Words to live by

I often get asked why I feel so strong as a woman. Who empowers me? What are my fears? Most of my fears are the same as yours. Am I leaving a legacy? Am I being all I can be? Am I passionate about the right things? Am I being true to me? I can say, with confidence, I am never fearful of how I look, what I am wearing or what size I am. I am never concerned about other people’s opinions of me. Was I always this way? No, I wasn’t. I learnt over time to love myself. That is the key and the hardest thing to do.

As a society, we place so much importance on our looks and our status in life. Savvy marketing campaigns encourage us to buy only the latest product and sexualise our image. No one else should determine whether I am worthy. I am in control of my destiny, they are my decisions and my mistakes. Not you, not society and not the media. Of course, I am respectful of societies rules. I don’t harm others, I respect people and their desires, I believe that love will conquer all and I want the best for everyone. I also want the best for me.

Every day, I draw inspiration from amazing, strong women who have a voice. Malala Yousafzai, who defied the Taliban and won a Nobel Peace Prize. Princess Diana, who battled herself and won back her identity. Ellen DeGeneres, who changed the rules about lesbians on TV. They come in all shapes and sizes, their passion their commonality.

Meryl Streep once said, “I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.”

Those are words to live by. And I do.

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