“Girl they told me to go home and change my shirt. And I could possibly get written up for having to leave. I don’t get it, the other girls wear shirts just like this, but nobody says anything.”
I was packing my lunch and trying to get Apollo settled as I listened to my friend complain. See Alana is built like a stallion. About 5’8 and curves like a back road. Blessed with long athletic legs, big melons for breast and a gorgeous face to match. She can’t hide in a crowd if she tried. It seemed like no matter what she wore it was an issue. Unfortunately, since she is blessed with this body, she can’t hide it. It doesn’t matter what she wears. Her body is going to stand out.
I listened before I agreed that I thought she was being centered out. She was the only black woman in her department. The other women wore mini skirts and low cut tops, but for some reason they were never called out about their appearance. The chaos about clothing always got started when Alana showed up. I asked Alana to send me a picture of her in her top.
Hmmm, it looked regular to me. No cleavage. No tatts. Just perky double d’s in a blouse. She couldn’t help that. No sweater would hide it.
Alana is not the only black woman I know who has gone through this type of treatment. I myself have been victim of discrimination and nitpicking for my clothing. Especially, when I was younger and always turning heads. It was as if I was penalized if a man stared too long, or if I received compliments. I noticed a bunch of struggles when I worked with the public. Plus, I had the bubbly personality to match.
I do believe that you should be mindful and dress appropriately for work. No super low cut tops or skirts up your butt . But a form fitting dress, paired with a blazer on a black woman is still seen as sexy. It seems at times that no matter what we wear, it does not fit the professional standards.
I know how it was. Being a woman who wanted to add some sassiness to a business suit. I totally understood Alana. Although, I don’t have as many curves as Alana. Being a petite woman I have an ample backside. So my pencil skirts stand out and eyes will notice. Comments will be made and oh the shade…
As I sit around with my female friends with rich melanin, we compare corporate notes and it is amazing the stories. If not discrimination for our hair, it is our curves. Then it is how we talk. It is our swag. It forces so many women to try to conform to an image that is not authentic. It forces women of color to try to dim their light in order to blend in. Knowing damn well, we cannot blend in.
Fortunately, I have not personally experienced this in the current corporation that I am employed. Because honestly if I did, I would be looking elsewhere. I suggest that to any woman of color or woman period who feels that they can no longer be themselves. It is one thing to be conservative and to be mindful of your image. It is another to have to be played down and treated unfairly, because of your unique and God-blessed beauty.