Shirtdress and Cut Out Booties

smoking-slipper-sole-society shirtdress-ankle-boots sole-society-ankle-boots-

Booties: Thanks to Sole Society | Shirtdress: Lulu’s (old) Similar Style (and see below for more similar styles) | Bag: Chloe | Sunnies: Miu Miu via – use my code LOVEZAHRA For a free trial!

I’ve always loved the Olympics, but most likely not for the same reasons everyone else does.My favorite part is seeing the countries of the world come together so peacefully, knowing that it is possible, even if it is just for sport. Never have I been so proud to be American as I am now watching our Olympic athletes officially killing it at the Rio games (minus the Ryan Lochte robbery debacle, of course). This excitement, however is tinged with a good amount of frustration by all of the sexist commentary by the news media, who focus on the physical appearance and other irrelevant information tossed in casually when chatting up female athletes. I watched a brilliant video where they asked male athletes the same questions that were asked of females – and their reaction was a hilarious mix of confusion, laughter, (because obviously the reporter was joking) or even annoyance and a little anger – (i.e. when a player was asked to ‘twirl’ for the camera).

It is 2016 and as far as we have progressed in the world, we have much work to do. When wet suits are allowed in France but not “Burqini’s”, we have a cultural problem. As depicted so perfectly in this drawing by anonymous French artist – women’s bodies are always going to be unfairly criticized, whether covered or not. Our Female Presidential candidates are also judged extremely harsh in comparison to certain male Presidential candidates who seem to get a pass for every insane, bigoted, racist, or just plain ignorant statement he makes.  On a smaller scale men get paid more for the same work in almost every profession, and in my observation, male artists get more attention and praise than their female counterparts. Even in the Fashion Industry that caters to mostly women, most of the prominent designers, makeup artists, and photographers are male. Why is this? Because even women, subconsciously or not, perpetuate the ideas ingrained in us by our Patriarchal society, that men are smarter, stronger, better, and women should be seen and not heard.    

I remember my first day of jr. high when an older classmate (who was also a bully and was rumored to be in a gang) asked me in a very Regina George in ‘Mean Girls’ kind of way, if I thought I was pretty, and I was almost sure she would have at the very least made fun of me, or worst case beat me up if I answered yes, so I sheepishly said no, and then she, obviously pleased with my answer, proceeded to tell me that I had really pretty eyes, and she made me agree with her and even asked her friends to agree with her. I was mortified, but I internalized the idea that it is never okay to think you are pretty, at least not out loud.

Today women are not only expected to be beautiful (but not believe it), ambitious, successful in both career-ing and mother-ing, remembering to always ‘Lean In’ a little, but also expected to maintain the warm, friendly, humble to a fault demeanor that is palatable to society. It makes me wonder sometimes if we have actually progressed as a society or have we simply morphed into something even more detrimental to our well being. 

The biggest problem with the expectations we unfairly put on women is that it is pretty much impossible to achieve this level of perfection, but it also leaves women feeling perpetually inadequate and ultimately unhappy. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said (in your Beyonce voice) ‘I look so good tonight…I’m Flawless!’ Is your answer never? You are definitely not alone. 

But I’m not here to bring you down today by listing all of the injustices we women face, because I truly believe as women we are inherently built strong enough to face any challenge that comes our way.

I stumbled upon an IG account by a wonderful and totally inspiring woman that you absolutely need to follow, Sophie Roe, who reminded me that we all need to take some time to sit quietly, focus on appreciating all of the things we take for granted, taking stock of the moment that we are in now instead of waiting for that elusive future date when x,y, or z will occur, then we can actually (theoretically) find happiness in our journey and therefore also our selves. I sometimes think about all of the things women could do, or create, if we didn’t spend our precious time worrying about losing weight, whether or not we need botox, or Keeping up with the Kardashians.  

Because as the saying goes, life isn’t a destination, it is a journey, and we should be enjoying the ride. That is, while we continue to challenge the Patriarchy, while looking flawless in a shirt dress and ankle booties, of course.

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