How many versions of yourself have lived so far?
I'm a whole lot.
Since a month ago, I have become obsessed with Taylor Swift. It all started when I discovered we were the same age, which intrigued me, primarily because of her naive image in my mind. As I played one of her songs, a verse awakened my curiosity: "I'll get older, but your lovers stay my age." And the more I listened to All too well on my way to the gym — on repeat mode — the more that song convinced me that it was time to get to know her better.
As I dived into other Taylor's version songs on Spotify, the strong storytelling behind the lyrics was like food to my interest in her. And then, her speech at NYU was out, feeding me even more with this real-time version of a Taylor I didn't know. She is not an innocent girl anymore; she has grown and changed, as have I. Why wouldn't she?
Taylor grew up in the public eye. She released her first album at 16 years old. Some get a sweet sixteen birthday party; others get their names on Billboard Top 100. Each of her albums tells the story of her hopes, dreams, and experiences about that time in her life. And imagine, how many styles you have been from 16 to 32? Why would it be different for her? Growing up in the public eye made things worse because she was constantly judged, especially at her most insecure moment, when we were teenagers.
Every artist has a specific talent; Taylor Swift is a storyteller. Beyonce is the best performer. Lady Gaga is not afraid of authenticity. However, what do they all have in common? The power of reinventing themselves in their niche of talent throughout the years. Women have to reinvent themselves twenty times more than men to stay relevant in their careers, groups of friends, and love lives.
For us women, change comes naturally. It is part of our evolution. But how many men do you know that has been the same for years? It's not common for them because they are not born with unrealistic expectations imposed by society. They may just be the same, forever. Women are forced to change to stay relevant, to become somebody. For men, it's optional. For women, it's mandatory.
Let's play two different scenarios:
1. A woman is asked:
Why do you want to be a CEO?
She replies: Because I can. — She will be seen as bossy and reckless with such a short and direct answer and will be asked to elaborate more.
2. A man is asked:
Why do you want to be a CEO?
He replies: Because I can. — He will be seen as fearless and brave, as someone who knows what he wants and doesn't need to extend his answer.
Women are constantly searching for new facets of themselves that people find to be shiny. The need to reinvent only in a way seen as equally gratifying but also a challenge. They need to write a narrative that is interesting enough to entertain but not too crazy to make someone uncomfortable.
One of the most significant reflections of these change requirements is the amount of "sorry" we are used to saying to apologize for something that is part of who we are, our personality. Women are unconsciously apologetic for their behavior, inside their houses, at work, due to excessive guilt for changing and toxic self-blame. Yet, the spiral of change needs acceptance instead of culpability.
Gender differences interfere with everything women do and are expected to be. As much as the constant need to reinvent women's character is a sexist reflection of our society, change is inevitable and the only way to progress. How many versions of yourself have you been up until now? We must embrace the superpower of change in order to move forward, yet no more apologies are allowed. After all, who wants to be the same forever?
🟠 #INTERNETFINDS: weekly things worth sharing and consuming 🧠
When Women Make Headlines ➞A visual analysis of more than 382,000 headlines to see how women are represented (or misrepresented) in the news.
90-Year-Old Runners Have Some Advice for You ➞ These stories will make you smile. — “You’ve got to keep moving.”
Favorite Podcast of The Week ➞ How we lost our sensory connection with food. To eat in the modern world is often to eat in a state of profound sensory disengagement.
What Happens After TikTok Songs Go Viral ➞ The app is completely revolutionizing the way record labels work, and giving artists more leverage than ever.
Harry Styles - Late Night Talking in the Live Lounge ➞ Harry’s house stole my heart.
"Never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth." Taylor Swift