This comes from my heart and leaves me “naked”. If you feel uncomfortable reading it, skip forward and please don’t come back.
Here’s the truth.
I wasn’t born according to the ultimate beauty standards. I was pretty puffy kid with a scar on my forehead. I have had it since I was two, so to be honest when I look at myself in the mirror I barely notice it, but people seemed to notice it a lot. My nose is too big and cricked after I broke it around age 5? I don’t know, I just remember falling against the ground and a lot of blood. Thanks to the hospital that assured my mom – it is not broken. Very “appreciated”.
To make things even worse I lacked any sense of style. Honestly, I was pretty much walking rainbow with curly blond hair. Needless to say I was not a pageant princess. I was more like a geeky flower child.
The outcome? During my childhood and early teenage years I heard it all – the pig jokes, the elephant ears and big nose comments, because kids, teenagers and sometimes even grown ups lack the ability to be decent human beings, to see deeper and actually get to know somebody before calling them out on something purely visual. When those names got old I was told I looked arrogant, too serious for my age (if I had a dime every time I heard it..), snobbish etc etc…, I mean – sometimes it felt like society will never ever be satisfied, and when I look back at that time, I’m so glad it is over.
So maybe because of my “way too serious first impression” or “not your housewife type of attitude” I have been quite lucky and as a grown up haven’t been harassed by men who have been above me. They somehow have always asked for my opinion and actually listened to it, and that is a great starting point for trust, ergo productivity and growth in any work environment. It makes me disgusted to think that women around the world have been harassed and looked at as pretty things that can be used. To feel powerless is no way to live. To be scared to speak up and blame yourself is not okay. To say “I have been lucky to no to be harassed” is not okay. It should be the norm. No discussions. Period.
I have read some pretty dum arguments why things have gone this far. One of them is women being too much or too less of something, that has made them provocative. “Provocative” is a word that changes definition based on personal beliefs, a screwed up person might find the way someone breaths provocative, but it still doesn’t give the right to act on ones worse judgement. We all have equal rights to live and feel safe, to pursue our dreams and have equal chances of proving ourselves, to be heard and acknowledged, to love and be happy, to decide for ourselves as long as it does not physically harm another person.
Yeah, I know, that was a long intro. “Time’s up” for me is more about women empowerment in a sense of bonding the universal trust in ourselves and other women. It is not about destruction but building solid ground for a better future. Appreciation of what we have done, can do and will do as the time goes on. An ultimate love for the way we are, not the stigmatic definitions of who we were meant to be.
Because what I have experienced on my skin is that ugly truth that women tend to categorise each other more than anybody else – on the looks, on social life, family status and career progression. And most of the time with intention to decrease the value of others. When in reality we should aim to celebrate that we have it in us to do epic things, to prove our capabilities and worth. The more we will talk about how amazing things women around the world are doing, the more willpower and belief in ourselves we will attract. We should be proud of every single one of us, not quitting on our dreams, following them, changing old-school thinking, being badass at whatever the fuck we want, learning new things (because we can), living not just existing, pushing the boundaries, quitting situations where we are being abused (mentally or physically), speaking up and knowing that it matters. Every single one of us matter.
- We’re not just kitchen or bedroom accessories, that smile at the dinner table
- We’re not just the note takers or beautiful addition to meetings.
- We are like everybody else and at the same time like nobody else. Unique element of this time, space and place.
Start with yourself. Shift the power from them to you. Contribute to it.
I have two beautiful goddaughters whom I will ask more about their dreams and interests than about boys and looks. I will teach them that their opinion is as important as anybody else’s. That they are smart and capable of doing everything they want. And I will give them my full support in anything they decide to do. Because that is the change I want to see in the world.
I have heard that some people think this is “crazy feminism” & I will add one more thing – I hope to see more crazy people who believe they have a voice, their dreams matter and this life is meant to be lived loving it not somewhat getting by.
P.S. This is cool #timesupadvertising