Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What Can I Wear to This Conference?

What should I wear to this conference
That will help me get a good job?
I want to look professional, I want to look respectable,
But I own more field pants than real pants
And most of my closet's quick-dry
Nothing in my closet says "take me into the field!"
Without also saying "I am a slob!"
Conferences are supposed to be professional
But that's only part of this job.

Problem Number Two: I'm a girl.
I'm short and I'm blonde: people don't expect much from me (they should)
Should I wear heels, or dye my hair?
Maybe they'd listen better if I was a brunette
Or wore a sports bra. 

Makeup and colored nails are out, or are they in?
I want them to think I'm a grown-up woman. Well, ideally they'd think I was a man
Or a woman who was just like a man. 
But if I don't look good, will I be memorable? Will I be that girl
In the over-sized shirt (that hid her boobs)
And the baggy pants (that hid her ass)
Bland; lacking visible self-confidence.

Tailoring makes you look snappy, but I don't want a boyfriend or hookup, I just want a job.
Stare at my poster
Ask for my business card
I'm not here to be attractive


All my life "a good personality" has been a consolation prize
Ascribed those whose bodies left them seemingly without value.

It's hard to shake that off sometimes.

Can I just wear a burka?

Can I print my resume on a T-Shirt and wear it down to my knees?
Just dress in the ever-growing list of my accomplishments?
Maybe I should tattoo it on my arms.
Or write it on my ass, instead of "Miami" or "Hottie" or whatever those pants always come with.

Can we institute a conference uniform, where we're all the same except for our work?
(May I suggest burkas for all?)

Maybe I should get a powersuit. 
But I'll look like a kid playing dress-up with my baby face
(Maybe I could draw in some wrinkles? Or bags under my eyes?)

What about footwear: heels, boots, slippers -
should I clack when I walk and be tall when I talk?
Should I gird my legs in leather up to my calves, ankles, or knees?
Wait - if my shoes are too nice, will they think I can't hike?

What can I wear to this conference
That will help me get myself a job?
That's a good start.
But sadly not the end
Because presence is an art

So while men walk around in dirty jeans
And greasy comb-overs
And expect to be taken seriously 
By the sole virtue of experience
I will be judged on my shoes, and my nails, and my face
Long before you ask to see my CV.
Because I am a woman.

Aww, fuck it.
I'm from the Northwest
I'll wear the professional uniform of my people
And just impress the shit out of you anyway.

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