If you read my last post - I mentioned that there were some issues with my outfit. Unfortunately it's not the first time that my choice of clothing has been questioned but I couldn't quite put my finger on what the 'issue' was. It took 3 years, but it finally revealed itself - it's my size.
There was a dress code at my job and in addition to the dress code I made a point to dress appropriately (cleavage, skirt length, etc) because whether I realize it or not the female students take cues from the female faculty. I see it all as an opportunity to mix classics with on trend pieces and still make the dress code work for me as well as adhere to the rules.
Or so I thought.
I've seen some of my other colleagues wear sky high heels, short skirts, and too-tight clothes. But when I wear 4" heels, pencil skirt, or anything not the "New England Norm" I always get a 'magical' email, meeting or raised brow. Most of the older adults dress conservatively, but that's their choice if I want to wear bright colors, mix prints or do my hair differently I don't think that should be a cause for concern.
It took my awhile but eventually it started to make sense - if you are not used to 'difference', then anything outside of the norm (size 0-10) rocks the boat. Basically, it felt like there was a different dress code standard for me ( a plus size woman) from my straight size counterparts. If I'm not hiding underneath bulky clothing and instead I'm comfortable with showing legs or arms (gasp!) then those around me can just deal with it.
It wasn't until the auction night when someone asked me if I thought that a "woman of my size" should wear shoes like the ones I wore that years of uncertainty and uneasiness became clear. And that's when it all came together - my clothing and my confidence made those around me uncomfortable because they were not used to it. What did my size have to do with anything?
My role at my job dealt with issues of diversity and equity so this realization shouldn't have alarmed me the way it did. I dealt with issues of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality but only minimally with sizeism and now I was trying to sort out how to deal with it in my own situation. How do you express to those you work with that they are discriminating based on someone's size? I'm still trying to figure out the answer.
How do you or would you teach adults, especially those you work with that sizeism is a form of ignorance? Have you ever felt that the dress code at your job or school is different for plus-sizes?
~Luvin' My Curves