This post is unfortunately a day late, but that does not lessen the importance of it. As a woman, I take great pride in annually recognizing and celebrating International Women’s Day – along with Women’s History Month as a whole. I am an avid supporter of ‘Shine Theory’, which is the practice of befriending successful women instead of viewing her as a potential enemy/competitor, as coined by Ann Friedman.
Thus, in this post I wanted to take a moment to recognize the women that I admire and who inspire me to be the best version of myself:
My mom – my mom is one of my best friends and one of the biggest influences on who I am as a person today. She has always been my biggest supporter and always made sure to help me feel as if I can do anything that I set my mind to. Growing up with a working mom, and seeing her equally contribute as much to our household as my dad is the reason why not working or having a future career was never an option for me. My mom is the ultimate matriarch – she does it all and makes it look so easy, even though I know that it’s far from easy. She is the strongest person I know, and I can only hope to harness even an ounce of that strength in my daily life.
My grandma – the central matriarch to our entire family. My grandma is one of the sweetest, most caring people you can ever meet. She is so kind-hearted and loving down to her core, it’s impossible not to adore her. I like to believe that I inherited a lot of my grandma’s genes, and one thing I try to emulate after her lead is her positivity. She likes to seek out the best in everyone and is a big believer in giving everyone a fair chance, something I believe to be a very admirable trait – especially in today’s world. My grandma has an affinity for angels, which is very fitting for her because if anyone in our family is destined to be an angel, it’s her.
My friends – I have been lucky enough, over many years of trial and error, to assemble a core group of ladies who I know I can fully rely on in times of both happiness and crisis. Every female friendship I have is one that I cherish because I have grown to realize the importance of having female companions. The best kind of friendship is one where you feel like you can be freely be yourself without worry of any judgment and, most importantly, one where you can walk away from conversations feeling like your best self. I can safely say that I feel this security with every single one of my close female friends, and I treasure that so fiercely. I think my feelings about female friendships are best encapsulated by Ellie Goulding’s song “Army”.
Female public figures, of both past and present, such as: Oprah, Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou, Roxane Gay, Gloria Jean Watkins aka bell hooks, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shonda Rhimes, Ava Duvernay, Ellen Degeneres, Rowan Blanchard, Amandla Stenberg, Lauren Duca, Mindy Kaling, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan & Mary Jackson (go see Hidden Figures, if you haven’t already!), my list goes on forever… – thank you. Every single one of these women is, or has been, an incredible influence not only on the feminist movement, but the history of women in general. Women like the ones I mentioned have done things that helped to pave the way for other women, such as myself, to feel like we can do more and we can be more. These women inspire me daily to be better, and I hope your inspirations do the same for you.
Women are such an integral and key part of our everyday society. Humanity would simply cease to continue existing without the presence of women – I mean, we literally create human beings. I am so proud to be a woman, and with that, I realize the importance of recognizing the social and political imbalance of gender that we see in today’s society. While we certainly have progressed some since the suffrage days, there is still much work to do. With that, I encourage my fellow women, both young and old, to get involved, stay informed, and above all, know your worth.