Let me take you back to five year old “me’s” room for a quick’sec.
Pink everything, glitter and shimmer in every applicable place, stuffed animas, barbies, beanie babies, and Disney Princess dresses. It sounds like I was just like any other five-year-old girl, right? What you can’t see is that I hated glitter; I wasn’t a fan of the way it stuck to you and got everywhere. I only ever took to one teddy bear. I only collected beanie babies because my parents told me they would be worth a lot of money one day. The barbies were always bought for me by distant relatives when they visited foreign lands and as for the Princess dresses? They were maybe worn once or twice because they were “itchy”. But I DID/DO love pink.
For the Christmas of ’99 (yes I remember the year) all I wanted from Santa was Barbie’s Jeep; it was pink and had doors that opened like a REAL car. As I said, I never played with Barbies, I didn’t see the point, I didn’t want to make them play house or pretend that Ken and Barbie were in love. I was way more interested in the Jeep.
The same was true when it came to dresses and other girly things like cheerleading, I found more comfort in the sports we were cheering for and wearing shorts and tennis shoes. I’m sure my parents often questioned this tomboy behavior. But that’s just who I was, and I think it was my relationship with my Dad that inspired me to be different, “don’t be who you’re told to be.” And to be honest, I wouldn’t change that for the world because it has opened my eyes to so many things that are wrong in society.
I was recently exposed to a new campaign, “Ban Bossy”, in Maddex’s class (here’s your shoutout!) and it really made me question the word “bossy” and everything that coattails it.
“At six years old it’s, “You’re bossy”, by sixteen it’s, “You’re a bitch”, but why? Because some girls don’t want to be like everyone else? Because, like me, they didn’t want to be Suzy Homemakers and make sure Barbie and Ken’s house was filled with a happy family?
I can remember being called “bossy” in elementary school; it was one of the first times that I was really hurt by someone’s words. It changed my interactions with my classmates from then on, that may sound dramatic but it did; I didn’t want to think my peers saw me as a bossy, spoiled kid. I can also remember the first time someone used the word “bitch” and “Holly” in the same sentence, all because I stood up for myself. I won’t bore you with the details, but it is obviously something that stuck with me to this day.
We are always told to “be strong”, but not too strong, “be brave”, but not too brave, “speak up” but only if you don’t have a controversial opinion. I don’t want to be constantly questioning where the line is, so I don’t give my thoughts for the very fear of being called a “bitch”.
For me, it isn’t about Men vs. Women (although we have some serious issues here too) but it’s about Women vs. Woman. What’s the saying? There’s strength in numbers? And don’t we all want to succeed? Yes, I want to get married and I want a family, but I want to be successful more than anything. I want to break boundaries and surpass barriers; to be very honest I can’t imagine why anyone (of the same gender) would want to put someone down for their dreams.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, “don’t be who you’re told to be”. Be the Olivia Popes’ of the world, the Sheryl Sandbergs’, Michelle Obamas’, Park Guenhyes’, Tory Burchs’, Diane Sawyers’, Queenie Elizabeths’, Hillary Clintons’, Oprah Winfreys’ and Miuccia Pradas’. You can do anything good, whether you played with Barbies or you were more interested in cars, lived vicariously through ‘The Little Mermaid’ or daydreamed about ‘The Lion King’.
And just incase you need that little push, here’s one of the best vids on the interweb: click it
Oh! and in the beautful words of Queen B, “I’m not bossy, I’m the BOSS!”