I recently watched a TED Talk with Meaghan Ramsey, the Global Director of Dove’s Self-Esteem Project, in which she discusses some shocking— and definitely unpleasant— statistics about women. The title: “Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad For You.” Sounds like a no-brainer, right? How could poor self-image possibly be healthy? But that doesn’t stop 10,000 individuals from Google-searching, Am I Ugly?, each month.
According to Ms. Ramsey, insecurities and low self-esteem related to outward appearance, especially body size, cause women to retreat from opportunity. They refrain from class participation, fearing unwanted gazes at their bodies, they stop engaging in their athletic activities, and women even skip their job interviews, worrying too much about the way they look. These three things all have something in common— they are sparked by our belief that others are judging us. We need to shift this paradigm. We all breakdown, constantly worrying about how we appear in the eyes of others— it’s inevitable in our human makeup, but we need to realize that beauty is more personal than that. It starts from within. While it’s hard to shake, we spend too much time obsessing about the way others perceive us and rely too heavily on our peers’ opinions.
In the ever-growing digital world, trending hashtags on Instagram within the younger female demographic include disgusting phrases like #thighgap and #thinspiration, encouraging girls to scrutinize themselves and their bodies, paving the way for self-hate. Here at Empowered By You, it’s our mission to make women appreciate their beauty and abilities. We need women to love themselves, to realize that beauty is more than skin deep, so forget #thinspiration. We’re replacing that garbage with #empoweredby on all our Instagram posts, and we urge you to do the same.
We have recently started selling Empowered By You panties in Equinox gyms across the country. With our performance-based fabric catered to athleticism, women feel empowered while they work out, fulfilling our motto: Inner Armor for Outer Strength. Exercise can be a great outlet for stress. When I’m running on the treadmill after a busy week, I can almost feel my anxieties dripping away with my sweat. When I play in a volleyball game, my mind shifts toward the competition; I’m no longer thinking about how I look in my uniform, but how I’m going to position my body so that I can have the perfect form to hit the ball. My body becomes a tool, rather than a spectacle.
Empowered By You also focuses on the message: Whatever Empowers You, Empowers Women Everywhere. We want women to be mentors for others— that’s why we’ve started what we call The Paradigm Shifter Program with sorority girls across the country. The main component to this involves hosting small meetings for 8-10 girls, where they describe their breakdown moments and how it paved the way to a major breakthrough. In doing so, girls connect and feel united instead of comparing themselves to each other and worrying about how others perceive them. Ultimately, here at EBY, we love female empowerment, and with the rise of self-doubt and insecurity among women nowadays, we need to constantly figure out ways to help them see their full potential. That is our mission.