The Life of a Publicist
Let’s get one thing clear, I love my job. I love what I do. There is definitely something to be said about being a publicist, but unfortunately not all of it is good. And the negatives only seem to stack up as a woman of color (double minority). The level of disrespect is so real it’s sad and it’s time we talk about it. In light of recent events (i.e. our recent presidential election) there is more racial tension in our country than we’ve seen in a while. It is no secret that people of color have been discriminated against as well as women, but now it is apparent that in 2016 it is somehow acceptable. I’m not the first nor will I be the last to state my opinion on the matter of race relations in our country.
In the relatively short time that I’ve been in my beloved career field I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I’ve worked red carpets, planned some of the most amazing events, and best of all I’ve had the most incredible boss babe entrepreneur as my mentor. I’ve learned so much and been able to flex my skills which I will be forever grateful for, but at the same time there are some things that I’ve been witness to that would blow your mind. You’d think as a (somewhat) successful publicist who gets the job done I’d have the respect of the clients that I work with, but sadly this is false. As a black woman people seem to think that I am incapable of doing my job. Let’s stop right here. It’s 2016. Let me repeat, IT IS 2016. I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anyone; you came to ME for help. I graduated from one of the most prestigious universities with honors. What have you done? And it’s not only me that encounters the disrespect; I have seen my team and those I choose to work with be a victim to the side eye/smart comment/disrespectful overbearing eye. And it needs to stop, but sadly I know this lack of respect is not going to change anytime soon.
In my field there are a plethora of women. In fact I have yet to meet more than a handful of male publicists, but it is still nearly impossible for us to get the respect we deserve. We are still seen as the assistant but never the one running the show. All too often my gender or my race is seen as a hindrance to my level of success. And for those of you saying “stop complaining, your race/gender doesn’t hold you back” you’re right. I’m not going to let it stop me, but that’s not going to keep the rest of the world from trying their hardest to keep me in my place.
With all of the racial tension going on around the world today this is not something that necessarily makes news or needs to; it’s just something that needs to change. The color of my skin does not dictate my work ethic, my skills, or my worth. I’m tired of having to repeatedly prove my value as a contracted employee. If you have such a problem with me, don’t hire me. Trust me it won’t hurt my feelings. In fact, you will save me the time and energy of having to spit a lil’ game or proving you wrong, but best believe I will do both if necessary.
I never thought that in this day and age I would be struggling with the same issues my grandparents faced. It blows my mind how our society has drastically backtracked and set itself back. What’s even worse is that there are people that are OK with this. I truly respect everyone’s opinion but I can’t stand for someone who does not stand for the respect of everyone else.