I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend on social media lately. In what appears to be an attempt at self-deprecating humor, I’m seeing women post some very disempowering memes. Jokes about living with hot flashes, elastic waistbands, weight gain, poor eating habits, staying in jammies all day and the need for wine or weed to deal with the day/job/spouse/kids etc., are everywhere.
Then there are the ones that point out bitchyness, mood swings, craziness, and forgetfulness. Ones that use PMS as both the scapegoat and the excuse for all sorts of detrimental behaviors.
Why do women do this to themselves? In this age of #metoo and #womanup, we have more opportunity than ever to empower women and girls. Where does this need to put ourselves down come from?
We don’t see men doing it. Men don’t post memes about their receding hairlines, man-boobs and erectile dysfunction. So, why do women?
We’ve been living in a patriarchal society for thousands of years. Women have been oppressed blatantly and subtly for millennia. This is evidenced nowhere better than in the #metoo movement and the Women’s Marches. Women are finally standing up and stepping into their power. But, we’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve been told for so long, that menstruation and menopause are disorders, that we’ve begun to believe it. We’re emotional, fragile and can’t get through the day or even deal with our own children without self-medicating. Every joke we make about ourselves keeps us from our power.
We must stop believing that aging sentences us to a less-than ideal existence, doomed to hot flashes and elastic waistbands. I know that nobody who posts these things is deliberately trying to put themselves or other women down, but that is what is happening. We’ve got to be careful about what we say about ourselves, because our words become our reality. I want to age vibrantly. I want to be a strong, healthy example to my teenage daughter. I want to keep skiing, running, biking and doing handstands for decades to come.
I’m very fortunate to be in multiple communities of strong, supportive women. My friend group, many of whom I’ve known since childhood, rocks. My yoga community both in Colorado and Wisconsin, is filled with amazing women. The global Yogahealer Community, where I received my Yoga Health Coaching Certification, constantly supports and encourages me to step into the next evolution of myself. In my work as a Yoga Health Coach, I guide women (and men!) into stepping into their own heath and their own power.
As we all (men & women) step into the next evolution of ourselves, lets continue to be mindful of our words, especially those we say about ourselves.
When women empower women, amazing things happen!