The rise and rise of girl power
Posted On: 28/07/2016
By: She's Funny For A Girl
The year was 1994 and a quiet girl power revolution was about to erupt onto the world in the form of the ever-sassy Spice Girls. Every girl wanted abs like Mel C, the innocence of Baby Spice, the sassy moodiness of Posh spice, the intangible energy of scary spice and the cheeky confidence of Ginger Spice. Being born in 1992, and raised on a healthy diet of the likes of Destiny's child, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Pink, TLC and of course, the Spice Girls, I quickly learnt that girl power is unstoppable and something to sit up and take notice of.
It's now 2016 and girl power is once again back with full force. Theresa May has just become the UKs 2nd female prime-minster ever (Tory or no Tory) and with Hilary Clinton running for President (please lord don't let Trump win. All that money and still looks like he uses Cillit Bang bleach on his road kill barnet – something just doesn't add up) the tides certainly are changing. With campaigns such as Global Goals (who use 'wannabe' by the Spice Girls in their campaign) and Always - 'like a girl' campaign, it's highlighting the need for equality, promoting confidence and shedding the out of date view that women are inferior within sport.
We deffo weren't put on this planet for the sole purpose of entertaining man and 'making sandwiches' (proper old joke now, can we let it die already?) so it's fab to see girls having the confidence to start their own businesses, blogs and generally supporting their fellow woman in the process.
Unfortunately, women supporting other women can still be an uncomfortable subject for some. We are conditioned to think that another woman's success is an instant threat and should be dealt with accordingly. I swear whoever thought up this theory was someone with an extremely fragile ego and who feared if women stuck together, we'd over throw the world and get so much shit done that men would become obsolete * enter Army of Beyoncé’s chanting who run da world? *
The girl gang movement is often described as a neo-feminazi - lesbianism – only has cats – can't get a boyfriend- (and is frigid anyway)- movement...because you know... to support women, you've gotta be a lesbian, play golf, only shop in the men’s section at Nike and by default, you hate men. Which we all know is an absolute load of bollocks. I mean don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some who totally fit the stereotype and they really aren’t helping the cause but to notice another woman's beauty, success, confidence, kindness, intelligence or true grit doesn't dim your own shine or have to make you question your own ability. It should be celebrated and something used to inspire you.
Now, girl power didn't start in 1994...it's always been here, it's only now that it has a global outlet such as social media to highlight it. Women have been strong independent forces of nature since before the dawn of time. I mean, hello, why do you think it's called Mother Nature? And let's be honest, God creating the world in 7 days? It takes men 7 days to empty the dishwasher! I'm gonna hedge my bets and say God was probably a woman. Soz.
From as far back as the 6th century women have been paving the way for greatness. Take Empress Theodora for example...started as a prostitute and rose to be one of the most powerful Byzantine empresses of all time. Justinian The Great was so besotted with her, that he even got a law repealed just so he could wed her. And here's me...can't even get the voice that comes out the magic ordering box at maccies to flirt back with me.
Or what about the likes of Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin... both female scientists who stood their ground in a male dominated industry and led the way for life changing discoveries. Or what about the suffragettes who fought just for the right to vote? Something that many of us now take for granted but should never have had to be fought for in the first place. And who can forget more recently Malala Yousafzai? The young girl shot 3 times by the Taliban for simply going to school. She defied all odds, made a full recovery and is now an activist for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. Famously quoting “Extremists have shown what frightens them most...a girl with a book” You tell 'em Malala girl, you unstoppable sasspot!
It's not just education and intelligence where woman prosper, what about sport. Serena Williams has just won Wimbledon 2016 and heck she had Beyoncé herself supporting her in the Royal box! Serena is the epitome of power and strength... and yet she still has critics telling her she looks like a man...Are you joking? If you're too slim, you need to put weight on, if you're too curvy, you need to slim down, if you tone up, you look like a guy. It's no wonder women are “crazy”. We can't keep up. People are afraid of greatness and they'll say anything to make you feel wrong or inadequate. Williams quotes in her recent Nike campaign “There's obviously days where I don't feel like training, but there's not a day goes by that I feel like losing”. Yaaaas queen! She's an advocate for women excelling in sport and in 2016 it shouldn't even be an issue any more but unfortunately it is.
Highlighted by the Always campaign, by the age a girl hits puberty, almost 50% will drop out of a sport. Sport gives girls confidence but many are restricted by views of a by gone era. If you wanna play football, go play football. If you want to try rugby, get out there and do it. Never let anyone tell you that you can't. You weren't created to be average and you should never dim your own light to make the people around you feel more comfortable.
The famous words of Marianne Williamson best describe this movement, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I mean if that didn't just make you put down the family size packet of Jaffa cakes, look in the mirror and say 'Yaaas I am the Queen of my own destiny' then I don't know what will.
Whether you're an academic, creative, sports person or anything that gives you confidence and makes you feel powerful, you should never stop doing it. Anything positive should be celebrated and shared. Girl power isn't a chance to bash men, it's doing the opposite, it's a chance to give a beacon of light to generations that aren't even born yet, that no matter your gender, you can succeed and should never be told that you can't. Girl power is here to stay, so get used to it.