Summer Session

Summer Session – Labor and Looking “Professional”

As we wrap up this month’s Summer Session theme of labor, today we direct our readers to Autumn Whitefield-Madrano’s consideration of the entanglements between beauty, self-presentation, and maintenance at the New Inquiry.

"Professional" clip art.

“Professional” clip art.

In attempting to specify what it means it look “professional,” Whitefield-Madrano finds that labor, both real and perceived, fundamentally underpins this stylistic distinction: “You said you wanted to look professional, and I had no idea what that meant. One person’s professional isn’t going to be another person’s—did you want to look like a news anchor? a stockbroker? a photographer? What does professional mean?” The essay was originally published on February 19, 2016. Read the full article here.