for strength, for guidance, for grace...
I was recently questioning my existence. You know, those existential crises that pop up from time to time? I tried to think of the purpose for, basically, everything. What I realized, though, was that none of that needed to matter so long as I clung on to the brilliance in life.
As I contemplated that further, a trend quickly became apparent. Many of the beautiful aspects of my life have been women—women who taught me how to love, how to be strong, how to be kind, how to be myself.
There are many women who are important to me who I could not include. But, I hope this pays tribute to the phenomenal and strong women who happened to have been in my life. More so, I hope this reminds everyone of the women in their lives who have proven to be role models of strength.
My grandmothers. My mother. My sister. My role model. My inspiration.
A cousin who has shown me that hope, love, and resilience mean more than anything else and help reveal the beautiful. Even while she is going through hardship, she remains positive because, as she reminds me, all of the joys, all of the victories, all of the love matters. She has little idea of how much I look to her for strength, and how she has inspired me to go after my passions.
A role model and a friend who, despite what she has gone through, has never failed to make me smile. Without knowing it, she has become a guiding light in my life, helping me navigate my poetry, my experiences, and my identity. I turn to her and to her words more often than I can count (and more often than she knows).
A sister who, despite getting under my skin, I could never, ever, ever live without. I don’t think I’ve loved anyone quite the same. Her intellect pushes me beyond what I thought I could ever do. She is my biggest supporter and my best friend, and has been with me through the hardest times of my life.
My abuela who sacrificed everything for her children, who remained strong amidst true crisis after crisis. I only hope that my life can be a fraction of what hers was, filled with love and pain but always, always, always strength. She reminded me that stumbling caterpillars become fluttering, beautiful butterflies
My Oma who fills my life with joy and love, who reminds me to love others and the earth more than you think possible. Like my abuela, she sacrificed everything with strength for her children. She has always been a figure of strength in my life, inspiring me to love and to follow in my passions. I love apple trees and sunsets because of her.
My mother who pretends to not cry sometimes for my benefit, who gave me more in life than anyone and who I owe everything good in my life. She’s the one who kept those popsicle stick masterpieces, who stayed up for nights on end when I used to be scared of the monster in my bathroom, who hugs me when there’s pain. She is beautiful and is the epitome of strength. She has allowed me to forge my own path in life and while she has always been the person I cling to, she has constantly urged me to live life for myself. To stop being afraid. To go after what I want. And to be good, to always, always, be a good person.
I am grateful as there is no shortage of strong women in my life, and I want to thank them all.
And while I absolutely look forward to legally ordering a glass of prosecco at dinner like a real grown-up lady, my impending birthday has also made me stop and reflect on some of the few nuggets of wisdom I have acquired over the last two decades
Community is at the heart of what feminism is all about.
What Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas Taught Me About Woman and Nature as One.
I have found magic in R E V E A L I N G ones true nature.
Vintage pinups redone with ink and abstract watercolor.
The modern day equivalent of sticking post-its and cards to your mirror.
Self-Love is the greatest love story.
Dealing with the “monster menses.”
Hi, wow!” she exclaims with an unbridled energy that seems both youthful and genuine--two adjectives an average American would be unlikely to employ if asked to describe “politician.”
My admiration for music and feminism brought me to create artwork that showcases new women artists reimagined as older feminist singers that share similarities.
How Overthinking Ruined My Love Life.
The premise of this short film is that a young girl’s happiness and fantasy keeps getting interrupted by outside sources. Her fantasy can be whatever you take it to be, whether that be her dancing by herself, consuming confetti and joy, remaining true to her values, whatever you might identify with.
Regardless of how up to minute one stays with celebrity culture, it’s hard to miss the fact that we love nothing more than a woman in a crisis.
Traveling solo is a great way to boost your confidence, even if it feels scary.
My best friend was the first to know. The bittersweet words felt sour on the ears. She disappeared into her own self-induced shock, paralyzed by the reality of three little words (“Kristie, I’m Bisexual”).
Did you know that Black women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than white women?
I’m sorry, I should’ve packaged up your ignorance in a neatly wrapped box. A pretty ribbon to heal your embarrassment? A sweet label to explain away your guilt?
Shame feels terrible. Hot sweats. Crawling skin. Unbearable smallness. Shame makes me feel like a little girl, not the grown woman I am.
You both asked me how I’ve been, Good.
if I ever made it to where I wanted to go, I did.
why I left with such certainty. For me.
Now the #1 bestselling author of The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen, Aija asserts that she is “strong, determined, and vulnerable.” The adjectives bookending her sentence, “strong,” and “vulnerable,” might seem contradictory, but over the course of our conversation, Aija swiftly exhibited her multifaceted personality and explained how she finds courage in her weakest moments. Over the course of her teen years and blossoming career, Aija has successfully twisted her struggles into strength in order to save herself and others.
If my future self would have told “1st grader Brooke” that she would be a public figure in Texas politics, little Brooke would’ve told my future self that she had spelled dentist wrong. Dreams can change through a matter of circumstance.
I got bangs just like my 6-year-old self displayed on picture day.
I stood, my tummy jutting out in my Speedo two-piece, and stared at my reflection in the mirror, zeroed in on one thing: a huge pimple right between my eyebrows. Big and red and painful. I squeezed the ever-loving shit out of that thing, but to no avail: I had only angered the beast.
In one particularly inappropriate and hilarious scene, the word “clitoris” is repeatedly shouted. My friends and I are baffled. What is that? It’s still considered “cool” to know bad words, which we assume it must be. “I dare you to ask our health teacher,” my friend says.
My clothing is not an invitation for your hands, my sister is not a prize, and my best friend is not able to consent if she is not fully conscious. Simply existing in your room doesn’t make me yours. Content warning: rape and sexual assault.
I just asked him if he knew about the mermaids. Specifically, the mermaid in Irish poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill’s “Mermaid in the Hospital,” a mermaid who wakes up to find her tail gone, replaced with “two long, cold thingammies.” . She doesn’t understand her new, working legs because they are not her: “But here's the thing/she still doesn't get— ... How she was connected/to those two thingammies/and how they were connected/to her.”
In my last spring break, I disappeared for a night. While I suspect that this was the second time I’ve been roofied, I’ll probably never know for sure. After waking up in a strange place and returning home, I saw the damage that I believe I had caused--the tears and panic in my mom’s eyes, my boyfriend sitting in the driveway crying as he waited for me to come home. I don’t know what happened that night.
We are queens of our own, Our crowns don't show. They are hidden in our souls.
I heard so many things growing up, starting in pre-school. I believed “boys are faster and stronger than girls”, or “only girls can like pink and purple”, or “girls are smarter than boys”. Even though none of these are accurate statements, I remember feeling sad when I lost a race to a boy on the playground, thinking it was because I was weak because I was a girl. Then I remember hating that part about being a girl.
Author: Olivia Jimenez
Olivia Jimenez is twenty years old from Miami, Florida. She is a student at Georgetown University where she is studying English and Psychology with a minor in Film and Media Studies. In her free time, you can find her watching The Office, thinking about house plants, or searching for a chocolate chip cookie. She is excited to join the Make Muse team to develop her feminism and artistic expression while contributing to a necessary and beautiful space.