Today is International Women’s Day. A day dedicated to the accomplishments and progress made by women, for women. I dig it.
I’ve always tried to surround myself with strong, confident women. I feel lucky to have so many incredible female influences in my life, starting with my mom, and ranging to friends and family and coworkers. The more time I spend around powerful women, the more I expect from myself. It baffles my mind that less than a century ago, women weren’t allowed to vote, and now we run countries.
Don’t get me wrong…I like when men open doors for me and pick up tabs, and it’s nice getting into elevators first. But I’ve never considered myself a feminist. The word seems fanatical and makes me feel like I have something to prove. But there are certain ways I identify with the idea.
My thoughts relate to discrimination, but not with regard to payscales or promotions. It’s something in the way females behave and treat ourselves that makes it feel like we’re still accepting secondary treatment, in subtle ways, from ourselves.
We encourage this in our incessant self critiquing and criticism. Our devotion to being thin. The dollars we invest in highlights, tanning and manicures. The pressure to be perfect. When did we start being so mean to ourselves? And at what price? I wish we could take the time and energy we spend feeling less than perfect and devote it to a more noble cause. If I took the time I’ve spent wishing for a smaller jean size and used it more productively, I could have cured the common cold by the time I graduated high school.
My point is, as little girls, we were told we were perfect and beautiful, and could do anything, even change the world. And we believed it. We never doubted ourselves or felt we weren’t good enough. And I don’t know what happened to change our minds.
What was the tipping point? When did 10 year old girls start avoiding carbs?
We can’t always blame society or history. We need to look inward if we want to make a change. If we don’t love ourselves, we risk losing a lot.
So, my message for International Women’s Day? You’re not fat. And you’re not a hot mess. Your life is wonderful, and full of opportunity. It’s going to be hard, really hard, but it’ll all be ok.
And you really should eat that cookie, because I said so.