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Want to Empower Yourself? You’re Doing it Wrong

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There’s a lot of talk about female empowerment these days. Listening to a lot of it, one would assume that it’s something that needs to be given or allowed by the patriarchal status quo. Yet more people might suggest that it’s something that should be taken by force from a society that’s withholding it. For many of us, however, empowerment is neither something that can be given, nor taken. Instead, to empower yourself is something that needs to be realized.

The Role of Realization

Realization is a very personal journey and with this in mind, female empowerment becomes SELF empowerment on a gender-wide scale. There’s something satisfying about the image of women all over the world who discover the power was inside them all along.

Of course, female empowerment is as much a sociological and economic issue as a personal one, with a gender pay gap that looks set to continue for centuries. Change, however great, is made up of the actions of individuals.

With that said, empowerment is not a low-hanging fruit, nor is it something that all women can reach via the same path. If you’ve ever been mistreated by a parent, under appreciated by an employer, abused by a partner or taken for granted by a ‘friend’ who just keeps on taking, your journey towards self empowerment will be very different to those of your sisters.

Empowerment is Subjective not Objective

Female empowerment is a state of mind. While some women may be able to will themselves into this state voluntarily, for others they may as well be asked to figure out cold fusion. The mind and body are closely related, however, and if you’re struggling to feel empowered from the inside out, then consider ways to empower yourself from the OUTSIDE in.

Weights, the gym, and women

Strength training for female empowerment. Yes. Surprised?

Empower Yourself with… Strength Training

For my money, I think every woman should incorporate strength training into their regular routine. A lot of women see female bodybuilders and conclude that that particular form of feminine beauty isn’t for them. But there’s more to strength training than developing big muscles.

In fact, since women produce far less Human Growth Hormone than their male counterparts, you’re less likely to get a muscular figure than men, no matter how hard you train. Female bodybuilders follow a very strict exercise, diet, and supplement regime to get their size.

Strength training is great for female empowerment. Why? It shows women that they can do physical activities they probably never imagined possible. It takes applying yourself with dedication and commitment though.

When women become strong, they feel strong and the world around them becomes that much less threatening. Likewise, training in martial arts is not only a great tool for self-actualization but a great way to empower yourself. You’ll build self-confidence and handle anger and stress like a boss.

It pains me to see women slaving away on treadmills and cross trainers to try to reach a certain weight. Strength training will give your metabolism a boost so that you will burn more calories when stationary or even asleep. It’s also probably more fun and therapeutic than slogging away on a treadmill.

Dress to Impress Yourself

Clothes maketh the man, but do they maketh the woman? Well, of course not. And come to think of it, they don’t maketh the man either. Nonetheless, it would be unfair to deny the extent that the clothes we wear affect our psychology and behavior.

A lot of women, especially mothers, simply stop caring about what they wear and dress only for comfort and utility. While there’s currency in not caring about how the world sees you, how you perceive you is extremely important.

If your wardrobe stops you from feeling classy or desirable or worthy, something needs to change. Whether you choose to armor yourself with a designer power suit or a tasteful dress from Anthony’s Ladies Apparel, you deserve to dress to impress yourself. You may surprise yourself with how much more confident, alert and empowered you feel by changing your wardrobe a bit.

Beauty isn’t a Bad Word

When it comes to beautifying yourself with makeup or cosmetics, the debate rages on as to whether this is or isn’t empowering for women. Neither side of the debate is wrong. But it’s a personal decision and those who feel that women shouldn’t need to wear makeup shouldn’t shame those who do so.

Lastly, beauty and empowerment needn’t necessarily go hand in hand. However, doing what you can to feel beautiful might just be a first step to empower yourself. So, if this sounds like your jam, don’t be afraid to go for it!

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27 Comments

  1. Resa November 16, 2017

    🎵🎵 I am so beautiful 🎵 to me 🎵 can’t you see?
    Wonderful post, Christy! You’ve touched on a lot female issues, beginning with empowerment.
    I hate treadmills. Where are you going?
    Go for a decent walk or jog. Why a treadmill, a hamster wheel?
    Application of clothes or cosmetics for beauty’s sake, as put to us by past ideals, is not that inner/outer – outer/inner beauty this article indicates. However, it is desirable.
    Wanting beauty is a positive thing.
    I make Art Gowns. I think they are beautiful, and if you do, too, then you understand I have taken great care and much time to express that beauty. Power to the Designer!!
    🎵🎵 I am so beautiful 🎵 to me 🎵 can’t you see?
    Thank you, Christy!

    Reply
    1. Christy B November 17, 2017

      Oh Resa, look at you with this lovely lyric about empowerment, women, and art – My, what a great combo! And cheers to Art Gowns for all you do there. Love you!! <3

  2. Ben Aqiba November 16, 2017

    Wonderful post as always Christy !

