Wednesday Word Day

Wednesday Word Day

President Barack Obama spoke to his people in his 2013 State of the Union address as he articulated these empowering words. President Obama couldn’t have spoken truer words. Did you know when 10% more girls attend school, a country’s GDP increases on average by 3%? I think that speaks volumes for the impact women have on the world. After all, women hold up half the sky.

Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) nearly a week ago now, and while I am absolutely ecstatic that the bill now extends even further than before, I can’t help but to think about all the women in the world left without the protection of a law like VAWA.

I have never understood how anyone could justify believing in any form of inequality. I don’t care if you are white, black, gay, straight. As human beings, we deserve to be protected from the misogyny and violence struck down upon us. Seven in ten women will be victims of some form of sexual or physical assault in their lifetime. That’s 70% of women. And I’m not just talking about in America. Believe it or not, America is just a small part of this great universe, and the sooner her citizens recognize that, the better off we’ll be.

Friday is International Women’s Day, (and Fierce Female Friday will most definitely be back after its two week break!) and this year the theme is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” So I say lets jump on board. You can help end violence against women not just at home but internationally. Lend your voice to the cause, because as VAWA denotes, we are all equal, and we all deserve the same protection. No woman should be forced to live in fear and subordination simply because she is not a man. The Declaration of Independence declares, “all men are created equal,” but I’d like to extend that quote even further by declaring that all humans are created equal. We have to put our differences aside and realize that it does no matter who we pray to (if we pray at all), where we call home, who we love, what we earn, or what skin color we see when we look in a mirror, no one deserves to be treated with anything less than love and respect. 

In the words of Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, “gender equality must become a lived reality.”

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Words of Wisdom from a Ugandan Woman

Study, wait for the right time, and then do what you want. You should feel free to be who you are. Sometimes girls can be frustrated with themselves, but they should love who they are and believe they are important people.

After a long day of studying chemistry, I find refuge in the comforting nature of a woman empowered. One of Sseko Designs‘ employees, Joesphine, spread her words of wisdom in honor of International Women’s Day, which by the way, I am incredibly excited for! Be prepared world! Come March 8th, the world will witness women empowered!

Music Monday: “Beautiful” Group 1 Crew

This past week was National Eating Disorder Awareness week. Now, whether or not you technically “observed” the “holiday,” you were most likely affected by eating disorders, or at least affected by the ideas fueling eating disorders. We all have insecurities, no matter who we are. It takes a while to be truly comfortable with yourself, inside and out. And because this is a blog, (and if you can’t be honest on a blog when can you?) I have to admit that every day I am affected by the caustic thoughts which I am sure every teenage girl experiences. The negative thoughts society has somehow instilled in the average girl’s–or boy’s–mind is truly mesmerizing. You can read all the articles, listen to all the songs, hear all the same encouragements, and I still don’t think you can ever really feel beautiful until you believe the words yourself.

Let us move past the traditional idea of “skinny,” and instead remind ourselves that beauty is being “healthy.” Society allows us to have different personalities and encourages us to embrace them. So then why does society not encourage different shapes? Girls grow up, modeling themselves after the girls on television, on the big screens, and in the magazines. But is that anyway to grow up? To compare is to diminish your self worth.

Yet even as I write these words of encouragement, I am a victim of the pervert conception which forces girls to suck in every time we pass a mirror, imagining what could be if only we ate less, trying to see our heads plastered on an actresses’s body–the supposed ultimate beauty we yearn to emulate. There are days I am comfortable in my own skin, days when I focus on the positives instead of the negatives, days when I know zero is not a size. Then there are days when I beg for my thighs to be a bit fitter, for my stomach to be flatter, for my proportions to be perfection. But what we need to remember is that we cannot judge our bodies off of anyone else’s, and especially not what we think someone else might like better. We are who we are for a reason, and nothing and no one is worth the repercussions that come from having an eating disorder.

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I think for some girls, even knowing all the facts ahead of time, no one really believes they’re going to actually become their eating disorder. Maybe they think that skipping a meal or two here and there can’t hurt–that it can’t possibly lead to a full-blown eating disorder–but what we need to realize is that, at first, that’s what everyone assumes. But before you know it, you’re counting calories or throwing up your dinner, and you’re transforming into someone else entirely. Someone who cannot, and perhaps will not, dig out of the hole they dove into.

The media cannot control our bodies or our minds. We are all beautiful in our own right. The most beautiful part of our image comes not from a thin stomach but from a wide grin born from the empowering knowledge that, “there are so many reasons for you to smile.”