While people often want vastly different things, hopefully as women, we all share the common desire of wanting to improve ourselves and live our best lives. In order for us to achieve our desires we must first A) know exactly what it is we want. Secondly, we must B) be able to afford our desires or be willing to work for them. However, no matter which road we travel to get to our final destination, we should never be apologetic for wanting the best for ourselves. Historically, there was a time when women had limited choices but thanks to women like Susan B. Anthony, Billy Jean King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harriet Tubman, Evita Peron, and Michelle Obama we can have whatever we like! These women all dared to be different and challenged societal norms. They were trailblazers who were not afraid of controversy because they saw the big picture and knew their work would open the doors for others to follow behind them.
We must ask ourselves: Why do we criticize each other when we all want the same thing– to be better. Is there anything wrong with valuing yourself? Is it wrong to enhance your worth whether it be through plastic surgery, education, or hard work? I hope not because, if you don't value yourself and believe in your ability, who will? If you work hard you should be proud of your accomplishments. I will never be ashamed of my tenacity and commitment to education because I realize people fought and died so that I would have the opportunity to go to high school, attend college and graduate from law school. My journey, like most women, wasn’t easy, but it was what I wanted so I worked hard for it. Unfortunately, when women speak of their accomplishments they are viewed as arrogant or “their own cheerleader.” In reality we should all be our own biggest cheerleaders. It is always interesting to me that when men speak of their accomplishments they are characterized as being confident. Why should it be any different for women? I went to school for 20 years and maintained a job throughout my undergraduate and law school matriculation. No one gave me any handouts, extra help or preferential treatment. Hence, I will never be ashamed of my degrees, because I earned them. Slogans like “Mission accomplished, dreams realized, Girl power, sisterhood” will never be truthful as long as we continue to be caddy and critical of each other.