We are tired

We are a part of a gender defined by satin sashes and bikini dress codes and the number on our scales.

We are tired

We display ourselves on pageant stages like supermarket shelves. Just trying to feel beautiful for once in our lives. We are taught to love the feeling of drinking water on an empty stomach. The feeling of hunger pulling our skin taught.

Most importantly we are taught to handle these pressures with Mona Lisa smiles, playing “I’m fine” like a broken record. That as long as our mouths tilt upwards at the ends and our teeth are perfectly straight, it doesn’t matter if our voices shake.

We need to remember that we are part of a gender that has always fought for our rights. Together we have abolished corsets and gained the right to vote. Kate Sheppard, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, these women started a revolution. It is our job to continue this fight by rejecting the ideals that are thrust upon us, refusing to sit still and look pretty.

These women taught us that we are more than our looks. That we are strong, loud and proud individuals. Most importantly, they taught us about empowerment.

Empowerment is standing in front of the mirror smiling because we know that the circumferences of our waists are not the most interesting things about us. Empowerment is knowledge, wisdom, kindness, and being able to do what we love no matter what size or gender we are.

We are empowered.

Stephanie Werner
Birkenhead College