So, This Feminist Thing…

I’ve noticed that there has been a bit of tension online. I mean, obviously with campaigning for the Presidency, the election itself, and then the inauguration, there was bound to be tension.

However, the tension really seemed to erupt on my social media outlets the day of the Woman’s March. Many people were supportive, yet there were many who were bashing the women marching. I read posts people wrote about how marching was a waste of time because women have everything we could ever need or want here in the United States. I even saw a very popular post stating that feminism itself was a waste of time because women already have everything they need.

Feminism is a term that is considered negative and full of distain for men. Many men and women view Feminism as a “down with men” movement and a hatred towards the opposite gender. Feminism is mostly seen through the 1970s lens of bra-burning and man-hating.

This type of Feminism is NOT today’s Feminism.

Currently, the United States is going through what is called the “third wave” of Feminism. Wave #1 was when women were marching for the right to vote. Wave #2 was when women marched in the 1970s with a focus on careers. Wave #3 is the time we are in now.

Women are fighting for equality.

Not just equality of genders, but equality across racial lines. So that men and women of any skin color can make equal pay. So that men and women of all colors can feel safe in work environments. So that equal pay and safety are no longer privileges, but a societal right.

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Yes; I know many women in other parts of the world don’t have the rights we do here in the US. However, the USA is a developed country. We are supposed to be the “Leader of the Free World”, and yet women are not paid the same as their male counterparts.

How is this equality?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s not.

So sure, you don’t have to be a feminist; but to be a feminist is to want equality. Feminism is not a bad word, it is a hopeful one.

If you want equal pay, you are a Feminist.

If you want your daughter to have the same academic opportunities as your son, you are a Feminist.

If you want your daughter to not have to worry about sexual harassment at work, school, or on the street, you are a Feminist.

I believe all this things and want to see these things happen in my country. You know what? That makes me a Feminist… and that is not a gross thing to be.

So, let us come together in hope of a changing world; for our sons, daughters, and ourselves. Let us work towards a brighter future by embracing what Feminism actually is… not what we are scared it might be.

To those who actively marched: thank you. For change is not brought about by one person in an important chair, but by the groups of loud voices calling for change.

Much love. Much grace.

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How Interviewing for Jobs Helped Me Gain Confidence

It’s hard out there, guys. I mean I’ve read articles and studies and a bunch of other stuff about how hard it is to get a job out there in the “real world”, especially for Millennials just graduating from college. (I mean, a graduate needs a four-year degree and five years of experience for an entry level job now… Literally impossible.) It’s pretty brutal. It’s less brutal if you know what you want to do with your life and you have the ability to relocate, but still very tough to beat out people for a job and not just huddle in a corner and cry. #realLife

It’s been nine months since I graduated with my BS degree and for about four months I was actively looking for a job.Β I now have a job that I am really enjoying, but the job search took a bit of a toll on my self-esteem and confidence there for a bit. However, this experience has been enlightening and encouraging in many different ways.

Now, in November of last year I talked about some of the fears I hadΒ and that I was still working on overcoming them. This experience has helped speed along that process in a major way, really getting down to the grit of specific fears I have.

Fear of Judgement

I hate knowing that people are constantly making first impressions of others and the idea of taking tests to determine my knowledge or skill at something makes my stomach hurt. I hate being judged. I hate being put on a number scale to determine my worth, because to me I don’t believe it is an accurate depiction of who I am.

Imperfection

I want to be good at everything; and by that I mean that I want to do everything perfectly. If I am doing something I want every detail to be aligned and displayed in a creative and fun way, and if it isn’t I tend to beat myself up about it.

Not Being Enough

It was hard going into job interviews and not getting a job. Β I had flaws that the future employer could not overcome, so they choose someone else. Mostly those flaws were experience related, but it’s very hard not to take each rejection personally.

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After each rejection, I noticed that my fears began to shrink. After each rejection I would grieve for a moment but then I would try to prepare for the next interview. Then, I started to list out good qualities about my professional self and memorizing them for interviews. I even carried them around on a piece of paper at one point so I could add more when I thought of them. I also started asking others what good qualities they saw in me so that I could add them to the list to tell future employers. This strategy helped me not just get a job, but be confident in my new stage of adulting. The career stage.

So, if you are out there searching and trying and maybe crying a little during a job search, just know you have many qualities to offer. So many, that I bet you could make a long list of them. πŸ˜‰

Much love. Much grace.

