re-picturing EMPOWERMENT

Are you empowered?

Girl power, as conceptualized by the Oxford English Dictionary, refers to power exercised by girls; specifically a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness, and individualism.

I am ALL about empowering girls and women of all ages. I strongly desire that each girl and woman be able to tap into her inner strength, trust herself, and let her own song be heard.

I am woman, hear me roar. You go girl!

When I look to our culture, however, I am deeply disturbed and angered by the conflicting and limiting messages that we send about empowerment.

On the surface, girls and women have a multitude of means for empowerment. We can do anything we put our minds to. However, a closer look reveals a message that consumerism and sexualization are often required.

Spring’s latest fashions, the fad diet of the week, a haircut that properly frames your face, and, of course, the right push-up bra (that shows just enough, but not too much cleavage) will transform you from an invisible, insecure doormat to a powerful, butt-kicking diva.

If we only had these things, we’d march into our boss’s office and demand the promotion we deserve. We’d get into a meaningful relationship. We’d start that new creative project we’ve been dreaming about. We’d finally be able to look ourselves in mirror and respect what we see.

However, what most girls and women discover is that none of these things leads to genuine, long-lasting empowerment.

What if we took a slightly different approach? What if we realized that we already are empowered. There, I said it. You heard it here first. We already are strong. We already have an inner voice that we can trust. We already know what we want and how to get it.

Perhaps then we could use our resources (our money, our time, our energy) to invest in those things (yes, even shoes) that reflect our true, empowered self?

Are you empowered? I think know so. What are you going to do about it?

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  1. YES!!! We *are* already strong and have everything we need right inside of us at this very moment.

    • Tiffany P Hogan
    • April 14th, 2011

    I love this message Sarah! I hope most girls learn this earlier than I did. Thanks for sharing your GREAT wisdom.

    • Vanessa
    • April 15th, 2011

    Great post, Sarah! I wish girls would hear this earlier!

    • Emily
    • April 19th, 2011

    I don’t know if you are a Buffy fan (and it strikes me as odd that I don’t know this yet!), but this post makes me think of the end of very last episode of the series.

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