I was recently taking yet again, another professional profile photo. The photographer was great – good attention to detail, provided good direction and overall stated, “present a professional and approachable image – one where a client would be interested in retaining you”. That worked for me.
But then another individual in the room piped up, “Look like a stewardess!”
I understand that this person was trying to condense the direction being provided by the photographer, but in this day and age, is that the direction we want to provide to our female lawyers, let alone our female partners? Because, and I know you know what I am going to say, the direction of looking like a stewardess would never be directed to any of the male lawyers taking the photo. In fact – I would be curious to determine what concise term was used. Was it, “look like a Boss!” or “look powerful”?
Seriously – why hasn’t there been an evolution in the business world? In order for someone like me to attract the attention of a client with my profile photo, I have to look a certain way? In fact, even the direction regarding how to dress for the photo was puzzling – no bare shoulders!!
Well – having just finished Marie Henein’s book, “Nothing but the truth”, where she ridicules such requests for photos, I decided to dress in the manner in which I was comfortable and in keeping with my brand. And in some of the photos, my bare shoulders were showing. But that’s ok, because in taking the photo, I decided to channel my inner Beyonce, Marie Henein and …..my mom. Because my mom would have been loud, confident, stylish and perfectly herself. And really, in the end, many times, we are a manifestation of our parents’ dreams. Especially for my mom, her life was decided for her because of her family dynamic and she really had no control about major decisions in her life. But she wanted a different life for me. One where I had control over my being and could make decisions for myself and direct my life.
And so I channeled that energy into my photo. Whenever I take a professional photo, I always wear a piece of jewelry given to me by my mom. This time – it was my earrings. It makes me feel like she is a part of the photo.
And as an aside, the look of the flight attendant in today’s modern world has been changing. Many airlines are now embracing a more comfortable uniform for their flight attendants and no longer do they have to look uniform but can represent a diversity of ages and backgrounds. So – perhaps that was what was meant with the direction, look like a stewardess? I like to give the benefit of the doubt.
But that’s just one Diva’s view.