Okay, I'll admit it right now: Three months before my first AHA, I went on a diet-and-exercise program, which I continued pretty much until my second run at the AHA. Because having grown up overweight, I knew that people judge you for these things, no matter how much they may try not to.
Why bring this up? Well, for those of you who haven't seen it, there's an article in the Chronicle about a perennial adjunct who gets Botox injections before her latest round of job interviews. I won't judge the author, who seems ambivalent about ditching a long-held belief ("that women should not turn themselves into time-frozen fantasy objects while men garner value with age") in order to get a job.
Really, though, my question is: when did academia become a glamour profession? It seems to me that there was a time when professors were expected to be a bit dumpy. Sure, there was That One Professor that everyone had a crush on, but that was exceptional. Now, I can log on to RMP and check in to see how many chili peppers they've gotten. I've had a student tell me that at least one other student was ogling me (a perfectly average-looking nearing-middle-aged woman), and seemed taken aback at my response: "I don't want to know that."
I really don't. Because frankly, it's bad enough having to worry about how far behind I am on my writing, whether that article will get published, whether my lectures need to be updated, how I'm ever going to get out of debt, or where on earth I've put the receipts for my recent conference travel, without also having to think about whether the 5-10 pounds I've gained will make people think differently in a professional framework.
I'm just too damn busy for that crap.