To be or Not to be

To be promoted or not 
To be tokenized or not 
To be recognized or not
To be appreciated or not
To wear the wig or not
To straighten the hair or not
To accessorize or not
To speak up or not
To cry or not
To be validated or not
To actually care or not
These are feelings I have before , during and after interviews and while working…  #geesh

Employers usually state
“EQUAL OPPORTUNITY people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or inter-sex are encouraged to apply. The company maintains a policy of non-discrimination with respect to employees and applicants for employment. No aspect of employment will be influenced in any matter by race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, physical disability (including HIV or AIDS), medical condition, perceived physical disability, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by statute.”
Is this statement really true? If an individual “somehow” does not feel the liberty to be themselves… at the time of interview and when they are employed? So… how do you know? I don’t believe you really know unless you take the opportunity. Whether if you were honest, pretended to be someone you are not to get the job or changed your appearance…. Opportunities get you in the door but its up to you to use it, right.? So you use the opportunity to find out
.. there is more to the story…
Time and time has shown me that opportunities are not based on 
my degrees, certificates or outstanding project record. Or that I helped to open 3 non profits… or I helped families in need… nope.. etc
Sometimes opportunities are presented by
  1. Who you know…
  2. Do you have the papers (degree) to back it up
  3. Ooh experience… we can teach you… dont “worry about that”
So the person is hired on relationship
while the person who does not is questioning 
Are they a fit? Do they fit the idea promotion? Do they fit the agenda of the company?  
In my experiences, in order to be selected I had to fit in “someone’s idea”. Unfortunately, this includes looks, accessories, especially hair.
Hair is a struggle… 
I’ve been nicked picked at for the things I am not… because it will make me  “easier to understand.” For example,  if you wear your hair like this, you will be taken “more seriously”. 
For years… I just want to be myself and not worry about all these opinions of what I may say or not
Or Shanina, doesn’t understand….
My facial expression … is not approachable…
My opinion … to direct…
My response…. sounds like you are angry 
Or I am never profressional enough
Classy enough
Smart enough to be shown in front of “important people”. 
Shanina style has never been the one to know “how to talk to people.” She says embarrassing quotes.
Or Shanina, someone may misunderstand your appearance.
 
“Looking profressional enough” means to straighten my hair,
Have no opinion 
Dress up everyday 
Wear make up so I can be taken seriously and “older”

For me, profressional environment is to never … to never be myself. I battle with it often. I know my stuggle with “professionalism” has been used against me.
So the business I want to have is to ensure the equal opportunity is true always.
Stay encourage, Shanina

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