Rupi Kaur is a self-described “poetess and spoken word performer”. Her words carry a brilliant strength in every verse. Kaur’s poetry also teaches us an important lesson, especially in the piece above. Living in a male dominant society, women are directly and indirectly told that we are not enough. Women may go through life believing that something is missing from themselves and we have to find it to have success, friends, love, and happiness.
This can lead to a sense of competitiveness with other women: What does she have that I don’t? And how do I get it? And this competition starts at a young age. Girls will see themselves as rivals before they hit puberty. Perhaps this is because we don’t learn how to support each other as women. Instead we look to see if we are thinner, prettier, smarter, taller, anything that makes us more than “her”.
To learn to support other women, we have to flip a switch in ourselves first. As the poem says, “She’s already had everything she needs within herself”. Despite what society may tell us, we are missing nothing. We are enough. Once we stop grasping for more-ness, the sooner we can support one another as women.
Isn’t that what we want from our daughters? To encourage them to form supportive, loving friendships with women. To come together in solidarity and confidence to face the challenges set before us. We want a strong generation of women.
Here are four ways to raise her up:
Role model. It will be said time and time again. The best thing we can do for our daughters and other women is to simply be. Be confident, be supportive, be you.
Encourage self-worth. Help others see the beauty and intelligence in themselves. Let her know that she is enough!
Look beyond pretty. We all know there is so much more to a woman than her face or her figure. And yet we fall into that trap. Before you tell a woman she is pretty, tell her she is intelligent, creative, or kind.
Forge friendships with women. It is as simple as that.