“When you admire something about another woman, tell her. Get into the habit of lifting each other up.”
There are a few things I’ve realized as I get older, and possibly wiser, possibly. One of those very things is the realization that society has a way of pitting women against each other, for reasons I cannot even begin to understand. All too often I hear statements that seem to suggest that women, both young and old, do not consider each other allies, but instead, competition. This very thought is enough to make me incredibly disappointed. While it may not be the popular opinion, women, simply because of their gender, have to fight much harder than men. We fight to be taken seriously. Women fight to be equally recognized and paid for the work that they do. They fight to be heard in a room full of others who would maybe prefer that they be seen and not heard. Some fight to prove that they have more importance than their looks or the partners that they love. I personally, want the world to know that I may not be the most beautiful person in the room, but I have an incredible mind. I may not be the strongest in the world, but I don’t know how to give up and I certainly won’t give in. I am also a woman that refuses to view my female peers as my competition.
Recently, I asked a few of my friends (females) if they would feel comfortable to pay a random woman a compliment. Unfortunately, too many of them said that they wouldn’t. When I asked them why they wouldn’t, one very frankly answered that society hasn’t taught her to recognize the strength, accomplishments or beauty of other women. But in a world of social media and societal expectations, it’s more common and acceptable to point out her flaws than anything else. Where in the hell have we gone wrong?
I have a goddaughter, and if I’m being honest, the thought of her was the inspiration behind this article. Luckily, she is still young enough that she has innocence in her eyes and a self esteem that is nourished by the loved ones in her life. However, I know this won’t always be the case. Eventually, she will grow up and our voices will not be the only influences in her life. Her friends, peers and society may become more influential to her and I’ll be damned if they are the factors that make her question her beauty, worth and value. I know in order for her to grow into a world that accepts her, as a society we need to be challenging the very nature of our society. Women, I’m looking at you especially. I know we’re currently living in a time that suggests we cannot be each other’s support systems, but that cannot remain unchallenged.
You are beautiful.
You are important.
You are enough.
But so too are the women around you. Their successes do not have to eclipse your own. Instead of looking at them individually, if we instead look at them collectively, we may begin to understand the power and strength we are capable of. I have two challenges for you this week, one, recognize yourself as the warrior that you are and two, compliment a woman around you. The world has tried to turn us into competition, but imagine what we could accomplish if we were teammates and allies!Published in