Today, The Doubleclicks premiered a video for their song “Nothing to Prove” and I’m proud to have been a (small) part of it. You can see my cameo from 1:43-1:47! So today, I wanted to take a bit of time to share my story.
You see, pink is not my favorite color. I’ve never been super-over-the-top girly. But I’ve found that people don’t often get that someone can be feminine and geeky at the same time, so when designing the branding for my site, I decided it needed to be pink. BRIGHT pink. I went more girly than I am in real life because I want to embrace that. I love board games AND makeup. I love sci-fi AND baking cupcakes. I love shopping for comic books AND shopping for clothes. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I have a pink pencil skirt that I wear often, and I initially bought it because it’s the perfect shade of “Geeky Hostess pink.” I had the privilege of attending GenCon last year in a marketing capacity, so I wore the skirt with my company’s button-up shirt for the first day of the con. (I wanted to look professional, after all.) I was introduced to someone in the world of miniatures gaming who, when finding out I was a marketing person (and not just brought along as a booth babe), asked me a bit about Kickstarter. Should he consider it for his next projects? Oh boy. My face lit up. I started to ramble. I was using buzzwords. Kickstarter is a sweet spot of mine: it’s something I have experience in, I’m fascinated by, and I could talk about forever. His response? Cutting me off by saying “You sound smart for a girl in a pink skirt.” My colleagues were silently appalled. I laughed it off. But it stuck with me. Why the qualifier? Why was he so surprised I would be smart? What is it about the color pink, my gender, or the fact I’m wearing a skirt that would make me stand out as not being intelligent?
From then on I’ve vowed to wear more pink. If I can surprise a few more people into realizing a “girl in a pink skirt” can be smart, then my job here is done. Hopefully it won’t be as shocking next time they encounter it.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve encountered something like this. People often assume I’m working a convention instead of attending it, and when I’m actually working booths at conventions, people assume I’m there to model, not to give them information. It’s often honest mistakes and their reactions aren’t meant to be rude or insulting. So instead of taking them as so, I laugh it off with them, inform them what I’m really doing at the con, and engage them in a conversation about the geeky topic at hand.
Moral of the story? There are a lot of people out there that still don’t quite “get” that women can hold their same interests or intelligence. Getting mad about it or tweeting about it probably won’t help them. Correcting their misinformation in a friendly and informative way will. Lead by example–be friendly and welcoming to those in the geek community, turn offhanded half-insult/half-compliments into an opportunity to chat about your passions, and if someone is being rude or threatening, walk away. And if you want to wear a pink skirt, wear it with pride.
Have a #NothingtoProve story you want to share? Leave it in the comments or submit it to The Doubleclicks’ Tumblr!