Not the most flattering picture perhaps, but it captures the feeling of the day and the work. It was a very cold day when I was walking to my office, the coffee shop, to do some work. These coworkers were just setting up, getting ready to broadcast and talk about the snow we got during the night.
I thought the woman looked interesting, with her hood and the scarf with the fringe: like a small, cold, black bird, a strong little bird. It looks like her eyes are closed but they’re not, it’s just that little needles of ice were coming down into her face! So much for the glamour of work in the TV business. I had been so comfortable in the coffee shop, I felt guilty for not having brought coffee back for them. But I didn’t know they would still be there, three hours later!
“Fast fashion’s true secret to success does not lie in advanced technology or close-by-factories—it’s in selling an unprecedented amount of clothing. As the Harvard Business Review cautions, Zara’s success may only be applicable in industries “where product life cycles are very short.” Fast fashion can only give us low prices if consumers continue to buy new clothes as soon as they’re on the floor. Because fast-fashion goods move so quickly, stores are able to offer their best price first.”
From Overdressed: The Shocking High Price of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth L. Cline
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Behold the selfie. The lighting is terrible, I chop off the top of my head, I have a wooden bowl full of socks and stuff in the picture, I don’t center things correctly, and can I just say, the makeup is unjust. Sometimes, over these past few blogging years, I have doubted the wisdom of the blog’s name.
People still think it’s a dating site, I get friend requests from various odd men from far flung locations, and I get subscribed to by some shady characters.
Nevertheless, I’m still looking for the woman and the name seems more appropriate than ever. I, like many of you, am looking for women leaders, the ones in the crowd that speak truth to power. I’m looking for women I can collaborate with on professional and personal projects to remain relevant.
I’m looking for the strength in myself to let go when I need to, to resist when I have to.
The good news is that, though it’s hard, I’m finding those things.
Who hasn’t felt the need to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers lately?
I’m finding the woman in celebrities like Ashley Judd and Elizabeth Warren. I’m finding camaraderie with the woman on social media and friends who write late-night emails to ask, “Was I right?” And I recently found the woman in a young entrepreneur with whom I’m going to start collaborating.
I’m also finding the woman in the mirror, the one with more strength than I once imagined. That’s where the mirror comes in. For all of the weird, self-defeating, unproductive, and narcissistic aspects of the fake self–love that are selfies, I’ve found the whole process to be both therapeutic and grounding.
women working, now the work begins
Even though the first step is hard, the second one is harder. The second step calls for commitment.
It’s easy to conflate starting to work on something with success. We tend to ponder for a long time before we take the first step towards a goal, so long that it can exhaust us, it’s hard work. Then, when we take the first step, it feels like we’ve succeeded, and we have. But we have only succeeded in taking the first step.
This is hard. Women, I think, are always working. Even in obscurity, in the home, behind the scenes, we work. Sometimes it feels like one more commitment is impossible, it’ll break us. But we commit and now the work begins.