“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.” – Beyoncé.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I wanted to get this post up then already, but I had a few glitches along the way, so it’s a day late. But not any less important!
When I think about what it is to be a woman, a million things come to my mind. In this day and age, being a woman is something to be proud of, our rights are being fought for like never before and finally there is an understanding of the term feminist. I think for a long time it was believed that being a feminist was being “a hater of men”, but that’s definitely a strong misconception. Claiming your feministic views does not automatically mean one is against men, but rather that women are on an equal standing with them. Men can be feminists too!!
I’ve always been one for ‘girl power’ and all that jazz. What has always fascinated me is the friendships and bonds that form between women. You always hear how when guys fight, they just need to punch it out and that’s that. With girls, it’s always a while before things cool down after a fight, usually there is a LOT of talking involved, possibly some tears, and at the end, many, many hugs. But once you’ve been through the worst with your fellow women, there is no stronger bond that could tie people together. And from there, you know you’ve got friends for life. That is powerful.
So on this International Women’s Day I thought a lot about being a woman in this world of social media, of instant gratification, having the next best thing immediately, looking your best, and so on. The job comes with a lot of requirements and constraints that can certainly be overwhelming. But at the same time, never has it been more humbling and inspiring to be a part of this gender who “runs the world”.
Women are standing up for rights in all shapes and forms, proving that a pretty face doesn’t mean a lack of intelligence. Or even that the exteriors that we are constantly trying to improve, is in no means more important than our inner being. Strong, determined women in our world are setting new highs in education, in business, in making it known that we can do it all. And pretty damn well too.
This fight that women have been fighting for a very long time has taught me a few things about womanhood, that I started taking note of when I realized what an amazing thing it is to be one:
We are DAMN strong.
I don’t mean necessarily physically (although, we most certainly can be. Hello, babies?) But emotionally, mentally. There are a lot of expectations for women – adhering to society’s ‘beauty standards’, looking after the family, maintaining a certain figure, etc. However, to me it seems as though today’s women have said “Screw it” and done their own thing. And I love that! Taking on the whole world’s idea of what the perfect woman should look like, act like and do, is essentially crippling to the individuality of women and their emotional wellbeing.
The way Adele said that she doesn’t make music for the eyes, but for the ears – that’s a huge “screw you” to the haters! One small example, but a huge eye opener to how the world has been run for a really long time.
Being a woman means to empower.
Whether this empowerment is through educating people, loving people or just giving somebody a chance, empowerment is a huge part of a woman. I read this quote by Brigham Young last night: “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” This is extremely powerful. Women are givers, and it is through their giving that people learn. The giving of a mother’s time during her busy day, to cook a meal for her family. The giving of a female teacher on her one free afternoon, to help children with extra lessons. These are small acts of kindness, but in the big picture, they instil a sense of worth and confidence within others.
We are realising that our voices are incredibly loud together.
Each and every opinion matters, but it definitely wasn’t always like that. I heard a woman the other day speaking about the death of her father-in-law. Himself and her mother-in-law had been married for so many years, that when she started working a long time ago, she needed a letter of permission from her husband. Imagine! You can believe now that they must have been married for years and years and years.
Long gone are those days though. Long gone are those days where women were too afraid to speak up in fear of getting in trouble, because they were inferior. Long gone are those days where women couldn’t do certain things that men could. Rather we’re lucky enough to be living in a time where these things are rapidly changing, and the ladies are starting fires where they were once scared to light candles.
This is why I am proud to be a woman, and to celebrate International Women’s Day with the ladies of this world. And especially to my fellow women who have been through it all with me, here’s to you!
Top and pants from Frock You Up. Shoes from H&M. Styled by Lynn Deckers.