Listen, let me level with you. Love yourself. Celebrate who you are, who you are becoming, and when you get there, willingly, celebrate who you’ve become. Change is inevitable, life isn’t easy, but it should be celebrated. You should be celebrated. Don’t feel ashamed for feeling and saying you are beautiful. Celebrate your stretch marks or perfect complexion. Your short legs or long legs (Tall girls stand-up). It’s so easy to tear one another down, but why? What do you gain from ripping into another human who has done nothing to offend you, alter your life or bank account?
I’ll wait….No I won’t. NOTHING! That’s what.
1. Putting themselves first. When Barbara Walters asked Michelle Obama if it were selfish that she openly makes herself her first priority she responded: “No, no, it’s practical…. a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”
2. How little or much they’re eating, especially if it’s “unhealthy.” You can eat a big lunch without having to say “I haven’t eaten anything all day” or have some delicious ass nachos without saying “I totally deserve this, I was so good this week, I’ll start the diet again tomorrow.” More importantly, you shouldn’t have to always be interrogated with “that’s all you’re having?” or “you’re going to eat all that?!”
3. Healthy eating as a means of actual health, not weight loss, because for some reason, people tend to be skeptical that a woman could actually just want to treat her body right and not be perpetually concerned with her size.
4. Not having baby fever. You aren’t more or less of a woman– or person– if having a child isn’t for you now or ever. You shouldn’t have to back it up with the reasons you’re not maternally inclined but will maybe consider it down the road because “who really knows– maybe someday!” when you do really know that you don’t want kids but don’t want to be glared at like a heartless monster.
5. Having baby fever. Nobody should have to face a flurry of interrogative questions when they proclaim that they do indeed want to have children young, because it’s just as acceptable to feel that way as it is the alternative. If you want to travel, you’ll travel. If you want to pursue a career in addition to motherhood, pursue you shall. As long as you are aware of the implications, no further justification to other people who don’t feel the same way is needed.
6. Whether or not they’re having sex, and to what degree. There doesn’t have to be a reason that you slept with so-and-so, and you don’t have to feel obligated to give an excuse for why you’ve been celibate.
7. Enjoying what would otherwise be called guilty pleasures because they’re “girly” things. They don’t have to be “guilty” pleasures, they can just be pleasures. You can enjoy getting your nails painted and wearing a skirt and re-watching 13 Going On 30 a thousand times without floundering in stereotypes.
8. “Looking like shit today.” Whenever a woman leaves the house looking anything less than airbrushed and runs into someone they know, they tend to feel the need to apologize for it. You don’t have to apologize to someone else for not being a certain way, you have to apologize to yourself for feeling like you had to in the first place.
9. Experimenting with sexuality. It doesn’t have to be because you were “lost and confused” or just “a wild crazy girl in college.” If you made out with a girl at a party because it was the cool thing to do, fine, if it was more than that, just call it for what it was.
10. Weight, because size actually does not determine what “a real woman” is or not.
11. Amount of makeup worn on any given day. If you want to rock it au naturale, you do that, you beautiful little thing, and if you want to work it like you’re in a drag show, you can do that too. Your face. Your rules.
12. Sometimes conventionally frowned upon clothing choices. You don’t have to say you wear leggings “because they’re so comfortable” or a really short dress because you’re just “being crazy tonight.” These things require no explanation, and you shouldn’t let other people pressure you into feeling as though they do.
13. Being upset about something that warrants an emotional response. You don’t have to apologize for feeling something or acting out on it if it’s real to you. The people who judge you for being a human being, and not being ultimately demure and emotionless and in your place, are the ones who need to apologize.
14. Moving for a relationship if one is invested and ready… or just putting a relationship first if it’s a healthy and happy thing or something you want/need to work on. There’s a big difference between being dismissive and walked on and stepping up and taking part as an equal in a relationship, a role that usually requires compromising and effort.
15. Wanting to get married young.
16. Not wanting to get married young.
17. Attractiveness despite something. You don’t have to justify your so-called-imperfections with that which you like about yourself– you aren’t attractive because you have great hair despite being a little overweight. You can be attractive without fitting into social conventions of it. The beauty continuum scale was constructed to make us all feel like shit and buy a lot of products to fix that. But beautiful is as beautiful does.
