Rejecting the ‘Barbie box’

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Actress Amber Heard may not inspire much interest or sympathy among working women. She’s stunning and rich, and worries about things like losing her freedom to fame.

Still, in a recent Elle article, she made an interesting point about not wanting to be put in a “Barbie box” for her work:

“I feel like I’m constantly fighting against my exterior, or this exterior presentation of myself because of how I look or perhaps because of who I’m with.”

There are women whose jobs depend on them looking like someone’s fantasy version of a female. Such work can be lucrative and, depending on a woman’s preferences, satisfying.

But many women feel burdened by employers who create career constraints based on superficial perceptions of gender and capabilities. On a related noted, working mothers know all too well the frustration of finding themselves shoved into a “mommy track” by an employer over fears that family obligations will interfere with productivity.

–Ruth

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