I don’t really follow the Kardashians and I don’t really have an opinion about them. They do what they do and make money doing it – most of us do what we do and make money doing it. But I saw something yesterday that stuck with me and to be honest, annoyed me – GREATLY. So, yesterday as I was scrolling through facebook, I learned that Kim Kardashian sometimes posts nude selfies (in all honesty I knew that) on Instagram. Yesterday, I saw a post of her and a friend, nude from the waste up with a black bar across their breasts and they were both flipping the bird (sticking up the middle finger) to the camera. I’m not judgeing – to each his own. But the thing that bothered me about this particular nude selfie was that she was trying to show how empowering it is to be able to post a nude selfie and flip the bird. Really? This is now how we demonstrate a form of woman empowerment? Again, to each his own. I’m not going to bash her or her selfie friend in the pic with her nor will I comment further on it. But in the spirit of free speech and of women feeling empowered and helping to empower each other I want to show you pictures of women I think show my version of empowerment.
This is Ife. I’ve never met her, but I’ve read about her. She is a fifth grader who has been bullied incessantly at school about her weight. She decided to do something about it. She has chosen to create a fashion line for “thicker’ girls. As a result, she made a debut of her clothing line at Fashion week. Seems like a pretty incredible young girl wouldn’t you agree? She is my picture of an empowered girl.
This is Jessie. I’ve known Jessie for about 3 years. She’s a young girl who had a dream since she was little to work at Disney and worked hard until she achieved that particular dream. She leaves soon for her new position!! Yeah Jessie!! Not only is she absolutely gorgeous on the outside, she is totally gorgeous on the inside. She is always there to help out a fellow human being. She has close ties to her family and has the sweetest soul. She is my picture of an empowered young woman.
This is Rita. I’ve known Rita for 12 years. She’s a woman you want in a dark alley with you at night – lol. Rita is beautiful, kind, fierce, smart, and one of the bravest women I know (and just happens to be my business partner). She has been through hell and back in terms of her own story of survival as a young child, perseverance with regards to a difficult past relationship, and incredible patience in terms of familial issues. She is one of the strongest women I know. She is my picture of an empowered woman.
This is Jill. I just met Jill a couple of years ago. She is an amazing writer, business woman, and colleague. Since being an entrepreneur, I’ve seen Jill help a number of fellow business people by opening up her media contacts and getting them articles in papers, magazines, and radio. When a crisis arises – no matter what time – Jill has been there to help calm the storm – never judgemental, always listening, always wanting to help. She is my picture of an empowered woman.
This is Tina. I just met Tina a few months ago. She is a woman who has lived through trauma having survived domestic violence. However, in an effort to protect herself and her loved ones, her ex partner was killed and she had to face the consequences for taking a life. Upon her return to society, she has worked tirelessly to educate other women of the issues of domestic violence, she has worked tirelessly to grow her business, Flipped Kouture, to provide others with an avenue to use their creativity. She gives, and gives, and gives so that others don’t have to experience what she did. She is my picture of an empowered woman.
This is Rosalie – my mom. I met her 41yrs ago. She is a woman of incredible strength, kindness, and character. She always taught her daughters (me) to love people. She demonstrated how to give people an opportunity to show you who they are and if they are hurtful, pray for them. Her words that have been burned into the ears and minds of her daughters – “Get your education! If you have your papers, no one can take them from you. You are a black woman so you have to work that much harder to achieve the level of success that you want”. She has watched her kids make some pretty crazy choices, but stuck by them and supported them when they fell. Encouraged them to get back up and cheered on their successes. She is my picture of an empowered woman. Love you mama!!
So to all of the Kim K’s out there that feel the need to flash their breasts and flip the bird (stick up your middle finger) to show the world how empowered you are – I’m sorry. I’m not impressed. But I will pray for you, because I’m fairly certain that beautiful women such as yourselves, have much to share and give. For all I know, you do a lot of philanthropy. I don’t know. But for the little girls that are looking for someone to look up to and who need to feel empowered – look around your community. I’m fairly certain that if I’m able to rhyme off six women in 10min, you can find at least one woman in your community who is YOUR picture of empowerment.
Remember first and foremost – BELIEVE IN YOU.