Happy International Women's Day!
I'm a reflectionist who wanders off into her thoughts a lot, so for those that know me... Does it surprise you that this day, marking the celebration of all women across the globe, has sparked up some thoughts to share with you?
Today evokes the energy of embracing the feminine, celebrating the women in my life, women all over the world AND embracing myself as an Asian woman living in the UK.
Before I get into this waffle, I just want to share with you an AMMMAZING GIVEAWAY. I have collaborated with some amazing women entrepreneurs to celebrate and support one another on this day! We want to share with YOU a chance to win some amazing prizes!! Please go check out my Instagram page to find out how to enter this giveaway!! From one female business to another <3 Shout out to these amazing women @lalkitherapy @JillaActive @ModernWoven @theprintstudiomcr @CompassionateKitchen_ @nuutherapy
Now, back to that waffle...
I feel most women can probably relate to not feeling heard or the struggle to take up space/speak up in certain environments, dreading time of the month and if you're drawn to it - syncing with the moon? All we have been taught its to be 'good', use your manners and smile, look pretty, don't be too 'bossy', be tidy, make sure to help mum out... I am generally speaking... and as an ethnic minority woman, I now reflect back on when I was growing up and how disembodied I was being an Asian female.
When being a teenager we go through the unfamiliarity of our bodies changing. Experiencing this as a girl, who went through puberty at the age of 9 and having my first period at 10 years old! Did anyone learn about periods as early as primary school? I was lucky, that we did have a nurse who visited my primary school to teach us a very brief lesson - but it doesn't prepare you for the changes that your body goes through... My mum did her best but only taught me what she knew. I feel that this lack of 'becoming a women' education, teaches us women to not fully embrace ourselves and instead to hate periods for the rest of our lives and hormonally suppress them (I am still trying to learn how to embrace this part of being a woman).
I already felt alienated from the other girls in my year; being the tallest, the only Chinese, who started growing boobs and now internally started becoming a woman. So, as a very shy teenager, feeling like the only girl on my period, not really understanding them - no wonder I didn't enjoy being a girl. Do you remember how small primary school toilets were - I could see over the door! (Yes, believe it or not I was once the tallest in my year - in year 6 ). And there were no sanitary bins... I hated going to the toilet - I felt ashamed!
Now, reflecting as a adult, doing the internal work - I feel I understand my younger self more. I understand there may have been a feeling of not belonging - in my own body as a girl and also as a South East Asian female. I felt so 'different'. Even in secondary school where I am grateful to have found a group of friends that I belonged too (still very good friends with them till this day), I only really hung out with the boys. I wasn't into dancing, dressing in girly clothes or singing to Beyoncé. I liked anime and games, so I felt much more at home with the boys. I much more preferred playing one bounce or watching the guys climb up trees or tell me about their adventures playing man hunt or the epic tale of an end boss fight haha!
It wasn't until university, where I made friends with two South East Asians women like myself that I felt comfortable and confident as a female; we had very similar values and morals even though they were from a different country. I guess unconsciously I saw myself in them; what being a young female who dressed in a way that complimented South East Asian figures (short), how to wear my black long straight hair and what good make up could look like with mono lids. They taught me how to wear make up and embrace feminine traits, but also on a deeper level of understanding my womanhood as an Asian woman. Living in Singapore for my exchange year definitely helped too!
Embodiment is belonging to your body. Accepting the cultural heritage that is passed down through values and norms and embodying them too. I am Asian woman and now I know how to embrace that - I think the boom of K-pop culture has massively helped with seeing Asian women represented in media. I love and I am so proud of my heritage, I take up space as an Asian woman who wishes to empower others to find their authenticity too! I feel because of this acceptance of myself as a woman, I am able to connect with more women. AND I am SOOOO grateful to have such amazing circle of women in my life that support me, that hold safe spaces for me to be vulnerable, that give me advice on womanly things, and just all round give me soo much life!!
Embrace your feminine - whether that be finding a softer more yin approach to your life, connecting to your monthly cycles, learning how to wear make up or clothes that suit you, how to adorn yourself... whatever it is. Celebrate it!
Happy International Women's day to all you beautiful women!