In recent years, there’s been an exceptional amount of self-esteem championing around women. As Cate Blanchette proudly stated in her Oscar acceptance speech, “The World Is Round.” Women of all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds are tired of being fed a mixed bag of white, male-appropriated fantasies of what they should or should not be.
“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful,” says Lupita Nyong’o in a moving speech at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.
Our time and work is valuable. We are the largest consumer of goods. Right now, we run this. Advertisers know that. Our metric is undeniable. And as the media spins carefully produced, reality horror shows about teenage mothers and “hip hop” shows (thanks for nada, Mona Scott-Young) that splice together clips of hot-headed Latinas screaming at their unfaithful African-American boyfriends, many folks, (both men and women alike) are backing away and seeing the larger picture.
Marvel’s AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, VEEP, Suits, Girls, The Newsroom, Masters of Sex are featuring women of all backgrounds. The list of strong, female leads in mainstream film and television who are intelligent and real, keeps growing exponentially. Sure, the work is not over, but it’s a step in the right direction.
So next time you’re watching the Oscars with your date and he remarks that Pink’s short hair-cut “makes her look like a man,” picture Pink putting your date in an unimaginably painful headlock. Don’t bite your tongue. Don’t tell yourself, “Well, everyone’s entitled to an opinion,” rather than admitting that your deepest value systems are incompatible.
But beyond anger, trust your gut. It knows. Then call up a trusted girlfriend. And know it’s okay to move on from a relationship, especially if moving on means not abandoning yourself.
Don’t worry about your “clock.” Sex isn’t going out of style anytime soon and you’re not a spinster anymore if you’re in your late 30s and single.
International Women’s Day. Yes. But this is more like the millennium of the woman. Even mainstream, pop icons are singing feminist anthems.
Remember, Joan Jett sang, “I hate myself for loving you?” There’s a lot of women out here singing their own anthems.
And one thing you can be certain of is that you’ll never hate yourself for loving you.