Own Your Body
Your career as a hairdresser makes you hyper aware of beauty and appearance. Do you feel that team members treat you a certain way based on your appearance? Do clients judge you for the way you look?
Even if you do not feel that your appearance affects your work, many of your clients probably are facing those issues at their own workplace. Dr. Sherrie Campbell, a therapist in the Los Angeles area and author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person, lists these appearance factors that can play a negative role in your work image:
- Sexy dressing. People who dress sexy in the workplace can be seen as less intelligent than they are and may not be taken seriously. Classy gets you farther than sexy.
- Extremely good-looking. If you’re stunningly beautiful, you probably wouldn’t want to change that. But Campbell says that beautiful women can be perceived as aloof and handsome men as arrogant. Unfortunately, coworkers can shun you because of their own jealousy. Campbell suggests going out of your way to compliment others, work hard, and be a team player.
- Overweight. “People who are overweight are often viewed as not disciplined or having a lack of self-control,” Campbell observes. She points out that when overweight women announce a weight loss goal, everyone rallies around them to support their efforts.
- Short. Some people view short women as just cute or more childlike. “Let your personality, hard work and people skills do the talking,” Campbell advises. “Commit to your job, stand tall in your stature with good posture and let your performance and charm win everyone over.”
- Very skinny. “Being thin is often viewed as being frail or weak,” Campbell says. You may be perceived as not strong enough or too young or immature to do your job. If you’re so thin that you look unhealthy, “people can react to that in similar fashion to how overweight people are viewed—as not having self-care.” If you are unable to gain a little weight, Campbell suggests using your voice more often “to show the size of your confidence and ability to be a leader.”
What role has your body image played in your career at the salon? Let us know! Write us at [email protected]