Coffee Talks with Elizabeth and Olivia: Feminism, the new F word

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At least two to three times a week, we meet at a coffee shop and bounce big and small ideas off of each other ranging from politics, our research and academic plans to how we are going to whittle diet coke from our daily routine. We decided to start sharing some of our caffeine-filled conversations with you in the form of “Coffee Talks with Elizabeth and Olivia.”

Earlier this week, we encountered a troubling article listing ways women should ideally behave or present themselves. Essentially the premise of this article crafted a woman who would remain in the background silently being mindful not to ruffle any feathers and made daily efforts to be perfectly coiffed. Needless to say, we read this and laughed but then realized others, especially young girls, might read these damaging words and begin to believe them. In a sea of false ideas of perfection and impossible beauty standards that young girls and women alike are constantly barraged with we were inspired to craft a carefully curated list of empowering words. We wanted to be sure to note that while these words in this post is certainly for girls and women alike, these ideas and values are still very applicable to men as well. We have surrounded ourselves with friends and mentors who inspire us daily and remind us of everything we are capable of (you da real MVPs), which is such an empowering feeling that we wanted to share with others.

1.You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general.Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female.”

2. If you can dance and be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world. -Amy Poehler

3. A vibrant and independent woman is much more beautiful than a woman who waits for people to validate her existence. -Kelly McNelis-Senegor

4. Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women. -Nora Ephron

5. If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty which is: who cares? -Tina Fey

6. Be silly, be honest, be kind. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. If the world was blind how many people would you impress?

8. A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.

9. There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility is being superior to your former self. -Ernest Hemingway

10. “Promise Yourself: to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them, to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” -Christian D. Larson

Take 58 seconds to watch this powerful video. The rest of the video is available via YouTube and is only about 30 minutes and worth the watch if you have an aunt, daughter, mother, grandma, friend, cat, you get the point…

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