I read the quote from the title of this post on HONY today and I thought it was so appropriate being that it is International Women’s Day. As women (not that this applies singularly to women but for the sake of this post they are my focus) we are constantly receiving messages that portray a very skewed, narrow definition of beauty and worth. We are marketed to by being told we are ugly and broken in some way in an effort to get us to buy make-up and hair products, or the latest designer thing. The messages we receive tell us we are less-than because we are women but that consumerism will fill that hole society has created.
In honor of the day I would like to share a few things that make me feel inspired and empowered.
Everyday Feminism is my go to online magazine. It has the best articles that I would recommend to anyone.
Advanced Style Because real beauty does not know age. I love that this movement challenges stereotypes and shows that we do not have to conform to society’s expectations of us.
One of my favorite Ted Talks to help kick those “not good enoughs” we all feel in the ass.
I think it is really important as women that as often as possible we try to be each other’s allies. I think this important across the board but again, for the purpose of this post I am focusing on women. What I mean by this is not giving into the urge to tear each other down but instead choosing to be a source of empowerment.
Here is what this looks like for me:
Not giving into the impulse to lash out when a woman at work was condescending with me and instead meeting her condescension with compassion.
Being genuine and kind and choosing to engage with my ex’s girlfriend when we ran into each other on an elevator because I believe it is wrong to allow a man to pit two women, who would otherwise have no problem with each other, against each other.
Listening and validating a colleague as she explained how difficult it can be at times to wake up in the morning and be the person you want to be everyday when the messages we receive from the outside world make it so easy to give into our insecurities.
Not giving into the urge to actively or passively engage in gossip, especially about other women.
Not allowing myself to be a bystander in situations of any kind of discrimination, to include discrimination based on gender and/or sex.
Showing my love for friends/family by encouraging them to love and belong to themselves.
I think that is the take away message here, to always behave in a way towards each other that encourages women to love and accept their authentic self. We don’t have to all love each other, everyone is entitled to the way they feel. However, if we, as women, engage in any activity that hurts other women we are giving into a bigger system of oppression. That is not something I want to do.
Happy International Women’s Day. Be kind to each other and to yourself.