Beyoncé and Nicki might have said it best: “Feeling myself. I’m feeling myself”. Today I acknowledge my awesomeness and I think you all should too. Talents, looks, smarts, success, character, whatever you have going for you that you don’t often take the time to recognize, why not recognize it now. Radiate some of that positive, self-assuring energy and draw more of that energy in. This is what I’m doing today. So no, I’m not being pretentious or cocky; I’m just feeling myself, feeling myself and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m a big fan of music and love how the right music can inspire certain actions and evoke certain feelings. If I need a calming effect I may play my favorite reggae tunes. If I’m at the gym, I find motivation for attacking the elliptical through ridiculously fast passed dance tunes. Now what about those moments when I need to get amped up to make a power move? What do I go to when I need inspiration for proving I’m not a weak little girl but a strong, powerful woman? I have a couple of go-to songs. Check out my Girl Power Playlist (in no particular order) below. I’ll warn you now; Beyoncé is all over this thing but given her feminist ideals, that should come as no surprise to you so carry on.
1. Grown Woman – Beyoncé
“They love the way I walk ‘cause I walk with a vengeance, and they listen to me when I talk ‘cause I ain’t pretending”
The African drum and rhythmic beat are enough to give me life for all eternity but I love how this song is basically letting you know (if by chance you were not aware) that you are in fact dealing with a grown woman. Hello! Don’t forget it.
2. I’m just a girl – No Doubt
“I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite so don't let me have any rights”
Oh the sarcasm. I discovered this little ditty in the 90’s with everyone else and immediately fell in love with Gwen Stefani. Essentially, you’re free to think that I’m just a girl if you want to but I assure you, you’ll be surprised.
3. Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys
“Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame| So bright, she can burn your eyes”
Ms. Keys can do no wrong. It wasn’t too long ago that this song was taking over the airwaves and rightly so. Why not pay homage to the girl who’s doing great things and doing them with confidence.
4. Run the World – Beyoncé
“Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)”
So the lyrics aren’t the most eloquent but they’re aggressive, really friggin aggressive and that’s just what the doctor orders when I need to throw doubt out the window and feel like I’m large and in charge.
5. All in a Day’s work - Danity Kane
“Just closed a deal | All in a day’s work…I’m making this $#!1 look easy…”
I actually found this little-known song on Youtube. The lyrics as well as the outfits in the video could be considered a little risqué but the sentiment is awesome. These scantily clad women are letting you know that they work hard and take care of business all the while making it look extraordinarily easy. I can dig that.
6. Independent Women – Destiny’s child
“I worked hard and sacrificed to get what I get | Ladies, it ain't easy being independent”
This one pretty much speaks for itself. I’m an independent woman and proud of it. Next song.
7. Superwoman - Alicia Keys
“Even when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest with an S on my chest.”
The original version is a little too slow paced to get me really fired up but the message is right on point so it’s a great one to play on a regular basis. For a more vivacious version, see the live performance above featuring Queen Latifah.
8. Diva – Beyoncé
“I’m a-a diva (hey), I’m a, I’m a-a diva (hey), I’m a, I’m a-a diva (hey), I’m a, I’m a-a diva”
Okay so this song is about nothing, nothing at all. I mean it’s admittedly nonsensical for the most part. With that said, this meaningless babble in no way shape or form detracts from the songs ability to make me feel like I own the darn place. I’m here for the hard hitting beat and the 10,578.2 times Ms. Knowles utters the word DIVA. I'm a-a diva. Hey!
9. Can’t hold us down – Christina Aguilera
“I don’t understand why it’s okay | The guy can get away with it and the girl gets named.”
The double standards still exist and that sucks royally. Here’s a little motivation to stomp them out. Attitude included.
10. I am woman – Helen Reddy
“I am strong (Strong), I am invincible (Invincible), I am woman”
I couldn’t compile a girl power play list and not include this classic. Even if the song is before your time, you’ve probably heard the timeless line of "I am woman hear me roar". For a more youthful take, check out Jordan Spark's song of the same name.
11. Roar – Katy Perry
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ‘cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”
Speaking of roaring, I fell in love with Katy Perry’s song Roar right away. Though it’s not gender specific, it has motivation written all over it and the kind of sass that makes me think she's speaking right to us ladies.
12. Feel like a woman – Shania Twain
“Color my hair-do what I dare Oh, oh, oh | I wanna be free-yeah, to feel the way I feel | Man! I feel like a woman!”
Being a woman is clearly awesome but in case you needed something to remind you how awesome feeling like a woman is, this oldie but goodie is it.
That's all she wrote folks. Go on ahead and add these goodies to your playlists and enjoy. You can thank me later. 😉
I'm sure you all have taken note of the hot new trend of sporting plaid especially in the form of skinny pants or over-sized button down shirts worn tied around the waist over jeans. Signer Rita Ora seems to be especially fond of the trend. I thought it would be fun to see if I could take this 90's, punk-rock inspired look and alter it enough so that it would be suitable for the boardroom.
The result is an outfit that's fun and very trendy yet still very chic and professional. Sure this outfit may be a little daring for your more conservative offices but most of us could probably get away with this. Though it may not work for a stodgy corporate law firm, this look would be perfect for the cool ad agency or edgy design firm environment. This one should be fun. I'll let you know if I pull it off.
As most of you know, I’m a Sheryl Sandberg fan and have reviewed her book, Lean In on the blog. So when it was announced yesterday that Sandberg had launched a campaign to deter the use of the word “bossy” as it pertains to young girls, I was already on board without knowing much about the new initiative. I didn’t need to hear that Beyonce, Diane von Furstenberg, Condoleezza Rice or Jane Lynch were involved (although that lineup is kinda friggin awesome). I was just excited to learn more about it.
Having read the book, I know exactly where Sandberg is going with this. It all stems back to equality in the work place for women, and what better place to start then by being mindful of the things we say to young girls so that we’re not stifling their possible growth into future leaders? It isn’t just about the word “bossy”. It’s about all the things that are said to young girls that give them the impression that it’s not okay to be ambitious or that it's not okay to want to be leaders. It's about all the things that tell them it’s more important to be liked than to embrace a natural inclination to be a great leader.
Okay, so the title of the campaign “Ban Bossy” weighs a little heavy on the cheesy scale. I’m sure the copywriter who thought of it was focused on the alliteration, so pleased with how it sounded rolling off the tongue that the cheese factor didn’t quite register with him or her but is that reason enough for all of the negative backlash? I don’t know. A contributor for Forbes blasts Sandberg, essentially telling her to get her priorities straight because “There Are Far Worse Things Than Being Called Bossy”. Another site brands the initiative “The stupidest campaign ever”. While I don’t quite know about all that, I will give a little on the call to ban the word. Ban is a hell of a strong word and like I just said it makes the whole thing sound super cheesy (yes, after consideration, I increased the cheese level from a little to super). However, I don’t think we should get caught up in word play. Let’ not let that detract from the intention of the campaign. Fact is, there’s a problem with inequality for women in this country and like Sheryl, we should be attempting to work at the root of the problem to try and resolve it. Rather than bashing a woman who’s trying to do something positive, why not take a deeper look at what she’s trying to accomplish here and try to encourage little girls with leadership skills to strive to be leaders they were born to be. Visit BanBossy.com for more info.
"Let's make power moves ladies." Thanks for reading.
Here’s a great piece on a few women we know that have been called bossy. Among them Anna Wintour, Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Barbara Walters, and more.