I’m a pathologist, a physician that examines human tissue under the microscope, looking for abnormal cells. And I’m female. And (relatively) young. What mental image popped into your mind’s eye? A plain-Jane bookish woman, wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a conservative suit? Perhaps a mousy, humorless, furrowed-brow type in a stained lab coat? What color is my hair? Am I wearing an outfit from J. Jill? A thumb ring? Louboutins? Wait. What kind of physician wears agonizing 5 inch heels that cost more than rent? It’s so… impractical. If your doctor wore Loubs, would you somehow begin to question her sensibility? Would that budding skepticism also question her diagnostic acumen or fund of medical knowledge?
I — along with many professional women — have felt and still feel the pressure to downplay our trivial and/or socially unacceptable interests in the workplace in fear our competence would be questioned. It’s okay for men to spend hundreds of dollars and many hours trying to get a tiny white ball into a tiny hole in the ground, but women can’t enjoy shopping without being superficial or makeup without being vain. We’re apparently only supposed to jam on yoga and babies. It’s bullshit. So when I saw a feature about a pharmacist on Into The Gloss (http://intothegloss.com/2015/02/asha-patel-jewelry-designer/), I was stoked. Inspired, I threw together a piece, took a few shitty pictures, sent them into the stratosphere and promptly forgot about it, figuring my unglamorous life (see: clogs, industrial park) would not provoke much interest.
Imagine my shock when ITG reached out six weeks later and said they wanted to use it, calling my bluff. Cue the immediate existential crisis. Do I want an article about skincare and makeup to come up when a patient Googles me? Or how about my colleagues, or potential employers? Fret, fret, fret. I mean, I was mortified posting photos of my products on Instagram. Who was going to judge me there, my tattoo artist? The other crazy cat ladies? Stupid. Stupid! Given that I am generally unconcerned with other people’s opinions of me, this was asinine. I said to myself, fuck it. You’re a medical director. You manage other pathologists. You’ve been in practice for over five years. You’re not posting photos of yourself snorting coke in a strip club. You’ve earned the right to talk about silly shit and not be embarrassed about it.
And so it was: http://intothegloss.com/2015/03/megan-duffy/
And so it is.
Welcome. We’re going to be talking about a lot of silly shit here.