"I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world." —Meryl Streep
International Women’s Day is a day of pride, a day of love and a day of empowerment. On this day we celebrate women and their achievements. On this day we stand up and show how proud we are of our fellow ladies. We will raise our voices and cheer for women and all they have done from past to present. We will celebrate the lives of the women that made a huge difference for us. We will cheer for Joan of Arc, Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billie Holiday, Margaret Fuller, Marie Curie, Katharine Hepburn, Maya Angelou, Mother Teresa, Wangari Maathai, Louisa May Alcott, Katherine Johnson, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Debbie Reynolds.
On this day we will empower one another. We live in a world where the media pressures women to look a certain way, to dress a certain way, to act a certain way, and it’s time for us to unite against the negative views that parts of the media and society share. We are not weak. We are not dumb. We are not possessions. We are not meek. We are women and we are powerful and ready to show the world just how brilliant we are.
Together, as a sisterhood, we can empower one another and spread our strength around to every woman on the planet. One way to be more empowering is to look to pop culture and follow the ways of the strong female characters that grace our screens. Show your friends that you can achieve your dreams if you’re as hard working and determined as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation. Look to the women in Hidden Figures who were the brains behind one of NASA’s biggest operations, they never let discrimination win and proved that women are smart and capable of shooting for the moon. Katniss Everdeen fought against the Capitol and President Snow and proved to us that women are full of fire and strength. Mulan taught us how to be brave when she went into battle to protect her father. She joined the army and put her own life at risk for the sake of her family. She proved to us that women are brave and tough.
We need to spread positivity more to make women feel empowered. Social media can have a negative impact on our self-esteem so something as simple as writing a sweet comment on your friend’s latest Instagram photo can boost their confidence. We are surrounded by articles about how to lose ten pounds or what colour dress you must wear to look good, but what we need to do is to remind each other that we are perfect just the way we are. Tell your Mam that her new red dress looks lovely, remind your friend that her freckles are adorable, and tell your sister that her wild, curly hair is one of her best features. Compliments will leave the ladies in your life grinning like the Cheshire Cat and in the wise words of Annie, “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
The main element of feeling empowered is support. With the support from our sisterhood we will feel like we can do anything. If your friend is considering applying for an internship shower them with encouragement. If your Mam is thinking of joining a book club tell her to go for it. If your co-worker wants to get the tattoo they’ve been dreaming of since the Leaving Cert years then tell them to follow their dream. Encouraging each other and showing the women in our lives that we support them is vital. A confident woman is unstoppable. We need to spread joy and love and care instead of being jealous, catty and bitchy. The world is full of enough negativity as it is, without us women going against one another. By empowering one another we can turn the planet into a fairer and happier place for women.
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”