I accepted and declined a TV offer all in one week.
I accepted for the possibility. I accepted for the possibility of a new challenge on a national scale. I accepted for the opportunity to be a light. I accepted for another opportunity to be a great role model and example.
I declined for the expectations. I declined for it didn't align with my brand nor integrity. I declined for the opportunity to be a light. I declined for another opportunity to be a great role model and example.
I go about my career decisions with a few questions in mind:
- How will this allow me to glorify the kingdom?
- Am I comfortable with all of the expectations?
- How will this this affect the balance of my professional and personal life?
- How will my image and brand be represented?
As a woman in the TV industry I unfortunately feel as though physical expectations are at an all time high. I like to think we are hired for our talent, which we typically are... but you've got to look good on TV, right? We need to stay fit and be easy on the eye for the viewers pleasure. I mean that's what we're told and it's pretty much understood.
I remember telling a TV exec one day about the dramatic shifts I've seen in our industry. I remember saying something along the lines of "well maybe if I hiked my skirt up a little more or pulled my shirt down there would be more opportunities". He agreed but told me to stick to who I was. I wouldn't have made it this far without being the authentic me.
More and more internal stories continue to evolve about women/reporters/TV hosts being considered for roles simply because of their social media klout or how good they look with the little they're wearing... social media has allowed us to showcase the highlights, the cleavage, the bikini shots and all. And yes, they typically get more likes on the gram.
I've been incredibly fortunate to have had bosses and co workers where the conversation of image or suggestion to show a little more skin has never been an issue. I've been able to dress fun, trendy and aesthetically appealing at the end of the day. Most importantly, I've been consistently successful staying true to my integrity, my brand and the example that's being set for young girls wanting to go into this profession.
I was presented with an awesome opportunity this week. It could have been the dream job with a little bit of dream money, so to speak. However, as exciting as this opportunity sounded, something never settled with me. I heard thigh and cleavage all in one sentence after I accepted the offer.
I immediately began to think about my high school girls and the conversations we have on Sunday nights about body image and acceptance, among other things. I have a more important role in my life these days and that revolves around 15 year old girls who are constantly battling these conversations.
They're battling the belief showing skin gets them boys. Well, actually, it does. The 15 year old boys and their raging hormones love seeing skin. Shoot, 60 year old men love seeing skin. But emotionally where does that leave my young girls? Broken and misunderstood until they realize how physical men are and how emotional us women are. There's a disconnect until we're mature enough to understand how it all works together.
I wasn't going to feel comfortable being in a situation and being in clothes where I wasn't practicing what I was preaching. I look at some of my friends in the industry (Ponder, Ledlow, to name a few) and proud of how they stay true to who they are and ALWAYS look adorable and fly.
I've learned opportunities will come and go. If you have the talent and the drive, the opportunities will come. It is up to you about the ones you let go.
I let go of an opportunity I felt compromised my integrity and brand. I let go of an opportunity in which I felt I wasn't going to be authentically represented. I let go of an opportunity that didn't meet all of those questions I mentioned above.
Always hold onto your integrity for better opportunities will come.