    Reply
  3. Laina Eartharcher November 16, 2017

    Beautiful post, Christy! You’re so right, as always! 💪😍😘❤️💗

    Reply
  4. Francina November 17, 2017

    Great post, Christy, and I could not agree more . Every woman has her own power and there is nothing wrong to enforce that! <3

    Reply
  5. Megala November 17, 2017

    Great post ! I totally agree that we also need to empower ourselves from the outside in !!

    Reply
  6. Teagan R. Geneviene November 17, 2017

    Hi Christy. It’s beyond true that there is far too much emphasis on beauty and youth everywhere we turn. Beauty really is only skin deep.
    Even so, yes, the outside can shape the spirit — If done mindfully, it can happen in a positive way. (Rather than disdain for our appearance from others and from ourselves.)
    I thought of this TED talk the moment I sat the “Wonder Woman” image. Maybe you’ve seen it. It’s fabulous and so true.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
    Hugs!

    Reply
    1. Christy B November 17, 2017

      OK now I’ll be carving out time this weekend to watch the TED talk, Resa – thanks!! I just listened to a few minutes and it was interesting how she called out to the audience to pay attention to how they were sitting in their seats (body posture, etc.). Hugs!

  7. Sageleaf November 17, 2017

    I absolutely love working out. Since starting to walk/workout every day, I just feel so energetic and toned. :) And I’m all into the feminine – but we need a balance. I guess the pagans that used to live in what is today’s Europe, their societies often honored the feminine above the masculine. But I think the balance may have been far in the other direction, haha. I hope that one day we can form a balanced society that honors all genders, people, and their ways of life.
    Hope you’re well, sweet friend! Happy Friday! xo

    Reply
    1. Christy B November 17, 2017

      I’m all for a balanced society, dear friend! Thanks for making time here and I enjoyed reading your newsletter over email today today xx

  8. Tina Frisco November 17, 2017

    Wonderful post, Christy. You make a good point… Getting our negative self-talk to switch tracks can often be jump-started by doing things outwardly that make us feel empowered. You rock, girlfriend! ❤

    Reply
  9. dgkaye November 17, 2017

    Fantastic post Christy!!! Empowering from the outside in can be a big boost. So true, clothes don’t maketh anyone but they maketh us feel better when we can put on something to boost our self-esteem. Brava my friend. :) <3

    Reply
  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I will leave you this evening with some words for both women and men. Christy Birmingham reflects on the term empowerment and the much addressed Female Empowerment. Christy offers some wise words on the subject and she is right when she says that it is not just being given empowerment it is about finding our own and using it. Having been in two very male dominated industries it took me a while to realise that my strengths added to my male counterparts made a powerful combination. Christy also shares a couple of important strategies to bring empowerment from the outside in.. strength training and dressing the part. The media illustrate female empowerment in a very negative way with their images of scantily dressed young women who feel the need to undress to be empowered. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am sure that Christy would be delighted to receive your feedback.

    Reply
  11. paulandruss November 19, 2017

    Brilliant post Christy. My favourite quotes are
    It’s something that needs to be realized & Empowerment is a state of mind. I honestly believe this can be applied to a lot of blokes as well as women. It is not right but of the male bravado is because inside he is scared and struggling

    Reply
  12. Jennie November 19, 2017

    Well said. Bravo!

    Reply
  13. dimplescookbook November 19, 2017

    Another Great Post from you Christy. I totally agree with all the above.

    Reply
  14. Amy Caudill November 20, 2017

    I love this Christy. It’s very true, one woman’s image of idealized beauty will not be the same as the next, so we each need to do what makes us feel beautiful, confident, sexy, empowered in our own right.

    Reply
  15. debrarussellblogsfromdownunder November 20, 2017

    Yes empowerment for women comes from within. When you have known women in domestic violence relationships you can see they are really struggling to find their own strength and voice because their inner self is in turmoil.

    Reply
  16. Jeri Walker, M.A. (@JeriWB) November 21, 2017

    The connection between mind and body can’t be denied. Both need to be taken care of. As I’ve gone through cancer treatment and also therapy for my epic divorce, when I get upset my therapist’s voice always comes into my head, “Just breathe.” And I do, and things get better. Little by little, I become more empowered every day via the actions I decide to take.

    Reply
  17. Marg Nelson November 23, 2017

    Wonderful wisdom from one so young! Thanks for the day-brightener.

    Reply
  18. Marje @ Kyrosmagica November 23, 2017

    I have noticed since I started writing and blogging I feel so much more confident and happy. I particularly was interested to read about strength training I had never really thought about it too much before. Well done Christy great article.

    Reply
  19. dreamfilleddaughter December 3, 2017

    I LOVE your perspective in this and all the points you bring up!

    Reply
  20. thefemalemindset December 22, 2017

    Love, live & love everything about this!!!!

    Reply
  21. athenascorner4 March 24, 2018

    Couldn’t agree more with everything you said. Feminism starts with ourselves first and foremost.

    Reply

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