“Smart is the new black” – I saw this slogan on the side of a taxi in New York and I loved it. I still love it. I just wish it was true!! You see I just don’t believe that for today’s girl or woman that they see smart as fashionable. But I have hope for the girl of tomorrow…
You see, I have a beautiful little daughter and I want her to grow up in a world where being a smart, independent female is admired and applauded. Not one where smart girls are feeling pressure to dumb themselves down to be accepted (and sadly this seems to be more the case when talking about acceptance by other girls).
What is our problem? Why do men appear on the outside to be more competitive, while in reality they are more encouraging of each other and better at working in teams and playing together. Or perhaps they aren’t better at it – maybe we just see them that way. Maybe they are just better at dealing with the fallout. Maybe it comes from the history of women not having a voice outside the home. Maybe it comes from limited space in society for women to rise to the top of their field. Maybe it comes from media constantly objectifying the female form.
I don’t have a magic wand and I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I am going to do all I can to help make the way easier for my little girl and hopefully, in turn, for all women.
So what am I going to do? What can we all do?
Let’s lead. Let us show them by example that smart is sexy.
Let’s show them that challenges lead to growth. That hard work brings results. That there is room for us all to stand and shine and that my light is not diminished by the light of others. That they can be competitive while being supportive. That they can seek individual achievement and advancement while still seeking the greatest good. That failure is a part of life and not a reflection of our worth. That those worthy of us will want us to be our best, and will bring out our best, and those that don’t want that for us are not worth us diverting from our destiny to make them feel better about themselves. Love them yes…but don’t become less for them.. help them become more.
Girls – let’s pull each other up, not down. Let’s be the giants whose shoulders others can stand upon. Let’s make a place at the table for ourselves and if there isn’t a place, not force our way in, but make a new table that is so inspiring, supportive and progressive that everyone else will want to join us at our’s.
Finally, let’s not confuse smart with perfection. Let us not be so proud that we can’t be open, teachable, real and transparent. Smart is not perfection. Smart is not letting challenges stop you but rather strengthen you.