Women’s News: Is Women’s Media Too Girly?

Women’s News: Is Women’s Media Too Girly?

Women’s News: Professional Name: How To Change Your Name At The Office

Women’s News: Professional Name: How To Change Your Name At The Office

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator


Women’s News: Professional Name: How To Change Your Name At The Office

Asian businesswoman talking on cell phone

Jessica Taylor | The Daily Muse

For as long as I can remember, everyone has called me Jessie. Jessie Bear, Messy Jessie, Jessie Poo—I’ve heard it all. It started as a family nickname, but it became embedded as my identity throughout grade school and stuck around like an annoying commercial jingle.

And it never bothered me—at least, not until I entered the workforce.

Suddenly, it seemed a bit awkward to have my boss and co-workers calling me what my parents had called me as a child. In fact, it gave me a bit of a professional identity complex—I started wondering if my lifelong nickname was a little childish for work, and if I’d be taken more seriously if I went by my formal name in business settings.

So I decided to morph my professional persona into Jessica, and reserve Jessie for only the people I’m closest to. It seemed like such a slight change at first (it is only a few letters)—but I realized that it’s not easy to change the way people have referred to you (and how you’ve referred to yourself!) for years. Would I need a flashing marquee? Skywriting? A billboard?

The good news is—it wasn’t quite that extreme. But if you’re feeling stuck, here’s how I did it.

Lead by Example

You have to commit to the change first—so lead by example and introduce yourself by your “new” name. Update your email signature, business cards, office nametag, and any other places you’re identified in print around the office. And any time you meet new people, answer the phone, or otherwise verbally refer to yourself, always use your new name. These verbal and visual cues will help others recognize that you’re serious about the change.


Have a Social Presence

In the world of social media, sites link and feed off of one another, so having your “new” name updated across the board is key. To minimize confusion and make sure your old contacts can still find you, you can modify the way your name appears to include both your names for a transition period (or permanently). For example, Facebook lets you include a middle name in your personal info, which can be repurposed to display the nickname you previously used—i.e., Jessica (Jessie) Taylor. If your organization has a social network or LinkedIn group, make sure your display name is updated there, too.


Be a Stickler

If you see your name printed incorrectly on meeting agendas, memos, or other widely distributed documents, approach the people who drafted them to request a name change in any future versions. The author probably just wasn’t aware of your new preference, but don’t let it slide—use it as an opportunity to reinforce your commitment to your new moniker. In the same vein, if someone verbally refers to you by your old nickname, casually remind him or her that you prefer your professional name: “Hey, I know it probably sounds silly, but I’m trying to stop using my nickname at work. Would you mind calling me Jessica?”


There also may be people in your life who naturally overlap the boundaries of your professional and personal worlds (i.e., co-workers who are close friends), and that’s OK! It’s usually not too much of a stretch to have them switch gears depending on the setting you’re in. It might take these folks a little extra time to adapt and consistently remember to make the distinction, but gentle reminders can be helpful—especially before big meetings or work events, where using the right name is essential.


Your professional identity is a pretty big deal—it’s how people get to know you and it will follow you wherever you go. So if you’re not happy with the one you have now, don’t be afraid to change it. It took me the better part of a month to galvanize my co-workers into calling me by my “proper name,” but I’m definitely glad I made the effort. Just stick to it, and you’ll slowly find that others will do the same.
Jessica Taylor is the annoying friend who responds “seen it” to every link you send her. After graduating with a BA in public relations from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Jessica went on to earn her MBA and is a corporate communications professional in Phoenix, Ariz. She’s reportedly allergic to cold weather and anything sci-fi related, and known to travel great distances to see the Red Sox play. Read more of her writing on her blog or follow her on Twitter@JesDoit.

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Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/professional-name-how-to-change-your-name-office_n_2819486.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: Is Women’s Media Too Girly?


