Sunday, 20 March 2016

Words of wisdom from my mother | The Small Desk

My Mum

This post is a reaction to reading despairingly about the A4 challenge; a trend that is encouraging young women to show if their waists are slimmer than an A4 piece of paper. It is so depressing that young women today, in 2016, are comparing themselves to A PIECE OF PAPER.

I was also horrified when people did not clap for Jenny Beavan when she won an Oscar because they didn't like her outfit!

It's exhausting how much the media is still obsessed with women's bodies and it saddens me knowing so many young women have not had strong enough female role models to defy the stereotype of what a woman should be.

Whether I realise it all the time or not, I have been very lucky to have a strong female role model growing up and that is my mother. She has taught me to focus on who I am and not what I am. She knows looks are important to an extent, and that you should look after your body, but she has taught me that life is about more than that.

With all this in mind I decided to share some tips for young women growing up that my Mum taught me.

1. You never know who is going to be your boss 
This means that you should make sure never to make enemies, and to treat everyone with the respect that you would give a future boss.

2. Never let your period stop you from doing anything 
This is something she told me the first time I ever got my period, and I feel like she was saying more than just 'your period', and more like 'don't let being a woman stop you from doing anything'.

3. If you work hard enough you can achieve anything 
My parents are musicians and their motto is 'practice, practice, practice'! Basically they taught me that no-one gives you anything on a plate, you have to work to achieve your goals.

4. "I'm too busy living my life to keep my house like a showroom"
I can't remember when or why my Mum said this to me but I'll always remember it, and I love it as a quote to live by.

5. Never eat doughnuts
And I don't! She said that they are just fat and sugar and that I should be careful about what I'm putting into my body. It's about making sure you are healthy, not looks obsessed.

6. Make-up is your war paint
If you don't feel confident about your skin then do wear make-up, as long as it's done well. For example I get red when I get nervous, but no-one will ever know because I wear a nice thick layer of foundation!

7. If you want to write, write
Basically meaning if you want to do something, then do it.

8. Wear whatever you want
She has never ever judged me for what I've worn, and my God I've worn some terrible outfits!

9. Look after your teeth
Because you only get one set.

10. Never let your boss see you cry
It's better to walk out, and go back with a carefully composed reaction.

11. Be humble
Don't take anything for granted, and you can always be better at what you do.

12. Stand up for what you believe in
Respect yourself.

I'm grateful for all the amazing women in my life who have taught me so much, from my close friends to my sister and my work mates. And to the amazing men in my life who respect women and treat them as exact equals – to my Dad and my boyfriend.

I hope that one day body-shaming won't exist anymore, and we'll all be focussed on the contributions we can give to make the world a more positive place.


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