So two, maybe three, weeks ago, I decided to switch my style of presentation and become more demure. This is because my presentation role models – Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Angie Martinez and Toolz – are these super calm women who seem to be making so much impact and getting so much paper. Also, someone told me that I sounded like I was ‘always angry’. I didn’t want to come off as petty and angry as Wendy (in my opinion) does and I didn’t want to be known as ‘Ramat the angry black woman’. So…I switched my style.I did this video where I was uber calm, where I counted my words, tried to enunciate better and basically, was a complete opposite of my normal self. I was excited about the video and couldn’t wait to get it up.
The first thing that happened was the feedback. I was told I ‘looked tired and bored’, didn’t ‘have energy’, ‘acted like I was being forced to do it’ and other such statements. In essence, the video I was excited about was BORING (at best or just plain horrible)!
I was shocked! Here was a video I so proud of but was one almost everyone didn’t like. To say I was burnt is the understatement of the century.I sulked a bit, refused to talk to some of my biggest supporters and generally felt like quitting. After the requisite time of unhappiness, I went back to the video and watched it again. And again. And one more time. I removed myself from the work I had done and watched it like a stranger. When I was done, I came to the same conclusion; the video sucked!
I told my sisters why I switched my style and they said something that jolted me back to reality. They said, ‘Ramat, angry black woman works for you. Why do you want to stop being that?’
So I thought about it.
I had a pretty important topic to discuss and I tried to sound like other people when being myself would have been awesome. Yes! I am a bit of a talker. I have plenty (if not too much) energy and my voice is a bit high pitched (whom am I kidding? My voice is very high pitched!) Some people think I am shouting when I talk but that is what comes naturally to me. I am a super excited person and when I feel anything, I feel it with all of me! And yes! I am angry about many things! It is that anger that pushed me to give my voice to many injustices of society. I realized that as different as I am from my role models (and other women in broadcast media), we all had our audience and each a space in this life. People may think Wendy is petty but there are so many other people who worship the ground she walks on. I remember when someone said Oprah was boring and after I took quick breaths to calm down, I realized that it was valid for that person.
We all like what we like and that is what makes the world a better place.So today, I am back! The real Ramat, with the ‘loud’ voice, crazy body gesticulations, hyperactive persona and plenty ginger (who uses that anymore Ramat? Rolling my eyes) is back!
There is nothing wrong in learning from others as you try to be the person you were created to be. What is wrong is trying to be like other people when you are awesome just being you. Different isn’t wrong. Find what makes you tick and follow your own path!
So darlings, what are you going to do? Follow the herd or chart your own course?