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Wear the Bikini

I love swimming!

When I was a teenager I was on a swim team and have honestly just always felt at home in the water (salt or chlorine… doesn’t matter!)

I always wore a one-piece or a tankiniΒ for most of my life up until pretty recently when I decided I really wanted a bikini. Cute one-piece suits are hard to find, and I always loved how bikini’s have mix-and-match options.

So this February, I decided that if I could lose a certain amount of weight, I would wear a bikini in public. So I set a goal, created a time-table and eating plan, and got to work. I have lost some of the weight I wanted, but not nearly as much as I planned in my over-zealousΒ schedule. But you know what? I still wanted to wear my bikini… at the pool… in public.

Such a conundrum.

I had bought the cutest two-piece as a motivation to work out and be healthy, so I already had a cute suit. And Mr. Yell and I were going WAY out of town on an anniversary trip, so no one I knew would even see me wear it. All I had to do was wear it.

And wear it I did.

You guys, at first I was totally self-conscious and worried about my “problem areas” but after about 30 minutes, it felt so free. I forgot all about my weight and “fluff” and just enjoyed swimming. It was so wonderful to not worry about what other people were thinking and just enjoy my time swimming.

 

For the first time in quite a while, I was able to feel comfortable in my body and who I am in this point and time. This is who I am right now, and this is how I look. I can love it or hate it, but in the end it is the only body I have.

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This is the first post in the “Summer Series” and I wanted to show ya’ll how committed I am to this being MY summer. And YOUR summer. Don’t let fear hold you back from what you want to do. This summer is for you and for your confidence to shine. We are in this together! So wear the bikini, or not. It’s YOUR choice. Wear what you want to the beach… and own it.

Much love. Much grace.

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This Is YOUR Summer

I have been particularly struggling with this idea for some timeΒ now, not because I don’t think it needs talking about, but because I wasn’t sure I was qualified to write about it. Body confidence, and confidence in general, is something I have struggled with for a while. For many women, this struggle is a life-long battle in loving herself.

This summer I am going to write about the most difficult topic; self-worth.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a professional by any means. I don’t know five easy steps to loving yourself, I don’t know how to help you lose/gain weight, nor do I have a killer workout to help you with your booty gains. I am just a 23 year old woman who knows the struggles of finding, keeping, and desiring self-love. All I know is what I wish someone would have told me, or what I wish I would have listened to about loving myself.

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Those are the things I am going to work on in myself and try to share during this season. This won’t be every post, but it is a theme that I am wanting to challenge myself during these warmer months.

Much grace. Much love.

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If you have a story or comment or anything you would like to share on this topic, please let me know by contacting me. I would love to hear/share your story in growing or searching for coming to like/love your physical self.

Loving The Skin You’re In

Let me be completely honest, I did not know that photoshopping women’s bodies was even possible until I was 17.

I fully believed that those girls in the magazines were real; their bodies, faces, and clothes. I believed that these women were perfect models, I didn’t know where these magazines found them, but I knew they had to exist for magazines to put them on spreads and in articles.

Ladies:

THIS IS A LIE.

I know now, that magazines, celebrities, and even “normal” people photoshop or reshape their bodies and faces everyday. That these body sizes, lip shapes, and perfect women do not exist.

β€œYou are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

I recently learned that other women have similar imperfections to myself. I learned that other women have stretch marks.

I had always thought that women get stretch marks from pregnancy until last year when I gained a bit of weight. I began getting stretch marks on my legs and hips; and I was completely mortified. I’m not talking about a little bit of embarrassment, but completely humiliated. I was so ashamed that I wouldn’t even wear shorts anymore. I felt that my struggle with my food choices was finally visible, and that I was the only one with these marks of shame.

Recently, I watched a video about women and their stretch marks. How each woman received them and how that made each woman feel. I loved seeing this because it brought me to a point of community and understanding about my body, and it’s imperfections.

Thank you for a whole year of Go Giving!

All the scars, stretch marks, and other markings you have are so important. They tell a story about the life you have lived, who you have become, and who you used to be. Your scars add depth to your first impression and should be celebrated, not create embarrassment. I know this is all easier said than done, but if us ladies can each work towards loving our scars and talking about them, maybe other women and girls wouldn’t feel the shame we have felt.

Maybe we can all start loving the skin we are in.

Much love. Much grace.

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