Hey loves.. Today is February 1st- Day 1 of Black History Month. I wanted to share with you guys something that happened almost 5 years ago- about a month into my first job as a pharmacist (For those of you who don’t know, I am a Licensed Pharmacist here in Canada?). I started working at a Retail Pharmacy in my area shortly after graduation. Because of the area where my pharmacy was located, our customers were mostly middle – upper class individuals in their 40s upwards… The kind of people you would assume would be educated. So you would imagine my surprise when one day someone said to me “You look like you should be in a music video”
Let me backtrack a little.
A customer had a question about a medication. She was initially greeted by the pharmacy assistant so she asked to speak to the pharmacist (thats ME). When I walked up to her, the look on her face gave away her shock and sheer confusion…”Your the pharmacist?” She managed to utter. She continued… “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like you should be in a music video.. not in a pharmacy”.
I smiled, tried to shake off the disappointment I felt in that moment and proceeded to ask her what she needed help with.
I would love to say that the interaction I described above was a one off. Unfortunately, throughout my career, I have become too familiar with the many awkward moments, questioning stares and ridiculous questions… Not just from patients, but also from those I work with.
You see.. I am young, I am a woman and I AM BLACK. I realize that it is hard for people to take me seriously in a professional setting at first glance. But what I have learned is the ability to work twice as hard to be recognized as equal. It is unfortunate that in today’s society we need to teach our Black women to do more, work harder and go that extra mile to receive the same opportunities as our counterparts.
Today is Day 1 of Black History Month! A month to celebrate Black History, Black people and all awesomeness that we as a people share.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like you should be in a music video.”
How can I not take this the wrong way?! Sure there’s nothing wrong with being in a music video. What is wrong is people’s assumption that because I look a certain way, I should live and act according to the stereotypes they have in their mind.
This post is a reminder for women of colour to continue to do the absolute most!! The world may not immediately embrace your uniqueness and what you have to bring to the table, but you have to be strong to break the image and stereotypes they have of you. They will eventually come to realize that you are more than the colour of your skin if you continue to persevere! Don’t give up hunny., you are stronger than you think!!
Have you guys ever been in a situation similar to the one I described? How do you deal with it/ how would you advise someone going through the same thing?<<<<
e a comment and let me know 🙂