Margaret Wheeler Johnson

Women’s Editor

The trend seems to have started a few years ago: a tendency among adult women to adopt apparel, activities and accessories reminiscent of childhood, and little-girlhood specifically. Grown women sign their emails with Xs and Os, blog about nail art and froyo and kittens and bffs, watch old episodes of 90210 on continuous loop and host “Troop Beverly Hills” viewing parties (guilty as charged). And media has seized on what TV writer Deborah Schoeneman calls the “woman-child” and both made her a character and catered to her tastes. We see it in the personas of Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry but also on womens’ sites that publish those blog posts on froyo and bffs.

I didn’t realize how fully girly an adult I am until I started working at my current job, a site for adult women where we produce our fair share of girly content. I’ve also noticed that while that content is far from the most important we do, it’s the content we have the best time creating together. Among the most fun pieces we’ve worked on since we launched the site were this Ryan Gosling meme … and this one and this one. The whole staff gets into them. We laugh a lot. We’re filling no need, except perhaps for communal enjoyment of a few shared, distinctly feminine, somewhat juvenile tastes.

After a few months in the job, I found myself unleashing my girliness outside the office, too. I became a little less ashamed of liking cheesy romantic songs with extremely flawed logic that should have no place in any real relationship. I am with Dr. Mindy that a party playlist without Rihanna is no playlist at all. A little part of me still occasionally yearns to live in The Olden Days, and Anne of Green Gables is still one of my idols. I loved the musical “Wicked,” and not just because of the absolutely lesbian subtext.

But as an editor and an adult woman and a generally anxious person, I worried about this. I worried that I was producing content that could cause women to be taken less seriously. I worried that I wasn’t worth taking seriously because of my tastes.

It turns out that I’m a late critic of this sensibility and behavior. When the women’s sites XOJane and Hello Giggles launched in May 2011, shortly before HuffPost Women was born, a backlash also began. Comedian and blogger Julie Klausner called out girlish women, “Read something written before you were born. Stand up straight. Make sure you own one piece of jewelry that you did not purchase on Etsy.” Responding to the launch of the two women’s sites, Tricia Romano at the Daily Beast wrote, “If two new women’s sites are to be believed, women want to read about boys, cute animals, their periods, and they want to read it in a Valley Girl accent.” And when it came to TV, Heather Havrilesky wrote in 2012 that in the comedies “New Girl,” which stars Zooey Deschanel, and “Two Broke Girls,” “adult women are transformed into something lighter, perkier, less frightening.”

So does girly content give women a bad name? And for that matter, do girly women?

Sunday we explored this idea at our panel at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin. Our panelists included Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com; Rebecca Fernandez, Editor at Large for HelloGiggles.com; and Deb Schoeneman, author of the afore-linked Kindle single “Woman-Child” who also wrote for seasons one and two of “Girls.” (Read more about our amazing panelists here.)

Here are a few of the questions we tried to address: 
-Is the “woman child” real? How many of them do we actually know?
-Have we reached the point where women have enough educational, professional and financial success that they don’t need to be serious in order to be taken seriously?
-Is acting childishly girly a way women attempt to make themselves look less threatening?
-Is making yourself less threatening still necessary to succeeding professionally?
-Is adult girliness about attracting men — or having parts of your life that men don’t have access to?
-To what degree is promoting adult girliness about getting women to buy even more stuff?
-Is it up to media outlets — websites, TV, film — to portray women seriously?
-Is the “woman-child” exclusively white?
-Was the post-Oscar backlash against Anne Hathaway about her adult girliness, as the New Yorker‘s Sasha Weiss suggested?
-Is adult girliness an attempt to escape the stress of being an adult woman now?

And a few we didn’t get to:
-Does adult girliness promote the idea that women should be nice to each other all the time?
-Is the backlash against girliness in media about a resistence to women’s stories, or a certain kind of woman’s story?
-Is it evidence of a nostalgia for the way you feel as a female child before all of the shit happens to you — the fear of fat, the perfectionism, the message that in order to be good enough in this world, someone else has to want you — and that’s just me?
-Is a product of more 20-somethings living at home in their childhood bedrooms or just a general striving for youthfulness? Millennial women especially grew up with the therapized prescription to always be “in touch with your inner child.”

We’re interested in hearing your responses to any or all of these questions in the comments below!

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-wheeler-johnson/is-womens-media-too-girly_b_2849760.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women


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