Project Confidence: Being a Lady in a “Man’s” Job

Kate Middleton

 

I don’t know what I would class myself as; I wouldn’t say I’m a feminine girl but I also wouldn’t say I’m a tomboy. I’m not gawky but then I’m not dainty. I’m not refined but I’m not impolite. I am ME. And at the moment, I’m not OK with that.

As part of Project Confidence, I have been thinking a lot lately about who I am and who I want to be. While I have a rough idea of some of the characteristics that I want to display and some of the characteristics that I possess but want to abolish, I don’t have a clear idea in my head about who I want to be: I think that may come later as I learn more about myself. That being said, I definitely want to express my feminine side. However I face one major problem:

 

MY JOB.

Since September 2012, I have been working in the storeroom of a department store. Inevitably, this involves opening boxes, lifting microwaves and moving mattresses, to name a few of my daily tasks. It has definitely helped me gain strength and I have to say that I am happier out the back than I was when I had been serving customers on the shopfloor.

Nonetheless, I still see the shopfloor assisstants walking by wearing their pretty dresses with their perfectly manicured nails and dainty dolly-shoes and I yearn after their job. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t miss the rude customers and inability to work on any task for the main part of the day in order to serve said customers. But when I look at these ‘girly girls’ and then I look at myself, dressed in the same uniform as the lads and wearing clunky steel toe-capped boots, it makes me wonder if I will ever be able to be a girly girl while I’m in this job.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m not a naturally petite person (I have quite wide hips and broad shoulders, plus I’m the height of the average male in England) so people don’t tend to view me as delicate. I’m generally seen as one of the lads; one of them even commented a while back saying “yes, but if a girl asks then the answer is no.” I was quite shocked and speechless: am I not a girl to him? Because I can lift as much as he can, does that make me masculine and manly? There are still so many people at work who would rather have a lad helping them lift them something than they would me and it does frustrate me, as I am just as capable as them, but can I simultaneously be seen as a girly girl?

We are allowed to wear skirts where I work but that would be impractical and unfashionable (who wants to wear skirts with bulky boots?!) so what can I do?

  1. I think the first step for me is to hold myself better. I tend to slouch a lot and lean on tables, desks and cabinets where available in order to appear shorter (bad, bad bad habit!) and I think it might help me feel more refined if I stand up straight and hold myself like a lady.
  2. The second step is something I actually do but should continue to do: style my appearance. My natural hair is frizzy, like the pre-Princess Mia Thermopolis (well, not that bad, but nearly there!) and when I blowdry it, it looks quite sleek. Plus, my skin looks better when I have a face of makeup and I also think the makeup deters me from rubbing my face and being quite rough with my skin.
  3. The third is about my personality: I have to think before I speak. I have been trying to do this more often recently but I think I really need to make more of an effort. I am definitely more of an introvert than an extrovert, to the extent that I sometimes find it hard to speak to people as I’m not outgoing and struggle to hold a conversation. Plus, people tend to brush over what I say quite easily. Hopefully, if I think before I speak and determine whether my comment is Thoughtful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind, I’ll be less of a bambling idiot who trips over her tongue and more of an eloquent lady.


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Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting to turn into Kate Middleton overnight, I know that that is impossible and quite frankly, too much hard work. However, I would like to channel Kate to hopefully gain some elegance in my life. People may be against me changing who I am as my family and friends say that I am a lovely person already but ultimately, if I’m not happy with who I am why shouldn’t I change myself for the better?

I know it will be hard work but the best stuff is always the hardest to achieve.

 

– Taisie ♥

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