In my latest post I was considering changing the name of this blog in order to "not give false impressions". You know what? I've changed my mind. I'm keeping the name. But this brings me to a greater issue: why did I feel I couldn't "just be me" in writing this blog?
It seems pretty obvious, but I am not a stereotype. I'm not a 'typical geek' or a 'girly girl' or anything else that you care to mention, I'm just me.
This change in view comes after I was pointed to this blog by my friend @twhyntie, which was a bit of a cause for discussion on twitter between @hannahdev (Science correspondent for The Times and Eureka) and @AngelaDSaini (Science Journalist and author).
I think there is one obvious answer as to whether you should "dress down" when working in science. Absolutely not. I'm sure my (almost entirely male) colleagues don't give a damn what I wear to work. If I wanted to wear a pink matching parachute tracksuit they probably wouldn't bat an eyelid. Just as they wouldn't if I happened to be wearing Alexander McQueen or the most awesome Manolo Blahniks. Although why I'd want to wear either of those to work I've no idea, it's probably a health and safety hazard.
What I wear and my appearance in general is something that I do to please me, because it feels good to look good. If it doesn't do the same for you don't bother, it doesn't have to, each to their own. I'm certain that no-one thinks that my work suffers for it, and I'm certainly not going to go around acting like it makes any difference at all.
I'd have to say, if you think people are judging your work by the way you look, it's probably not the way you look, it's most likely your work. If they are judging you unfairly then that is their own problem, not yours, and it's something they should look at.
Have the confidence to wear whatever you want. Alright, rant over.