Thursday, July 22, 2010

Careers and Fashion

My former colleagues of my Corporate Communications program have been posting their internship acceptances as their statuses on Facebook. I am tres jealous! Instead of moping that I won't get to experience this excitement for about 9 months, I've decided to research institutions and organizations I may want to work for. I'm pretty sure I want to do something in the health field. These are my options: a charity that provides advocacy and support, a hospital or the government. Toronto has a huge selection of these things! Downtown Toronto alone there are at least five hospitals!

I want an employer who will consider hiring me after the internship, thus eliminating the need for a job search! Such a decision would make sense, as long as there is a budget for me. This is especially true of a charity who could really benefit from my skills, but may only have a budget to hire me part-time or on a contract basis, like for a specific project. I want to go where I am needed, but I also want secure, well paying work.

BUT, there is a part of me that wants an internship in the arts, something that could help attract attention to artists or provide opportunities for creative people and art fans to unite. Or work for a theatre or something! Toronto has a lot of opportunities for artists and people who want to enjoy art: we have many small and large theatres, we host a bunch of festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs (documentary festival), the Beaches Jazz Festival (which is this weekend, I think!), etc. We also have the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. We have loads of concert halls where all sorts of artists, some more famous than others, come to perform all year round. I love music and theatre, so all of this really excites me.

Hey, I'm really selling Toronto, aren't I? Maybe I should work in travel and tourism! Haha. I just think it would be very fun and meaningful to support the arts and interview artists, observe their work and engage the public! I'm so excited! I have so many opportunities and I KNOW I will be great. My biggest obstacles are somewhat embarrassing: I have a lot of trouble with phones and photocopiers!

Well, on a serious note, I do have a more significant obstacle and I think anyone who reads this blog will know what it is: I tend to get sick a lot. I'm sure my current illness will be over nine months from now and who knows, maybe I'll be very healthy for a long time after that. If I have trouble with the physical aspects of an internship or get sick with other things, perhaps I will be able to work from home on occasion. I think this is a consideration I may need to take with an internship. I hope not, though. I really love people and I can't wait to work with them, commute every day, dress up every day and wear make up! Yes, ever since I put on make up for my cousin's wedding a few weeks ago, I've been excited to wear it again. Not now because I'm at home resting in my pajamas most of the time.

I used to wear it regularly in grade 8 and 9. I wore concealer, blush, lipstick, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara -- the works. It made me feel older and I thought it made me look prettier. Then, I think in grade 10 sometime, I completely stopped wearing it. I started dressing really sloppily too and often didn't pluck my eyebrows. I often didn't do my hair either.

I haven't really worn make-up since then, except rarely for special occasions. Now I want to feel glamorous again! I think I'll probably only just wear eye liner and mascara with some lip gloss or something like that. I don't want to bother with eye shadow because I have greasy eye lids and the fatty bits under my eyebrows cover most of my eye lids anyway. So most of the eye shadow comes off. To avoid having mere flakes of eye shadow on my lids, or more on one lid than the other, I'll have to keep reapplying it. I won't bother with lipstick because my lower lip kind of swallows my thinner upper lip when my mouth is closed. I don't want to accentuate that! I may wear blush, though because I have defined cheek bones and jaw lines. I love them! I don't think I'll ever wear concealer again, though. It just looks stupid! Plus, I'm not ashamed of my pimples!

That reminds me. On my birthday I went shopping with my mom who stopped at a kiosk to look for a cream she liked. Well, the overzealous sales woman asked what I used for my acne in this mournful voice, like it was an affliction. It really made me mad. Also, over a year ago I saw a dermatologist about some moles and she wrote me a prescription for acne cream without my even mentioning my acne! It bothered me that she noticed my acne, but then I thought: she's a dermatologist. Of course she noticed!

So much of the beauty industry is built on making women feel ashamed or insecure or finding solutions for aspects of appearance fashion gurus and many women deem undesirable, like acne, a short stature, small breasts, large thighs, etc. It's terrible. It shouldn't be a fashion faux pas for a short person to wear flats instead of heels. (I'm talking to you, Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear!)

And speaking of fashion, after about a two month break, I decided to clean my glasses and wear them before sitting down to write this entry. I've been getting the drunk vision again and having trouble maintaining focus. I don't really mind, though. These prism lenses really help make everything look sharper. Besides, I love wearing glasses. I think they suit me and make me appear older. I'm going for the sexy librarian look.


