So today I’d like to talk a little more about Emotion, and about surviving and thriving as a woman in the 21st century.
Whether you’ve seen the film itself or not, you’ll probably have noticed that the new Barbie Movie is breaking all sorts of box office records at the moment. It’s got a fantastic cast, a big budget and some great jokes, but more importantly, it’s the film’s incredibly powerful message that’s making waves.
In a pivotal scene, America Ferrara’s character gives a monologue on what it takes to be a woman that has had many viewers in tears. Here’s a short snippet:
“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong…
You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault”
It’s such an incredible message and one that I’ve wanted to scream at my clients so many times! We are so shackled by society’s opinions of us, so convinced that we have to excel in every part of our lives, all the time; that we end up running ourselves into the ground and losing the spark that makes us so amazing.
Well me and Barbie are here to tell you that you are perfect just as you are – that you don’t need to be Super Woman to succeed. Being successful is about how you feel about yourself, and not how others view you. When I was a young and overwhelmed mother I felt like a failure. My body had changed, I was tired, I couldn’t have a successful career with a new-born, I couldn’t be supermum without a good income, and I certainly couldn’t be glamorous 24/7. I would give anything to be able to go back in time and tell my past self how amazing she was and how brave, and selfless and how much better things would get when she started being kinder to herself!
You see that’s the thing about being healthy: it starts with your mind. You’ll never get the results you want from exercise if you’re doing someone else’s routine in the five minutes you have to spare. You’ll never succeed at healthy eating when your body is screaming out for comfort food because you’ve run yourself ragged.
Accept that you can’t have it all. Accept that maybe the house won’t be as clean as you’d like it to be this week, or that you need to request remote working or a day off here and there. Know that it’s no reflection on your parenting if your aren’t fully made up on the school run and realise that you don’t need to take the kids on a fancy holiday as long as you’re spending time with them.
The media machine tells us that we need to be perfect plastic Barbies, fitting a mould that someone else has made for us, but at the end of the day we are human. Perfectly imperfect, fantastically flawed, learn as we go human, and that’s a wonderful thing to be.