Flicking through the channels, I found a programme featuring an interview with an author who had written a book based on the theme of making the best of attractiveness when trying to get ahead in business. For a moment, I thought I might have woken up in the 1970s but no, here we are in 2018, 100 years since women finally won the right to vote and the issue of attractiveness is being hotly debated by two female presenters and two respected academics .
I really enjoy developing equality and diversity training, something which has been really close to my heart for so many years. On the surface, it would appear that there have been so many changes in this area and that our work is done! But watching this interview this morning I was left with a sinking feeling that there is still so much to do.
Most of us would probably argue that we aren’t influenced by how people look, after all it’s not how we look but what we do that counts…surely? But we just need to turn on our television or pick up a magazine to see that this focus on outward appearance is everywhere around us and our young women are at particular risk of being sucked in as they struggle for pouty lips and perfectly arched eyebrows while their male counterparts worry about their physiques, whether they are tall enough, strong enough or how well they conform to what is currently considered attractive.
Everyone of us has the same central need, the need to be seen and heard. Many of us are lucky enough to have that need met by good and loving relationships and friends but sometimes that simply isn’t enough and we struggle to feel accepted just as we are because, at heart, we struggle to accept ourselves... Every day I hear stories about people who feel that they are invisible, who don’t place any value on who they are and what they contribute and it informs absolutely everything I do.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if each and every one of us could really see the skills and talents that we have and the precious qualities that make us individual and special? Isn’t now a good time to let go of some of those demands we put on ourselves and accept ourselves exactly as we are?
Don't agonise, orrganise!