  1. You are so cute! All of those jobs sound great. I think you could really love any one of them and be very passionate about your career. The economy is in the tanker right now so why not apply to a bunch so you have a few to choose from. Maybe the best offer will come from a job that's #1 or #2 on your list. The first real job is rarely the last job you'll have but it will give you experience.

    I too have greasy, fatty eyelids and rarely wear makeup. The lady who did my department store makeup (best way to get your face done for free before an event) put powder foundation on my eyes before she put on the shadow to keep the grease away. I also use Clean and Clear sheets to degrease my face muliple times a day when I'm wearing makeup (they don't wipe off makeup, just grease). Good luck!

  2. Wow - lots of good thoughts in this post. Good luck in your career choice!


  3. You, my dear, look ADORABLE in your prisms!

  4. Beautiful picture of you, Ashley... I think you are smart to be thinking about what you want to do in the future... Hopefully, by looking ahead at the possibilities, that will help you with your health problems... I will pray that you can be well enough to work. You would do a great job at whatever you choose.

  5. Good thing you wrote a post today – I needed my daily Ashley fix!

    It’s smart that you are planning ahead and thinking about career opportunities for when you finish school. Sounds like you have clear goals but are also fairly flexible, which is important in this crappy economy. I sure hope the job market looks better a year from now and you are able to get a job in the field you want. Worst case you might have to grit your teeth and take a job with a for-profit company hopefully at least in the field you want.

    There is a very interesting article in Newsweek magazine this week about how important beauty is in getting a job and being successful (Haven’t had time to read the whole article). It’s not just the fashion industry, it’s human nature. In fact very often the fashion industry has it totally wrong about what most people find attractive (that industry has a great deal of bias and is obviously dominated by people that don’t represent the general public). Luckily you are very attractive so I don’t think you personally need to worry much about that. BTW since you brought it up I guess it is OK to say; most guys love ‘the sexy librarian look’ and a few imperfections (acne or whatever) can actually increase a girls sexiness; “perfect” (even if natural) can seem fake, plastic and ‘Barbie dollish’ – may look good in magazines but in real life it is a turn off.

  6. Wow, do you really think that in 9 months you will be a lot better? I hope deserve it.
    I can't wait to read your posts when you are able to say you feel good all the time!
    Good luck to you, and yes, you really are gorgeous already!

  7. Denise -- Thanks for your support and helpful eyelid tips! I think I will try drying them out with powder when I start wearing make up again.

    Jane - Thanks! There's a lot to think and dream about!

    Jayne - That's so sweet! I feel adorable! Thanks.

    Betsy - I think you're right that thinking and planning ahead for the future can help me deal with my health problems. I will be well enough to work for sure. I could work now if I wanted to, but I wouldn't get the rest I need. Thanks for your kind words!

    Robin - You know, I don't really know if the economy is affecting my field in Canada. Whatever the case, it's important that I have the experience and education to give me a leg up on other job applicants!

    I read that beauty article and none of it surprises me. I think confidence is very important in interviews and other things. Thanks for saying I'm attractive!

    Joe - Yes, I think I will be ready and if not, I will do it anyway. I'm not going to wait for everything to get better because what if that doesn't happen? It's not like I was in perfect health before this year. I've always been prone to illness and health problems and I've always bucked up and gone to school or work despite them. It has made me stronger and this will help me be a good employee. Thanks for the "gorgeous" compliment!

  8. try darker frames but I agree glasses suit u!!!

  9. Hi there. Thanks for the comment and follow. I'm doing the same. I'm sorry about your health issues, but you clearly have spunk and a zest for life.
    Keep faith,

  10. John - I actually have a pair of darker frames I ilke! Thanks for the thought.

    Robyn - No problem! Yes, I do love life. Thanks for sympathizing and noticing!

  11. I would recommend trying some type of health advocacy internship for a charity. You are wonderful about reaching out to and being supportive of other people with health issues. (I speak from experience).

    I also lean towards encouraging you to try working for a charity, even if it pays less, because whenever I become able to return to work, that is the type of work I want to do.
    I worked for a big corporation for years, the pay was really good, overall it was a really good experience, but when I was working there, I would find myself wondering if maybe I should look into something that would be more personally fulfilling.
    I don't regret the big company thing, it was a good experience, but if I was able to go back and do things over I would probably go with a non-profit instead.

  12. Linda P -- Aw, thanks! Yes, I find helping people so rewarding. I'm not sure that I could feel as rewarded in something other than non profit. Hmm... That's a melon scratcher!