My sister just shared this video on Facebook and I immediately was sucked in. It reminded me of fast poetry and the likes of something I would watch and be interested in – in college, especially during my feminist stage. Regardless it is the message that is so important. “Take Up Space.” Yes, do it. I finally did.
After so many years (and something I have often blogged about) where my dad was so keen on reminding us that children were to be seen and not heard, it took me to my junior and senior years of college to realize I was NOT taking up any space. Being seen and not heard was so ingrained in who I was, that I did not know what it was like to say what I thought. I was on the quieter side. Eventually through my women’s study classes, and learning more about “voice” I realized how much I really had to say.
In order to truly speak up and talk I needed to take up space. A novel idea to someone who for so many years was basically told to be invisible. I know I was/am like so many women that struggle with taking up space. Instead of hiding or being quiet — instead say what you need to say. Say it again. Take up some space.
Women can be brutal to each other. Somehow we can be harsh to each other, have high expectations, and do little to comfort our fellow women, mothers, and friends. We need to change that. We need to stop cutting each other down and start building each other up. None of us are perfect. No one has all the answers.
This video from Similac called “The Sisterhood of Motherhood” reminds me how different we all are. Whether you are a granola mom, a working professional mom, or maybe right down the middle, no one is better than another. Watch this video (even with the slightly cheesy ending).
We need to stop judging and do more connecting. While I do not have kids I do not look forward to the PTA and gossip, the judgment, and back stabbing. Sometimes I think about it and am reminded that all these phases we go through in life are like little microcosms of middle school that we relive over and over again. I know someone who has neighbors that are a quite like Desperate Housewives. Lots of whispering, purposefully excluding certain neighbors, and often downright rude. Is it a woman thing?
Instead let’s have each other’s back. No judgement for whether you use formula or breast feed, fill a landfill with diapers or use cloth. We all have choices we have to make in life. How about we do them without judging each other?
Somehow my dad instilled in us that we could do whatever we put our mind to and it started with trying. While much of my childhood reminds me of how much we failed my dad, there were definitely moments that he instilled positive reinforcement that we were capable and we had to put one leg in front of the other and go. A blog post from the early days of my blog brings back memories of my dad, titled: “The I CAN.” I cannot say that I exhibited a strong sense of believing in those days that anything was possible. Over the years of health challenges and other issues, mixed with the raw and real reality that somehow I have always had just what I needed, these past few years I have a newfound zeal for doing anything and everything possible to suck the life out of every day.
In my mid twenties to early thirties I went through a tough medical challenge. While I do not really care to share the details, I will tell you that when I got through it I looked at life with a new lens. Yes, I jumped into life head, feet, and whole body first. I was finally able to make it through my day without my body crashing at 2 pm. I could run (at first slowly). I could sweat again. This video makes me happy because I hope women of all shapes and sizes feel the same way. Due to my health challenges I had gained over 40 pounds so I can attest to what it felt like to start moving again. Take a peek at the video.
Inspired? It is from the UK group “This Girl Can.” I hope that all girls, women, ladies (whatever you want to be called) feel they can move, sweat, and do what they want. It feels good to jump, dive, swim, run, bike, and move. Bring it. Go. Be. Move fast. Sweat it all out.
Recently Chris and I were talking about how easy it is for men to pick out clothes. Obviously there are many reasons, and you can yay or nay them based on the person or your personal opinion, but the most glaring or obvious to me is that for a man a size 34 is a size 34 is a size 34. No, those are not typos. I wrote in that way for emphasis. A woman’s size 8 is not a woman’s size 8. Even within the same company a women’s size 8 is vastly different, and from company to company it is grossly different.
Chris can go into a store, not try on a single item, make a purchase and be happy. I do not have that luxury. I have to try everything on and even then I am slightly (or maybe more than slightly) indecisive about making a purchase. Sometimes the day I try something on it fits fine and when I come home and try something on a day or so later it fits differently.
Alas, the dilemma of shopping as a woman. Our conversation about clothes, sizing, and fit made me think about Marilyn Monroe. I started wondering about her and what was considered beautiful in the 1950’s. After a bit of research, what I learned was a bit mind-boggling and I think that says something about our society. You can read full details here, but in the 1950’s Marilyn was a size 12-16. I know that is a big range, but as you look at pictures (or if you were around to remember her) you would think “she was not a 12-16.” As the article states in the 1980’s, the Department of Commerce changed our sizing (umm…can we say how vain we have gotten). A size 16-18 in the 1950’s is equivalent to a size 8 today. A big difference. The article even states:
“Those measurements were 5 ft. 5.5 inches tall; 35 inch bust; 22 inch waist (approximately 2-3 inches less than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches less than average today); and 35 inch hips, with a bra size of 36D.”
Marilyn had a 22 inch waist, and the average today is 35 inches. Shocking. That is a crazy difference. Regardless of all the changes to sizing from the 1950’s to today, it is still a man’s world. Most of the time a woman cannot go into a store, grab her size, pay and leave. Is it time for a size revolution?
No one likes to be judged. Especially if you are being judged because of your gender. It is 2014. Does it still happen? You betcha. Should it still be happening? Hell no.
When I saw this Pantene commercial, I hardly thought about what they want you to think about, the individual’s hair. Yes, if you really look it is shiny, glossy, and looks great. Yes, you see it subliminally. Yet, at the moment, I do not care. I like an ad that can make me think, that can make me put myself in their shoes. That is telling a story, and making an emotional connection with their consumer. Does this commercial hit you in the gut, or make your cry? No. But, it does make you think.
How many of us have felt gender stereotypes in the workplace? I definitely have. Am I taken seriously because I am a woman? Not always. Do folks think I come off as a bitch when I might be firm and aggressive about a situation? Sometimes. Would they feel the same way if it was a man who was firm and aggressive? Probably not as much as they would a woman. Am I biased? Maybe. Why might I be biased? Only because I have felt what it is like to not be respected in my role by men, and sometimes even women. Gender stereotypes at its finest. You will see what I mean when you watch this quick Pantene commercial.