A week ago, I was honored to provide an inspirational post for an awesome event in CT, “The Phenomenal Women Panel”. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted on the site, but I wanted it share this one with you all. Enjoy!
Earlier today, my third grader was telling her brother and me a story about a little girl in her class. Apparently, this little girl had been biting her style (my girl won the classroom fashionista award last year – she is ABOUT THAT LIFE). As a result, my daughter was none too pleased. “One day I’ll wear something, like my animal print Converse All-Stars, and the next day, she’ll be wearing the same thing!” Jokingly, I said the little girl was triflin’ for trying to steal baby girl’s style. But then, I had to pause and think about that interaction.
In jest or not, we tend to teach our young ladies, at a very early age, that other girls should be considered first and foremost, their competition. Friends, sure, but ones you still have to hold at arms’ length, whom you always have to side-eye and watch on the low. Because of course, other women, at the end of the day, are always out to steal your style, steal your man, steal your job, etc., etc. And while I’m all for friendly competition (although my friends, male and female, may not consider my idea of competition friendly, but whatever) this mentality is a nasty, negative habit many women are guilty of perpetuating.
We like to get on our social media soap boxes and speak of feminism, sisterhood, and women empowerment, but so few of us actually practice it. It sounds good when we say it, but to actually be about it? That’s a different story. That isn’t to say we aren’t capable of it; on the contrary. We women are so many things – loving, nurturing, intelligent, strong, motivating, encouraging – but we’ve allowed the narcissism of our society stifle that aspect of us, and in turn, our comraderie amongst each other.
What if, instead of hating on the chick that walks in the club with an outfit we ourselves wouldn’t be caught dead in, we compliment her shoes, so she doesn’t feel that sting of collective judgment? Or when we’re at work, instead of withholding information that could help others because we want to make ourselves appear irreplaceable, we share our knowledge and exchange ideas. I’ve found that getting along with other women in my peer groups has helped me a lot more than it has ever hurt me. When we begin to watch our words and actions, and commit to only spreading positivity between each other, we build tighter bonds and even boost our own spirits. As phenomenal women, our primary focus should be to uplift and encourage each other, not to dissuade and destroy. Be phenomenal.