What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

A few months ago Science Mentor told me about a new science blogger, La Cientifica. So I went on over to her blog and came across her post, Please Refrain. In this post she shares some of the crazy comments she gets as a woman in science. Here are some of the comments that stood out to me the most:

  • Come on angels.
  • Women live longer than men because they don’t work as hard.
  • The only intelligent woman I know is my wife.
  • You don’t dress like a scientist.
  • Do you plan on having a baby anytime soon?

I can say that I have heard these before. Have you? These comments are inappropriate and disrespectful! I remember reading a few articles about this topic and the Women in Astronomy (Is Science in the Eye of the Beholder?) blog post.

When did society make it okay for people to make rude comments to women in STEM? This is unacceptable and has to stop! As a Mademoiselle Scientist I should only be judged by the work that I do, not what I look like. Since I look young and dress stylishly I often get the comments like: “you look so young”, or “real scientists don’t care about how they look, this is not a fashion show” and sometimes I don’t get taken seriously. It’s a shame that things are this way. The last time I checked there is nothing wrong with being feminine or taking pride in my appearance.

Have you ever heard, “you don’t look like a scientist”? Or how about, “You are too pretty to be a scientist”?It’s time that we take a stand and make a change. We have to let our voices be heard. 

1. Think about why you decided to pursue a STEM career?:

Share this reason with others. I decided to become a scientist because I want to lead give back to science and society as well as mentor the future generations of scientists and STEM leaders.

2. Build a strong support system:

Having mentors and other women in STEM in your circle will help realize that you are not alone.

3. Mentor the future generations of Mademoiselle Scientists:

If we show girls that women in STEM exist they will see that becoming a women in STEM is something that can do too! If we provide access to resources and mentoring to underrepresented groups, we can increase STEM diversity.

4. Showcase both sides:

Don’t let anyone put limits on what you can do. Show them that you are a scientist and you are a DIY-er. Or that you are an engineer and a stylist. Or that you engage people in science with your humor through improv. Women in STEM have many interests. Share them with others.

5. Keep doing what you are doing:

Excel in your courses. Take leadership roles. We have to make sure we are present.

6. Remember there is not a “look” for women in STEM:

If someone asks you what does a woman in STEM looks like tell them, “She looks like me!”

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What is the craziest comment you have ever heard as a woman in STEM?  Share below.

Looking for style inspiration check out Stylish Academic!

7 thoughts on “What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

  1. Thank you for sharing! These types of comments are so frustrating! Just yesterday a young man looking to be an up and coming scientist made a derogatory comment about ALL women – in the presence of mostly women. Poor form, young sir!

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