The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

The Ally McBeal Workplace

I heard a rather disturbing feature on Marketplace a while ago about cutting spending and the things we give up in order to do so and they conducted surveys. What one woman refused to give up were the highlighting appointments at the salon and the reason why is because potential employers would not notice her if she didn’t. I don’t care if the lady loved to preen or not, what disturbs me is that EMPLOYERS do!

Since when has it become acceptable for employers to discriminate based on appearance??? I’m not criticizing professional attire, I’m talking about going to work everyday looking like a supermodel! Has anyone else ever noticed how the office place has been emulating the cast of Ally Mc Beale for quite some time now? What should matter is my skill set not my brand of shoe. Unfortunately, that the way it is. When 20 people with the same skill set apply for the same job, the and hip and prettiest of the lot gets hired.

This sucks the big donkey.

Didn’t Big Bird and Kermit teach us to love people as they are? It’s not easy being green, so don’t overlook people who are green in favor of those who look like splashy sparkles in the water or stars in the sky!

Sadly, this practice has even seeped in the world of animation. One of the few safe havens where amazingly talented and effective people can come to work in jeans and t-shirts and red converse if they want to and their hair in a bun. However, I am told that when Disney laid off 3/4 of it’s work force in 2001 they kept the “hot chicks”.

It reminds of a horrible report on Raplh Bakshi who said that he should hire more female animation artists for his studio so his male animators can fuck them! The horror!
BTW, animators don’t get out much.

Being asexual isn’t good for the workplace either. One would think upper management would love the perfect worker bee who’s life is mainly their job. Not at all. You’re not part of the “club” i.e. salaried staff unless you are either paired up or a sexusally receptive female. So, crying myself to sleep every night after lying spread-eagled servicing some big stupid-hairy-grunting-git is part of the key to job security.

I’m so mad I can spit.

Lastly, there is the weight issue. People get heavier as they get older and company wide health insurance premiums increase when a heavy person is hired. So employers avoid the obese—no matter how brilliant they are. A firm would rather endure the constant fuck ups of a glamorous , thin, sexually receptive novice than hire an established professional who is clinically obese yet an amazing talent and worker….what wrong with this scenario? Did it every occur to anyone that the obese is the way he/she because he works so hard at a profession?
America hopes to compete with the rest of world in industry—especially math and science. However , the nation fails to understand that it takes 7/8 of a persons life to become a great engineer, animator, scientist, doctor, lawyer or physicist. And in the remaining 8th one has to squeeze all of the goings on of a personal life. I for one refuse to spend such a short time preening. Walking home from work and weekend hikes along the seaside forest of San Francisco’s Lands End to clear my mind and help my big body, a romp through the Haight to visit with my artist community for new ideas, feeds my intellect and a simple morning grooming regime of a shower, clean clean clothes and my hair in a bun should be enough for an employer. The goal to life is balance and like my life that way it is. I don’t want the convention of fashion, fitness and revelry only to have the whole thing evolve into husband, the Wrinkle Cure and screaming needy kids!

I prefer, creativity, study, and rejuvenation, which becomes entrepreneurship, a self-owned condo in Cole Valley and life with great close friends and pets—the family I choose.

There are sacrifices for being unconventional and I have more than enough experience and education (thankfully) to endure the many storms that will come my way. Let corporate American adhere to its conventions. Many new business spring up during recessions and spur economic recovery and my own entity Animatress has been around for 8 years. Furthermore, the non-profit sector welcomes social “misfits”. Schools are great for non-fashionistas. Have you ever seen a high school teacher in a pencil skirt and Jimmy Choo’s? Of course not, they walk with a thousand keys on a ring , comfortable clothing and their hair done up in buns and the best of them are the most talkative approachable, resourceful people on the planet. The kind of talent corporations would kill for.
So, to that lady on Marketplace, there is no need to spend all of your money at the salon so some high powered client can look down your blouse and be mentally unfaithful his wife. Try working in a market that accepts you as you are, and let your hair grow back to its natural color. Here’s hoping that enough valuable workers follow suit and make corporations lament over their diminished math and science talent pools. For we will have moved onto the non-profits to solve great atomic challenges while the superficial world of big business competes with India and China intellectual might with Barbie and Ken dolls for a think tank.


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