When I was a little girl I loved watching Miss World, (all you feminists out there hang on one second before you stop reading). I was an 8 year old girl, I saw these women as Amazonian Goddesses, They were beautiful, talented women, who all had the vision of world peace and for me at the tender age of 8 I thought this was the most fabulous thing in the world. Many of these ladies came from corners of the earth that I might never visit. They seemed exotic and brave, they appeared to be a voice of light and hope. Fast forward a few years to teenage me and my view of them had changed. I felt they were objectified, something to ogle over and I guess I felt that I could never live up to them. Awkward with my own body and appearance - I have battled eczema my whole life so never felt I could be beautiful like them. I guess I was a jealous and angry teenager.
Don’t get me wrong I lived my best life throughout my late teens and 20’s, although I swayed violently through loving myself and not. At the same time as battling my mental health, my body dysmorphia and various eating disorders. The years and years of therapy I have had the fortune to have, has played a huge part on how I view myself now and how I view the world. So much so I actually miss the Miss World show (ok maybe not the swimwear section - that was a bit weird) and the hope that it gave my 8 year old self. I think women are about to come into their own. I think that women are about to change the world. It might not happen overnight but I can definitely feel that change.
As a woman in business it hasn’t been all that easy, after all as a mother too, I have other priorities. Which sometimes scupper all plans of world domination, although in a way we are in control of world domination after all it is us that have the power to shape the future. Educate the minds of tomorrow, in order for this world to flourish and grow hopefully in a more sustainable and peaceful way. A recent article I read about Caitlin Moran talked about how she was thankful to her husband for taking on the parenting role full time, which allowed her to get on with the task of book writing and screenplay writing (which if any of you have seen How to Build a Girl, will agree, that was a good call). I must say I am grateful for this recent viral outbreak. It has given our family the chance to reassess our lives, our priorities and also our roles in bringing up our son. It has given us the space we needed as a family to do what is best for us. In finding this peace and having this gratitude, it’s enabled me to also reflect on all my therapy and to put in place the final part of becoming me in my full beautiful womanly ways. I am able to see my potential and my part in this world. I am able to see how my plans for my business can bring about change and with that hopefully World Peace. My desire to build a brand that values self love. That supports mental health and strives to get that message out there. I hope to give people that emotional support too.
(I would like to put a massive caveat right here ...That this lockdown has also highlighted that women are often placed at the bottom of the pile when it comes to their careers and education not just in this country but this is a worldwide issue that needs to be highlighted - Often during this lockdown our chosen careers and lifestyle has been placed on the back burner and almost demoted as unnecessary and unneeded - there is a lot to be written and spoke about on this subject and as women we need to keep raising our voice to be heard (unfortunately when we do this we are also told to calm down and stop being hysterical a recent interview on This Morning highlighted this all too well I was embarrassed to watch and felt extremely sorry for Denise Welch when she tried to highlight the issue of the impact of government decisions on young people’s mental health. Denise is extremely passionate about this subject as am I except she seemed to be chastised for being hysterical. Which was very upsetting to see. It does however show exactly how far we have yet to go to make ourselves heard)
So what about you? Have you changed how you do things? As women we are sometimes yet to see our full potential. We sometimes aren’t given the support we need in order to raise well rounded individual children or even to pursue our chosen careers. Take Sweden as an example where parenting rights are equal and children have access to wrap around care. We in the UK are yet to make this happen, I feel this is just one step in what needs to be done in order to make a modern sustainable world. As women in business we require a more flexible lifestyle in order for us to live a more fulfilling life. I hate to get all political but the powers that be really don’t appear to understand this world that we are living in or the challenges, expectations and fears that modern women have. There seems to be a constant fight and sensationalism, with small victories like #metoo but as I have said many times before, baby steps. After all us mothers can completely understand that analogy and appreciate what immense growth and change can come from that.
So on this American Women in Business Day, I as an International Woman in Business look to all women whether in business or not, to take time to self evaluate and revel in your success and achievements. Take pride in your motherly duties that build a future generation and be brave enough to ask for help and support in order for you to achieve your full potential. Find your voices and be able to speak up above that most masculine of noise. After all we don’t wanna unleash our inner Amazonian or do we?. I have a lot of gratitude (it’s World Gratitude Day too) for the women who have helped and supported me and my mental health. Allowing me to reach this point in my life not quite my full potential but I’m getting there. Hopefully one day I will get to see a more peaceful and equal world (celebrating International Day of Peace too). Where all voices are heard and valued without having to raise them to deafening crescendo.
Love this, Ruth x