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Are You Pretty Enough for Your Job?

Your Hidden Weapons

By Chere B. Estrin

Some time back, I was on the cover of a legal trade publication. I was so excited. The editor wanted to portray me as a fortune teller predicting the future of the legal industry. The photographer dressed me up in a spectacular colorful costume complete with a bandana, lots and lots of jewelry, big earrings and very heavy makeup while holding a crystal ball.  I hardly recognized myself. This, I thought, was going to be a winner. 

Fast forward and the magazine comes out. Actually, what happened was one of my staffers picked up the magazine from the mail and came into the conference room where we were all having a meeting. He held up the magazine and proudly announced, “It’s here!” I took one look at it and my immediate thought was, “What is my mother doing on the cover of that magazine?”

It’s true. In this day and age of Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapshot and all other social media, how you look has become important. Perhaps too important. What happened to “beauty within”? Out the window, I’m afraid. 

Now, I am a woman of a certain age. It’s true. I no longer deny it, even to myself. The good part of this is that I find myself unafraid of almost anything. At this stage in my life and career, I have been there, done that and honestly, sometimes won’t do it again. 

I tried everything to look not necessarily younger, but just more, well, put together and ride this horse in the direction it is going. Looking at myself constantly on Zoom was a nightmare. Oh sure, I used the gadgets that softened you up, gave you fake eyebrows and puffy lips but the problem was, if you so much as moved an inch, you had eyebrows floating above your head and lips that were to the side of your mouth. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work.  

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