I sat watching my little sisters recital today…for 4 freakin’ hours. She was great, surprisingly good at hip hop girl can bust a move) and obviously when she took the stage my attention was on her.
However, when she wasn’t on stage I focused on the best dancer or just the one who seemed to be having fun. Until I started noticing something, any dance with 1 or 2 boys had certain dancers at the center of attention. Those certain dancers were the boys, whether they were good or not.
I leaned over to my mom at one point to see if she had noticed the same trend, and she did.
It seemed that in the dance world, or at this particular studio, if you were different then you automatically became the star. In dance it is all about the aesthetics, so when you are the odd man out you end up the star. Pretty sweet deal, right?
In this case, for once, the boys happened to be the underdogs so they got to shine…whether they wanted to or not.
In the work force it works the same way. The less there are of you, the more people want you. Look at college acceptances for once, if you are a middle class caucasian female chances are getting into the best college is going to suck unless there is a huge stand out quality (like you have a 5.2). But if you are a native american male or females chances are you will have a much easier time getting in. Why? aesthetics. Most schools or work places are all about equal opportunity, so whether or not you are better than another candidate might not matter.
As a caucasian middle class female (with 1/12th native american..not enough to actually count) I find this completely frustrating. Not only am I competing against the millions of women just like me, but I’m also competing against men (who will get a higher starting pay) and any minority that may apply.
So, just like my little sister I have to go above and beyond to prove to my boss that I am amazing (and different and talented and deserving of a raise). But while we wait for our moment to shine we might as well pick up an over grown rose and continue swaying it perfectly in tune with the music all the way in the back.