Thursday, February 21, 2013

Skin deep

When people comment that I look younger than I actually am, I usually respond with a thank you or, depending on how the statement is phrased and how sassy I feel, I tip my hat to expensive skincare products. The observation is meant as a compliment ... except when it's not. 

During the open houses, some parents regard me (indeed, the CS faculty in general) with some suspicion--we seem too young to be teaching their children, when the truth of the matter is many of these parents are younger than me.  There was a time I was defending a research proposal.  In the process of extorting promises of deliverables from me, the chair of the committee kept referring to me as "hija." Can you say, condescension?

No matter where you are, you can't escape judgement based on looks. That my credibility is questioned on account of what is skin deep pricks at one part of ego. The other part dismisses the nuisance, reminding me that I should be flattered that it happens at all.