comes from the land of corn and dairy of Ohio, but there are so many things we have in common, such as our interest in politics, hard work, work outs, good food, family, fashion, and saving the world.

I´ve wanted to write this entry about Al all week long but I feel like I am not doing it well enough for how much she means to me. But today I went running and I thought “screw it, the most important thing is that I write it, not how well it is written.” Going running also reminded me how much it means to have a person like Al in my life. When we lived on blocks next to each other last year, we were so good at going to work out together all the time. We did this program called Insanity in Al´s living room or the racquetball court at the gym, we went for angry ranting walks to the country club and back, and we got out there so often together. As much as I need somebody to go working out with, I need a partner in crime in the work that I do. I need Al to bounce ideas with, I need her to listen to what I say and to point out things that I cannot see myself. I need her to dress up with me and go to a presentation and present the living hell out of our material (which we do very well by the way).

I need her to be silly with me and goof around. I need her to go buy beer and sit on a roof/in the honors house to write a thesis together. I need her to remind me that if a person doesn´t like all of me, then he/she is nothing worth spending energy on. I need her to come with me and sit in the waiting room at important meetings, just knowing that she is out there with me.

I need her to come out with me and scare the shit out of people because we make a great team together. I need her to talk about women that inspire us and make up teams such as “Team Rhinestone” in honor of the chair of the political science department. I need her to tell me about her job and life and realize that we are often in the same structures of lowest on the ladder in the workplace.

Having a person like Al in your life is something that I wish everybody had. Just as much as she helped me exercise my body, she helps exercise my mind. She has chops, as Welker would have said. She is a smart, funny, loving, good-looking great friend. With partners like her, you go great lengths in work and you develop yourself as a human being.

This reminds me of Al. This could also be a video we made together, I wouldn´t doubt it.

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