I started this project after having a conversation with a close female friend about women not feeling supported by men in their communities. I didn't know this was still a thing because in my family & circle of friends we all are supportive to one another no matter which demographics we belong to.
So we wanted to do something to support woman and give them a platform to express themselves. I have young daughter and I would hate for her to grow up in a world where her opinions and skills were under appreciated simply because of her gender. So we started the #SupportHer project in the Fall of 2016. We hope you enjoy and continue to support all the women in your life.
As I sat down to write this one word came to mind, and that was SKIN. As women we struggle most of the time trying to be comfortable in our own skin. With the presence of social media it makes it so hard for us as women to do so. Why do we compare ourselves to girls who are clearly using photoshop? I’m guilty of comparing myself more then I’d like to admit, we compare because society makes us feel as if we are not good enough if we don’t have the perfect body.
Well in my mind I know, nobody is perfect and no one body is perfect. The only one who is, is the one who created us. You see, everyone has skin it may vary in shades some may have wrinkles or freckles some stretch marks but that’s what makes everyone unique and beautiful. Just like everyone skin is different, so are our bodies. Some days I like to sit back and think about the millions of people in this world and how we may resemble one another but no one is YOU.
On the inside we are all the same. It makes me so happy to see plus size girls so comfortable in their own skin. I have struggled with my weight for my whole life and wanting to feel comfortable in my own skin, even after losing 90 lbs. I’m still considered a plus size girl and now a day’s that’s no longer a bad thing to me. As the years go by I find myself loving not only how I look but more importantly who I am on the inside.
I read a quote fairly recently that read “If we all were blind, who would you impress.” That quote strikes a chord with me, and I got to thinking who would I impress? Instead of bashing other women we should lift them up, encourage and complement each other. Accept who you are, love yourself. If we live on the validation of trying to impress everyone, or look like what society wants we will surely fail. Be Beautiful, Be Bold and most of all be YOU!
- Courtney F.
I stare at my reflection in the mirror and ask myself who is this woman looking back at me? I ask this on a daily. So different from who I was 9 months ago. She looks like me, but so very different, About 120 lbs different.
All my life, I've always heard "you have such a pretty face for a fat girl". What the hell does that mean anyway?! How about I'm just a beautiful woman, period! But sometimes all it takes is one bad day, one heart break, or one loss to make that not so bad reflection of yourself the ugliest you've ever felt.
Some women learn to love themselves as they are. Round, slim, tall, short, you name it, she loves the skin she's in. But some of us, myself in particular, beat ourselves up daily. Never quiet satisfied, not good enough, not special enough, not bold enough. We try to measure our own worth against the images we see on tv and in magazines. We try to be more by adding more to our appearance but really all we do is take away from our self worth.
Women, you are each made unique, individual, & priceless. No one like the other. Our dips and curves, our highs and lows and all our imperfections make us special in His light. We're made to stand out as a reflection of the beauty God put into this world.
It's taken me this journey to acknowledge the strong woman I've always been but it's taken a lifetime to love myself more. I guess my message to you is love the woman you are always, regardless of the reflection you might see.
It would be easy for me to write a piece listing all the odds stacked against women; and more specifically, Black women. Whether viewed through a lens of race, gender, class, sexuality, femininity, fertility and so on, there are countless disadvantages that have the potential to make our accomplishments more difficult and seem impossible to achieve. Instead of giving more energy to those influences, I’d rather focus on the relationships that have made it possible for me to achieve my goals and have confidence in my ability to not only succeed, but to be great.
The women in my life have taught me more than they could ever know. Seeing my mother literally make something out of nothing in order to get by is what taught me resilience. Getting up at 6 am every morning to go to work and take care of responsibilities, when every part of your being wants to drop everything and just enjoy life without its burdens, requires a special set of skills. It is also a reminder that she has worked hard all my life to provide, rather than follow her passions, so that I would not have to do the same; that it would be cowardly for me to not challenge myself and push my limits to achieve.
My grandmothers instilled within me grace, poise and charm. But they also reminded me to SPEAK UP so they could hear me when I talked and taught me not to take no mess from nobody. They told me that no matter what, I must always love God and myself. That as long as I do those two things, I can handle anything that comes my way.
My aunts showed me that it’s important to enjoy life and that I will make decisions that may not make sense to anyone else but they are right for me. They showed me that the main source of being stubborn is knowing exactly what you want and that compromise is not always the solution.
My sister and best friends, past and current, have taught me the importance of sisterhood, the necessity of conflict and resolutions. They’ve taught me what it means to really be there for the people you care about, to listen, to be quiet, to take charge of a situation when they’re not in the state of mind to do so themselves. They’ve also taught me when to take a step back or forward as our relationships evolve over time.
Most importantly, I have received unconditional love from the women in my life. So much so that when I receive it from others, it is not filling a void. It overflows and channels itself into all of my passions and inspires me to share that love with others. That love has given me confidence and the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them in ways that I need to grow. I know that I have women in my life who will catch me, check me, debate with me, cry with me, proofread my papers and cover letters, celebrate with me and pray with and for me.
I write all of this somewhat selfishly, as a reminder to myself when news clips and social media posts seek to poke holes in my confidence and joy, that I am more than equipped with the arsenal and olive branches I need to follow my path. I could write about what I’ve learned from the men in my life… but I’ll save that for another time lol
- Antiganee Cain