Do people call you scary? Intimidating? Loud?
Then we have something in common.
I see myself as a sweet lady but other people seem to see me as some tough biker lady who doesn’t spend her days baking and day dreaming of adopting dogs. Externally I understand that I wear mostly black and I stopped smiling at strangers when I moved to a big city because it was inviting the wrong kind of attention (I grew up in a town where a smile and a good morning was normal, but when I moved to Edmonton I found out that smiling at most people will lead to them asking inappropriate questions). From a distance maybe I even look mean.
I didn’t realize how intimidating I am until people started telling me that I am. My old roommate, friends, ladies at the bank and even neighbours.
I realize though that I am a loud person. I speak freely and my opinions are not something I hide but rather enjoy talking about. I speak with my shoulders back and I am physically larger than most women. I have cold blue eyes and I understand that some people still see tattoos as a bad thing. Combine all that together and you get the kind of person who scares people even though I’m not trying to.
Not long ago my friend made an outdated joke while I was in the kitchen and I realized the amount of power I hold due to being intimidating woman because all it took was me to lift an eyebrow for that man to sit right down and apologize for the inappropriate jest. There is a balance to this though. I do not find joy in intimidating others, actually when people make that commentary it hurts. I don’t want to be known that way, I want to be known as someone who is kind and loving. At the same time though, I like that being intimidating makes my conversations easier and more direct. People don’t waver in conversation with me and my questions are answered promptly and respectfully.
While there is power in intimidation, I don’t think it is wise to actively try to intimidate people nor do I think anyone is always scary. When I am frosting cupcakes I don’t think anyone would be intimidated, but when I’m swinging an axe, I can see why people might want to keep their distance.
We now hear about girl boss moves, female empowerment and using our voices to make the world better and I want to see that become the norm. Be loud, take up space, call out bullshit and support the people around you in a healthy and sustainable way that is built on respect and empathy. Use your loud voice to help other people, to speak with and listen to those around you. Shine bright. Know your worth and understand the choices you make are your own. No one else can make them for you, so
If you want to be a kick ass working mom, then do it! We see women at the top more and more and we are slowly changing to understand that a woman with kids isn’t worth less than a man with kids.
You want to start a company? Do it! Employ others, build communities, provide worth and profit from your drive.
You would rather travel the world freely than have kids? Good! Go find yourself and explore the world, engage in culture and find joy in your travels.
Be proud of being loud. Be proud of who you are and you are becoming. Be kind and embrace life.