I was recently talking to someone…a male identified someone who said to me “Doesn’t seeing Mylie Cyrus swinging around on a wrecking ball make you feel so empowered as a woman?”
Let me start this off by saying NO. Seeing a half-naked or fully naked person swinging on a ball and chain in no way makes me feel empowered as a woman.* My mind was blown by this question and I started asking my own questions: Do people really think that is empowering? Is that what men think a strong and confident woman looks like? Is that what women and young girls feel empowered by today? I only have my own experiences to draw from…I can’t speak for, nor do I represent women everywhere…so speaking for myself: no, I do not find that empowering.
It really got me thinking about empowerment. What famous women and cultural icons make me feel empowered? Who are those people I look at and see strength, beauty, vulnerability, and courage? Who are the women of this time that raise me up and call me forward?
This blog actually took me awhile to write. Not because it’s long or wordy, but because I really struggled with identifying women who empower me. Women who I look to as a beacon of strength and empowerment. After much thought, talking to others, and a little soul searching, here are women, alive today, that make me feel empowered. Make me feel inspired. Women that make me proud to be a woman.
Brene Brown- She calls us to deeper and more wholehearted living. She asks us to be vulnerable in our lives and lives vulnerably. She empowers me to dream bigger and fall harder.
Susan Cain- Susan challenges mainstream societal views around introversion and what we introverts can do. She thinks differently and encourages others to see the other side of the coin. She is bold in her thinking and gives voice to many who didn’t know how to find their way through a loud and extroverted world. Thank you for challenging the status quot.
J.K. Rowling- Harry Potter…need I say more? Well yes…why? Because Rowling not only writes beautifully and uses her gift to change lives, make people dream, and provide hope through story telling, but she also writes important characters. Real characters. Characters that fail, succeed, doubt, struggle, hope, form friendships, are smart, and are loyal. She also advocates for marginalized populations. Love it.
Meryl Streep- Classy, outspoken, courageous, privileged, legendary. All words I would use to describe Meryl Streep. I respect her because she uses spotlight moments to raise up and call out others with privilege like her own. Most of us hold privilege and that’s not inherently wrong…its what we do with it. I like what she does with it.
Sophia Bush– Some of you might find this an odd addition, but here is the thing: Sophia Bush calls BS on the harmful things in society affecting women: sexism, eating disorders, unrealistic beauty standards, etc. She literally calls their bluff. Sophia Bush speaks out frequently against companies like Urban Outfitters that has t-shirts encouraging girls to “eat less.” She has raised my awareness on certain things and I appreciate it. Way to call BS when you see it girl!
Jen Hatmaker– If you are reading this and a Christian, you’ve probably heard about Jen Hatmaker’s recent interview where she talked about privilege, race, and LGBTQ rights. Oh yes…she also talked about holiness. Many people were very upset by this interview. Well…I loved it. It is so hard to question what we believe, to admit we might be wrong, and to open up to other ideas even if they aren’t popular. So she is someone I respect and admire. She was willing to ask questions and find her own answers. She stepped into the uncomfortable.
Those are all the women you probably know of. But these are the women I know personally…Kim Hazlip, Caiggy Roth, Cathy Barthelmas, Jodi Main, Lindsay Davis, Casey Brett, Kathleen Aren, Noelle Cothern, Lindsay Webster, Abby Meysenburg, Tracy Mowery, Devin Mowery, Monique Hubbard, Kenzie Gentry, Delyse Lawless, Heather Lawless, Vicki Canan, and so many more…the women in my personal life who show courage, compassion, drive, love, fierceness, joy, pain, and loyalty. The women who have raised me up as a woman. Who have bared their hearts and scars.
These are women, real women who make me want to be better, try harder, dream bigger, and rise stronger.
What women in your life empower you? What does empowerment as a woman mean to you? I hope you comment below!! I know I would love to learn about the awesome women in your life and who you admire…I’m sure others would too!
*This article was in no way bashing Miley Cyrus. I find her humor, confidence, and joy all very refreshing. She is a power house artist and a go-getter. I simply don’t find her nudity to be empowering to me…but hey, others might. You do you.