We Can Be Professional Too

As you guys know, I am currently in grad school, obtaining my master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology. Update on grad school, it’s tougher than I thought it would be but rewarding when I take meaningful classes. This winter, I decided to take an accelerated course, 3 weeks, 3 times a week, for almost 4 hours a day. Yeah, it was pretty brutal. But, the class or frequency of the course was not the issue. The professor was an opinionated, filterless older gentleman that definitely said a lot of questionable things for the duration of the class. One of his comments resonated with me and inspired this blog post. “I don’t hire bigger people for a certain position because they don’t look as professional when they are speaking to the public.” This sparked a comment from one of my more vocal classmates, “so, because someone is bigger, they can’t look professional?” He made no comment but sort of shook his head.

Let me say this, I get that being “healthy” is a requirement for certain positions. In this case, the professor was referring to fire station chiefs. But I have seen bigger people who are incredibly healthy, their bodies are just bigger. I see heavier police officers who can still run and chase down criminals, it may be rare, but it happens. What does size have to do with looking professional? Do they not make professional clothing in plus sizes for men and women? Do we all look sloppy and unkempt? Is it impossible for a bigger person to deliver a message to the public about a traumatic situation and for them to be taken seriously? If someone is watching the news and the fire station chief is talking about a traumatic event, and the first thing that comes to mind is “why is this big person delivering this message?” then we have a bigger problem with society than I thought. 

As a bigger person, I need to showcase things like this. I took a very negative comment in my opinion and turned into a positive by giving you guys some professional looks. I did not go back and forth with this man because it wasn’t worth it. He would’ve caused me to come out of character, and I’m not doing that either. I also want to say, don’t let people like this professor ruin your confidence. It took me a long time to be confident with my body, and I stopped allowing comments to affect me in a more profound form. We are always going to get these comments, and it’s okay. Hold your heads high and walk forward like you own the whole building. As a young, black, plus-sized woman, I am always fighting for acceptance from all avenues. If I let every comment get to me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten anywhere, I would be in an unhealthy place mentally. Society will attempt to push their “norms” onto you and speak negatively about something, ANYTHING that they deem a deviation from that. Being too tall as a woman, too short as a man, too chubby, too skinny, too dark, too pale, too vocal, too independent, too young, too old, too intelligent, etc., people will find something to talk about. I’m fighting for my personal rights as a plus-sized woman for my body to be considered “beautiful” by society. It’s always going to be something, weed out the negative, and focus on the positive. Every form of beauty is essential in this world, how boring would it be if we were all the same.

Regarding professionalism, don’t even worry about this professor and his comments. Everyone can be professional if need be. I had a little fun with this though. I hope you guys enjoy my looks as much as I enjoyed taking these pictures. Oh, and HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH! 

Floral paper bag pants, white high neck top, burgundy heels. Let me mention that most of these clothes are from Target. It doesn’t even cost that much to look professional! 

Mint colored suit (YASS favorite color), cream top, nude heels. I saw this suit and almost passed out, they had it in my size for one, but the color honey! 

Printed skirt, cropped sweater, nude heels. You guys are probably like, “We just saw this skirt!” You’re right! But I wanted to show you the versatility in clothing. I don’t always buy new things for blog posts, and to be honest, I don’t always have the funds to do so, I got professional bills! But you can take certain items from your wardrobe and dress them differently! 

Black pants with a white stripe, white hi-lo shirt, snakeskin heels, black headband with pearls. More like what I actually wear to work! An effortless look can be dressed up with patterned shoes.


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