18. Passing social deadlines for things. Who cares if you’re 35 and as single as you were 15 years ago? Life doesn’t start when someone or something comes along and then society says it can. You don’t have to make excuses as to why you aren’t married or with child or working a traditional 9-5. Our lives weren’t meant to be scripted the same way. When you adopt someone else’s narrative, it’s because you aren’t hearing your own clearly enough.
Original Post on Thought Catalog by Brianna Wiest
Happy Monday Folks!! xoxo
When/If I have a daughter I pray she understands much more than what Disney has to offer. I want her to understand much more than the typical love story of the damsel in distress, that needs a man to save her. I pray she knows that women can do anything they want, absolutely anything. Not to undermine Disney. I haven’t a problem with Disney at all. I can’t even count how many times I watched Aladdin as a kid. I just hope that she is influenced by other women as well. History making women.
“I’m the only consistent person in my life, and so I better like myself.”
I’d have to say, it’s because no one can tell you how to run your course or how to follow your journey through life. Everyone comes upon life lessons in different ways and at different times. Gabourey makes an excellent point in this video posted on The Conversation when she says that her mom tells her to get a thicker skin, but doesn’t tell her how. However, she learns her own form of self-confidence through her personal journey.
Any tips on how you gained your own self-confidence? What’s your story?
I read this immensely interesting article entitled, On Labeling Women ‘Crazy‘. (Original Post: Paging Dr. Nerdlove) Maybe “immensely” is an over-exaggeration, however, the depth that Harris O’Malley explored when writing this article did immensely open my eyes to a norm that we as a collective people have become accustomed to. Highlights of the article are below.
I’ve never considered myself a feminist. This is for no particular reason, just never thought of myself of much more than an “Alpha Female” kinda gal, however, rarely a condemning one. But after following and being extremely inspired by Amanda de Cadenet and her ‘totally alternative TV series’ The Conversation and reading this very thorough and in-depth article, I’ve concluded that I am. Or I can be. I’ll get there, because I’ve decided I will.
Firstly, let’s try to undo the general initial perspective of a feminist. As if the label only represents an unshaven, au naturale au of the time, loud, bitter, angry, man bashing, bra-less woman (lesbian, according to some views) I mean the stereotypes can go on and on.
When it in fact, does not equate to that. I believe it’s more about recognizing that there are inequalities in our society based strictly on gender and wanting to reform them; and we don’t have to wilder-beast ourselves out and not comb our hair to want them to be recognized. We certainly don’t have to commit to not being “submissive” in our own right. I believe a feminist can live a traditional life, as well. You don’t have to go out and hit the pavement and work a 9-5 to qualify. It’s about the equality between both men and women in all aspects.
I spent a lot of my life tom-boy-ish. It’s my foundation still, but I now like to do my hair and wear make-up and get my nails done and wear nice clothes. But I still watch sports and drink beer and can hang with a bunch of guys. And, wouldn’t you know it, I still want equality among women and men. I want to have the same rights as a man when vying for a position at work, and I want to be respected for it when I get it.
I shouldn’t be thought of as any less, or dispensable, because I can wear a pencil skirt and pumps and look amazing in it. I still deserve to be treated fairly; financially, physically, etc. No one is perfect, we are all donned with weaknesses. And my being a woman does not make mine any more or less prevalent than a man’s.
And we, as women, must stop being so hard on one another and be more supportive. Together we can do so much more than when we are separated, but I digress, that’s another issue. (Part 2…)
In order for growth to occur, lessons must be learned. Growth is essential and evolving is pertinent to that growth. So I’m on my way, and I’m rooting for and hoping people, anyone, will join me.
I’ve included a few posts that I found interesting below.
- I am a Feminist and I Like Getting My Hair Pulled (quarterlifeconversations.com)
- The Quiet Feminist (gettingontop.wordpress.com)
- Why feminism doesn’t need a makeover | Hadley Freeman (theguardian.com)
- Women of the world unite? No thanks. My response to the Blogfest feminism debate. (happinessinlearning.wordpress.com)
- I am a feminist… (thongexcavationpoetry.wordpress.com)