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.
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!