ICYMI: After 6, Body Image In The Workplace

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Last week, we hosted our monthly After 6: Career Conversations event online.

This month, we partnered with Dressing Room 8 -- an organization that empowers women through fashion and coaching -- to talk about Body Image in the Workplace. It was a dynamic panel conversation, with professional women from a variety of industries -- Education, the Arts, Development, Law, Entrepreneurship, and Fashion -- and the conversation got really real.

Over the course of an hour, we covered topics like: rocking our natural hair at work, being the "only one," advocating for ourselves and other women, self-love, the role of colorism in the workplace, and our favorite body image role models.

Here are some gems from the event, in case you missed it:

On the conversation about natural hair in the workplace: "The fact that we as women have to think about our hair before we go anywhere is just ridiculous. It's sad that we still live in a society where we have to think about that first." - Nanthale Collins, Style Blogger & Fashion Stylist

"There's written and unwritten rules at work...unfortunately, depending on your work environment, you do have to play the game...We're trying to change a workplace that wasn't created for us to advance." - Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo

How skin color or body shape plays a role in the workplace:

"I feel people see my fat before they see my black or my gender." - Nanthale Collins, Style Blogger & Fashion Stylist

Sometimes I think my joy is mistaken for stupidity...[My joy] puts people at a spot of distrust, because as a black woman, as a plus sized woman, I'm not only supposed to not like myself, I'm also supposed to be angry. I'm not supposed to have sex. I'm not supposed to dance. I'm not supposed to be joyful." - Cathleen Meredith, Playwright, Blogstress, Founder of FATGIRLSDANCE

How to be a better advocates for ourselves and others when body shaming occurs:

"We [as women] are so complicit in shaming ourselves...we have to educate ourselves and educate others...We've got to stop playing along with this European standard of beauty." - Marcia McNair, Author & Playwright of Sistas On Fire

"Two out of three mean tweets are done by women about themselves...it all stems from self-loathing...there is an inner mean person inside of all of us." - Cathleen Meredith, Playwright, Blogstress, Founder of FATGIRLSDANCE

"Don't create a culture, and don't participate in a culture, of silence when [body shaming] happens." - Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo

"You need to become the friend to yourself that you are to other people. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend." - Marcia McNair

"Speak up and educate." - Nanthale Collins, Style Blogger & Fashion Stylist

Write to us, or reply in the comments to let us know your thoughts on body image in the workplace. What has your experience been (both positive and negative)? How can we be better advocates for ourselves and others?

To learn more about Dressing Room 8, our partner for the event, visit their web site at www.dressingroom8.com

Every month, we discuss a different topic at our After 6 events. If you haven’t attended an After 6: Career Conversations event yet, you’re missing out! Make sure to join us for our next one, on Thursday, October 19.