Progress is Only the Beginning

If you ever thought you weren’t making a difference, check this out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/23/kat-lazo-ted-talk-feminism_n_5198384.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

Kat Lazo describes the positive impact the Internet had on her own life, introducing her to the feminist community around her. Beyond sharing cool messages and videos with friends, you could be reaching beyond by contributing to social media.

I love sharing blogs and articles that have had a special impact on me. After some personal professional experiences with unfriendly gender stereotyping, I found the following video uplifting and empowering:

http://www.upworthy.com/nobody-tells-beyonc-and-her-celebrity-friends-that-theyre-anything-but-bosses

Not only was it great to see powerful, successful women who went through a similar experience, but also the fact they clearly got through it that mattered to me. Like Kat Lazo, it’s great to be reminded of the community out there that is willing to educate and encourage when you need it. By feeling encouraged, I’m inspired to pass on the message to others and help make change possible!

A similar video, ignoring the product placement, had a similar message regarding gender differences in perceptions:

Although I don’t wish to pass on product endorsements, the idea that companies as well as specific celebrities feel the importance and value in these messages (at least as a marketing tool) is encouraging to me. After all, as a part of pop culture, mass media, and consumerism, we as individuals have the ability to affect the world around us. I still have no interest in Pantene or Covergirl products, but I love passing on the positive messages these commercials contain:

How many of us have been told or had “can’t” implied with regards to our potential success? No matter what your sex and/or gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. we need to accept and share the “can” attitude. No matter what you choose to do in your life, don’t let these assumptions bring you down. They may challenge you, but you can overcome because you are capable and committed. We shouldn’t have to prove our worth or equality to others, but can help others see it in themselves, as well as remind ourselves of our own inner strength and beauty.

Speaking of beauty, although I’ve already written about body image, it’s important to keep it in mind as we prepare for swimsuit weather. Encouragement can take place in a larger sense or movement, but it can also take place in front of the mirror and with your friend/significant other on the beach. Helping people feel comfortable and happy in their own skin can be as valuable as helping them feel encouraged with regard to their actions, thoughts, and personalities.

Now it’s up to us to pay it forward by passing it on! Feel free to share any of these videos as you spread the word and share more positive messages with your community and feminists at large.

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About Margaret Sloss Women's Center - ISU

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center promotes equity on the Iowa State University campus. Through a feminist lens, the center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support, referrals, community and programming; and maintains a safe space in the Sloss House.

Posted on April 28, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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