be whoever

be whoever

You can be whatever you want to be. If Donald can reign as president over America, Justin Trudeau can become Prime Minister of Canada, Betsy DeVos can become Secretary of Education for the US, and Virgil Alboh can go from Kanye West’s stylist to the rumoured creative director for Givenchy, then you can do anything.

Are you qualified?

The reality is, we can all do anything with respect to employment and aspects of our personal lives. I think an existential question we need to ask ourselves is: Can you be qualified without ever having executed the prerequisites society thinks are necessary in order to fulfill some duty? Furthermore, can said individual perform well? I think the answer to both of these questions is, yes.

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I think at some point in all of our lives, we have been denied the opportunity to fulfill a duty that we genuinely believed ourselves to be qualified for. Seemingly, we live in a society where employers or people want you to have certain qualifications. Similar to Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman, just as she is multifaceted, possessing many skills all humans, men and women alike do – we are all doctors, psychiatrists, councillors, handy-men, chefs, and accountants, as we perform aspects of these professions in everyday life often for ourselves or loved ones.

People like to pretend that there are invisible lines that section off one profession from another or that inhibit the socially deemed unqualified when in fact these lines are imagined. We are all actually qualified for so many things in this life which I understand literally and figuratively. We are human, I say this in the hopes that it stresses us all to be what human entails; resilient and able.

Something that is not stressed enough in our educational system is that the essential building blocks to succeed, the very foundation of what is essential for success, already exists inside of all of us.

Something that is not stressed enough in our educational system is that the essential building blocks to succeed, the very foundation of what is essential for success, already exists inside of all of us. How many examples of people who were initially sought as unqualified went on to succeed? The cases are countless. 

If Donald Trump’s rise to POTUS tells us anything, it should be that you can be whatever you want to be – at least that’s what I took from it. Yes, he is a multi-billionaire, and flipped a one million dollar loan from his father into an empire, but there are other people who have more than him that could have strategically done what he did; win over, essentially, half of America. 

And just as Trump is technically not qualified to lead America, Justin Trudeau is technically not qualified to lead Canada. If we assess both leaders’ educations, neither studied politics. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Trudeau graduated from McGill University and University of British Columbia with a bachelor of arts degree in literature and a bachelor of arts degree in education. A snowboard instructor and teacher before leader of the Liberal Party, many argue that Trudeau is unqualified and only appointed because of his last name, which is familiar and famous amongst Canadians. They argue that he is our Prime Minister because of who his father is. Is Trudeau particularly qualified to be the Prime Minister of Canada more so than anybody with a bachelor of arts from a Canadian university? When he was a child and his father was Prime Minister, was he in the office daily interning, chaperoning, and assisting him? Because aside from a famous last name, on paper, he’s not exactly qualified to be our Prime Minister. 

anna wintour
Anna Wintour ironically “made the decision to forgo academics, dropping out of her fancy finishing school and opting instead for a life that revolved around the tony London life of the 1960s”. She has even admitted that she has no idea how to create an image from a photo shoot, write, or make a dress. In fact, she was actually fired from her position as a fashion assistant at Harper’s Bazaar before making her rise to the top in 1988 as the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, a position she still currently holds. 

Interestingly, Betsy DeVos was crowned Secretary of Education by President Donald Trump, yet doesn’t have any direct or related experience. Cosmopolitan writes, “Unlike the [former] Secretary of Education, John King Jr., who was a former teacher and public school administrator, DeVos has never held a professional position as an educator. She neither studied education in school.”

Virgil Abloh is the man behind Off-White and the right hand man of Kanye West when it comes to creative consultation, assisting him on projects, set design, and tour merchandise, as well as collaborating with former Creative Director of Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci, on Kanye and Jay Z’s joint album cover Watch The Throne. Abloh is currently in the running among a few other contestants to become Creative Director of Givenchy which speaks volumes with respect to upward mobility. Abloh studied engineering before earning his masters degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, receiving an education which does not directly relate to or qualify him to be Creative Director of Givenchy. Generally to be the Creative Director of a prominent and historic French design house one must graduate from an acclaimed fashion and design school similar to the likes of Olivier Rousteing, Riccardo Tisci, Alexander McQueen and Julien MacDonald. 

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We shouldn’t place limits on ourselves as many of us do and have. We are more qualified for anything than unqualified for something. This is life, make it work some how, some way.

But whether or not we think these people are unfit, they are still doing what they are doing. To the best of my knowledge, we are all living life for the first time, so this obviously means we can learn and in many instances, learn quickly. No one is born knowing or qualified. I think as time goes on, we are going to see a ‘change of the guard’, that is, we are going to see positions in society and the work force become more open and flexible, with requirements not so strictly outlined.

We shouldn’t place limits on ourselves as many of us do and have. We are more qualified for anything than unqualified for something. This is life, make it work some how, some way.

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Do you think it’s possible to be whoever you want to be? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe