My ‘sexy’ photo does not make me unprofessional
‘You’ll never get a job like that’
“If you’re really serious about having a career, you won’t post pictures like that.”
“People are going to see THAT when you apply for jobs.”
“Didn’t you want to be a politician? Not with that photo!”
I’m very vocal about my career aspirations — what I wish to accomplish, where I wish to be in terms of my professional journey. But I am constantly criticized for the pictures I post on my social media accounts in regards to my future career plans.
My journey with confidence and appreciation of my body has been long and draining, filled with tears and hatred – a constant struggle of disliking the way my body looks. But recently, I have reached a point in my life where I have chosen self-love over self-hatred, and I am proud of the body I have.
I’m not afraid to post pictures on my social media accounts of myself in a bikini, and so I do. But, with every ‘sexy’ picture I post, comes a new critique. With how vocal I am about my future career, people feel the need to lecture me about how pictures like that will get me in trouble in the long run.
This makes me very angry.
First of all, it comes down to the fact that women’s bodies are hyper-sexualized no matter where they are, what they are wearing, or how they look. When I am in a bikini and I post a photo of myself on Instagram, it’s the exact same thing someone would see if they were on the beach with me, or at a pool. Yet somehow because I have transferred that image to a social media site, it’s different. Even if I have my body tilted at a certain angle, someone always has a snide remark to make.
And then, you have the fact that a photo on social media somehow decreases your credibility as a professional. One photo and all of your academic achievements, humanitarian efforts and hours of hard work are not valid anymore. And I hate to say it, but this situation only applies to women.
For instance, when male doctors in Ireland appeared shirtless in sexy photos for a calendar to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland, that did not detract from their professionalism or expertise. In fact, it actually boosted their credibility.
But, let’s say female doctors were to appear scantily clad for a calendar to raise money for a certain cause. They would immediately be degraded, looked at as “lesser” or “dumb.” If female professionals pose for photos like that, it could even jeopardize their careers.
This is another twisted way that highlights how a female’s looks are put before anything else.
My body has no effect on my intelligence or capabilities, and neither do the pictures I post on social media. I know that I will be successful in my future professional endeavors, and a photo of myself in a bikini isn’t going to change that.