Inspring me this week: Being different

Photo: @womensmarch

Last week’s inspiration post was about losing, this week I’m talking about some women who are killing it! In case you haven’t been watching the Winter Olympics, the US won the bronze in the team figure skating event 🥉🇺🇸. And you know what’s really cool? Seven out of the 14 figure skating olympians are Asian-American (3 of whom are women), a new record! As the saying goes…what a time to be alive!

I’m getting excited just imagining the impact it’s having on young Asian Americans. Their dreams and perception of what’s possible are forever changed.

Recognizing the accomplishments of Asian Americans don’t come without their criticism though. This week, Mirai Nagasu became the first American women to land a triple axel at the Olympics. When I saw @womensmarch post a photo on their Instagram congratulating Mirai, my excitement was met with disappointment when I saw comments like these (below):

First, using #WomenSupportWomenPeriod is incredibly hypocritical. It in no way represents what feminism stands for. Making something about something else is discrediting, invalidating, and completely frustrating. Let’s give credit where credit is due. And you know what, @_chrissy_cat? I will not minimize this major accomplishment because people of color know all too well about marginalization. Thank you for the reminder though.

Second, what about Tonya Harding? How is Nagasu’s accomplishment on the Olympic stage taking away from Tonya Harding? Trick question, it’s not. This refusal to acknowledge the accomplishments of people of color is deeply problematic. Until we can do this, racism is very much alive and well in our country.

Maybe you think I’m jumping to conclusions. That’s fair, you’re entitled to your opinion. But then I couldn’t avoid seeing this comment on the @womensmarch Instagram post congratulating Chloe Kim on winning the gold in the half-pipe snowboarding event:

First comment is an appropriate one. Second comment, not at all. How does an Asian American woman’s win compel someone to make a racist comment like that? There’s some kind of insecurity here. There’s something unsettling that this person can’t handle. Maybe it’s the fact that someone of Asian descent can be considered American and accomplish something great. Maybe they don’t recognize themselves in Chloe Kim’s accomplishment. Maybe it’s not about you @thereeljacobk. Actually, it’s not about you at all. All I see is hate, insecurity, and fear in a comment like that.

But enough of that. We will not dull our “sparkle” because people are uncomfortable with change.

Instead, I’m going to shine light on a few more women of color who inspire me to embrace my difference and carry it like a badge of honor.

#1: Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson is ½ of my favorite comedy duo, 2 Dope Queens. In the clip below she talks about how she’s felt different all throughout her life. When it came to pursuing her comedy career, she continued to feel different but didn’t let that discourage her from adding her voice to the mix. She has not only found success in her podcasts (she has another one called Sooo Many White Guys), she is also a NYTimes best selling author for her book. And last but not least, she believes in paying it forward by promoting fresh comedy faces on 2 Dope Queens. As Phoebe would say, YQY! *YQY stands for Yas Queen Yas.

No time for the fabulous clip above? I’ll leave you with this quote of hers:

“Just because you’re not like other people doesn’t mean you’re bad. It means that you’re different, and that’s great.”

#2: Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe is the first African American woman to win an Emmy in the category, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The episode she wrote and starred in is the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None when Denise (her character on the show) comes out to her mother. She won an Emmy because it is that good. Waithe pulled from her personal coming out experience and wrote a beautiful episode that will make you feel. You will feel for Denise and you will feel for Denise’s mother. You may even shed a tear. In the clip above, Lena talks about her journey to becoming a storyteller by being honest and being vulnerable.

No time for the inspiring clip above? I’ll leave you with this quote from her Emmy acceptance speech:

“The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.”

#3: Cardi B

Photo: @iamcardib

In case you haven’t turned on the radio or listened to any songs on the Top 100 list, you may not know that Cardi B had a killer 2017. Back in September, she became the first female rapper to make it to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with her song Bodak Yellow. Oh, and she recently performed at the Grammy’s alongside Bruno Mars with their song Finesse.

If you’ve listened to her famous lyrics then you know that she was formerly a stripper. But she doesn’t have to dance for money anymore 😜. Instead, she’s raking in the dough with her music and her keep it real personality. She has also spoken out about fashion designers not wanting to work with her and how that has fueled her fire even more to prove that she is a fashion icon in her own right. Mission accomplished, as she sits front row at the Alexander Wang show right next to Anna Wintour. You know, the editor-in-chief of Vogue.

Whether you like her music or not, it’s hard to deny that Cardi has gone through quite a transformation. Her story is every bit the new American dream. P.S. I am not saying that young girls should consider stripping as a start for their career. I also believe that women who go into stripping through their own will have their reasons, and I do not judge them for working to support themselves.

All these women deserve their successes, and deserve to be known for them. They are each paving the way for the next generation of figure skaters, snowboarders, comediennes, storytellers, and rappers. They are giving young girls new dreams to dream and new possibilities to strive for. Every time a young girl sees a part of themselves in one of these women, the world truly becomes a more inclusive experience. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Being different is inspiring.

What’s inspiring you this week? Have you been watching the Olympics? Which event is your favorite to watch?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

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