Throughout every era of human history, womankind is evidenced to have both been shamed and idolized by society. Take women of the 1920s, for example. Both the suffragettes and flappers were all about taking back what is rightfully theirs: their rights. While these groups were diametric opposites, one supporting the conservative values of prohibition, the other dancing the night away in speakeasies, both of these groups supported the same fundamental value of women gaining personal freedoms. Both of these groups were not only ostracized by society, but by each other, but did both groups ultimately not stand for the same righteous ideals and rebellious movements? The world's twisted history of shaming women and encouraging them to shame each other traces back to society's need to pigeon hole women in to their ideals of what women should be and how they should act.
It seems as though we, as women, are grappling with a perpetual battle in which the opposition is no one other than ourselves. What if we did not rely on society for affirmation? What if, instead, we relied on our own definitions of intelligence and our own standards of beauty? This world is not kind to those who are no afraid to love. Whether it be loving others or loving ourselves, each of kind fo love is equally important and vital to achieving a fulfilled life. We have one duty as women: to build each other up with kindness and love, and to give the same treatment to ourselves. After all, one cannot pour from an empty cup.
International Women’s Day is an annual reminder that we should relentlessly celebrate each other and ourselves. Last week I had the incredible experience of discussing culture and heritage with six beautiful young women at Oklahoma State University. Each of these women has a powerful story to impart, each with its own blend of spices and flavors. I feel incredibly lucky that I am able to celebrate these women, not only on International Women’s Day, but every day.
This video gives you a sneak peek into these women’s lives. They reveal their past, their heritage, their opinions and their hopes for the future. Their kind and warm hearts are rays of sunshine on a clear spring day. It was equally a privilege and a pleasure to learn more about each of them and to help share their stories with the world.