One of the advantages, to me, of getting older is the ability to see how, while we need to change the way the world sees women, we need to first change the way we women see ourselves.
To this end I have a challenge for you.
For one week, I want you to really soften the way you think and speak about yourself. If it sounds negative, it is negative.
- words like ugly, withered, wrinkled, old, crone, rickety… you get the idea. Instead use softer expressions. Maybe you’re having a hard time getting used to being “this age” but we’re all “this age”. You may think your face is wrinkled, but you have beautiful “lines that tell stories”, even if you have to laugh as you tell the story how you’ve slept on your face every night for the last 30 years!. ‘Crone’ dates back to the middle ages in Britain – that time has passed. Your knees may feel rickety to you but they really just tell the tale of all the dancing, hiking, child carrying you did in days gone by.
- For younger women, don’t call it “the curse”. Your period is a biological fact, as tiresome as it may feel. Even my mother’s innocuous “monthly” was softer. As a grandmother, I can say having it was and, through my daughters, continues to be a “blessing”.
- Try not to call them “boobs” – they are breasts, and they’re all beautiful… the AAs, the Cs, the EEs and the Longs!
- Stop with the “ass”, especially that LMFAO. Bum, buttocks, posterior, behind… soften it with anything less derisive, doesn’t matter what size pants you wear!
- If you are carrying extra pounds you don’t need, you are certainly not a whale or a blimp or a tank. You may be overfat but either do something about it or accept it as “those durn genetics” or your “foodie appreciation”.
- Is your hair too thin, too curly, too gray… get over it! because I guarantee you someone out there wishes they had what you have!
Can you do that for one week?
If you can do it for one week, you will start to catch yourself when you invalidate yourself, your body, your brains… and you will start to hear it when other women do it to themselves.
If you can do it for one week, you will be able to do it for another week. and another.
And once you find yourself speaking more gently about yourself, you can go out and change the way the world sees women… starting with your sister, your friend, your neighbour…
This, dear reader, is how a movement starts!
I love this pic of my Mum, in the white sweater, age 77, and my aunt behind, age 65 (the woman in blue was an old friend of my Mum’s but I don’t know her name) – the lines and gray hair were all earned but they never lost their senses of humour, nor did I ever hear them belittle themselves.