Today is International Women's day and as a result I saw a BBC News broadcast this morning as they hosted Gillian Anderson chatting about her new book. This post is not about the book or about what they said. While they chatted they happened to mention Emma Watson and the recent photo she posed for in Vanity Fair. She (Emma Watson) was portrayed as doing something wrong, and that set me off on a rant to the Hubby about the honesty (or dishonesty) of women.
Why the rant began
The Hubby pointed out that Emma Watson would've been paid for the photograph, she did it to promote both Vanity Fair and herself. Now before you start to bash on me about being proud of other women I am not saying what she did was wrong, what I am saying is she needs to be honest about why she did. To say she posed for the pictures to help women realise they can do whatever they like is simply dishonest, or at least that's how it seems. Posing in that way just adds to the objectification of women. If she said she posed for the photograph because she was paid and it was what she wanted to do I would respect that much more. Because it was her CHOICE.
For me International Women's Day should be about women being Honest. Women making choices. Women helping other women. Women realising that by making a choice and being honest about it helps other women feel more confident.
Celebrities go on TV or pose for magazines and talk about doing things to help other women. But here's the thing... I feel patronised every time. These women, whether they're being honest about their motives or not, are beautiful, rich, and seemingly perfect. I cannot believe for a moment that someone like me could achieve the same as these women.
Having to look after my family, keep a household running smoothly and trying to write and maintain a blog is hard work. I rarely wear make-up, struggle to find time for a shower even, and spend a lot of my time taking care of other people. I can't simply ask for what I want, I have to consider others, I can't just GO FOR IT. Because if I did my family would be left wondering what was happening. I choose to prioritise my family, that is my CHOICE.
- I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.
Unlike the celebrities I am not beautiful, not in an obvious, in-your-face way, I am not rich (not by a long shot!) and I am certainly not perfect.
But I am Honest.
Why is honesty important?
To be honest with your fellow women, to really tell them what you think, is tough. There's the constant fear of being judged. If you walk in the street with pink hair women think something must've gone wrong for you to want to do that to your hair, if you're overweight and breathing heavily on the school run other women think you ate too much and you should take better care of yourself.
Some women don't see the effort that goes into appearing normal.
That woman with the pink hair may just really love the colour pink and having pink hair makes her happy. She made the choice to have pink hair and it got her noticed. She is being honest, she's putting herself out there and telling the world who she is instead of hiding in a body she hates.
While I wouldn't have pink hair myself I love that some women choose to do that, it makes me smile every time because I see their honesty without even talking to them. They are who they choose to be.
The women who was breathing heavily on the school run is wearing her running gear. After dropping her kids at school she will run, she will let the wind blow at her face and she will put in the effort. She is doing that because she chooses to. I often see women running near the school and I love to see a heavier girl running. Again it makes me smile and actually it encourages me to be more honest.
Honesty and choice
Allowing women to make choices and be honest about who they are is empowering. It inspires other women. It makes us think anything is possible.
I wish celebrities would be honest. About it all. If they're struggling with the children and having a bad day - say so! If they're having a heck of a time with PMS then have a duvet day and tell us that's what they're doing. And if they pose for a photograph because they were paid to do so they say that!
It would be much more empowering to think that Emma Watson CHOSE to pose for that photograph because she could. She didn't do it to empower women, she didn't do it to make a point, she did it because she wanted to.
Celebrities make choices. They choose to pose for photographs, to star in movies, and to sing their hearts out on stage. They cannot know how difficult it is for regular people but at the same time they deserve to be able to say they're making these choices for themselves.
- No legacy is so rich as honesty.
International Women's Day should be a time for all women to be honest, to make choices for themselves, or their family, or whatever.
They should be allowed to be themselves.
So just for today look at other women with compassion. Try to empower each other by being honest, make choices for yourself or your family.
Just be YOU. HONESTLY.