Human v Professional | Rebecca Jane column
Her crime?! Being at a party with her friends, having a good time and footage being ‘leaked’.
Because videos showed her dancing, she had to defend claims she had taken drugs!
At what point did we declare professionalism translated to ‘Stuffy, boring human, who has no life and must remain stern at all times?!’. More importantly than than, who gave anyone a right to see a video of a woman dancing and assume she had been taking drugs?!
I’m a professional person, but my image and attitude can often sit on that borderline. In fact, I’m constantly on the borderline!
I work in mental health, and I’m the chief executive of a couple of charities and a private clinic. On paper, that falls into ‘stuffy, boring’ box. That’s the type of human expected to have my job role. However, that is certainly not who I am.
My appearance is over the top, my presence is often shrill, constantly joking, pulling practical pranks, often flirtatious and makes questionable life choices. On my social media, I don’t hide it either. I portray exactly who I am, and most would agree there are two sides to me.
My beloved Lee Roe, owner of Ribble FM sums my personality up well.
‘There are just two sides of you. There’s Rebecca, the home bird, who will do anything for anyone, who is sensible, mature, gets the work done, ploughs through at 100 miles a hour… and then we have ‘RJ’. The bold, brash, demanding, bull in a China shop…’
A former employer once pulled me into the office because his wife wasn’t thrilled with my social media presence, and public persona. He asked me if it was ‘worth it’ and should we tone my image down?
My reply was quite simple. ‘I think about that a lot, and I get it. I get I don’t fit into the ‘normal’ box for the work I do. I get how I sit on the boundary… but I am me. Why can’t people be both? Why do I have to be serious and stern to be taken seriously? People do actually take me seriously when it comes to my work, because no matter what I portray, I always get the job done. My work speaks for itself, and anyone can be whomever they want to be in life. I prefer to be authentically me than conform and portray something that isn’t true, because if I’m not authentic - no one will take me seriously about anything then’.
He snapped his notepad shut, had a huge smile on his face and said…
‘That’s enough for me RJ, you crack on….’
He never brought it up again. In fact, when one member of the public made a comment, he fiercely defended me.
No one should have to stand in a press conference and defend dancing with their friends and having a good time. The woman has a serious job, she gets the work done and she shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed for anyone to see her being human!
If it was a man in her position, would he have had to defend himself?! I doubt it.
We’re women. We ARE wild, creative, passionate, dramatic, we have fun and with all of that brings a serious tribe of women ready to set the world on fire, in their own, often small, and individual ways. Please let us be! Don’t put us in a box that you want us to conform to, let us be authentic and unashamedly ourselves.
And Sanna… you keep on dancing!