Let me preface this by saying people are entitled to their opinions. I came into the YouTube universe knowing that 1. I was very very new at it and there would be a learning curve, and 2. People are rude on the Internet, and I have to steel myself against their negativity and basically realize that haters gonna hate. Fine. Done.
What I do have a problem with are comments like these: not because they are focused on or directly for me, but because they are about women everywhere. I make it my objective to be a role model for young people (especially women) to feel as though science can be an accessible field that they have the ability to be successful in — something based entirely off of their talent and intellect, and not focused at all on their gender or looks. These comments insinuate that the viewers are only listening because I’m a woman on a science channel, not because the content is interesting, and whatever is coming out of my mouth is second only in importance to the objectified body that’s saying it. I don’t care that people don’t like my clothes — I care that young women will see these comments and feel as though they can’t be ‘good at science’ or smart or revered or respected unless they look attractive, or play up their sex appeal. As if we have to appeal to the male demographic by being sexy, or risk being unheard.
I’m not going to go away or be deterred, and I’m not going to change my clothes or dress sexier to get more viewership. I am, however, without a doubt going to spend every fiber of my being celebrating young women and men in encouraging them to follow what drives them, motivate them to research what they are passionate about, and support them in making the world a better place… one un-sexy cardigan at a time.