INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: WHO RUNS THE WORLD?
Happy International Women's Day! For those of you who may not be familiar, this is a day dedicated to working together towards a more balanced world. What do we want? Gender equality. When do we want it? Right now! What do we want? To eliminate gender bias. When do we want it? Right now! Let's get loud today and celebrate female achievement and rally around all of the girl bosses who inspire us every day! I'm joining in with some of my fellow blogger bosses at Style Collective to embody the spirit of this day and celebrate our own and one another's achievements as women. As the saying goes, behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back, so I'm excited to introduce you to some of those women in my life. Let's start off with a little bit about me:
My name is Clarissa Laws, and I am the content creator for the fledgling fashion blog you are currently perusing, Fashion Bylaws. Three facts about me:
1. I have seven brothers and no sisters. My parents are crazy but my negotiation skills are unparalleled.
2. I was a division one athlete in college. I was a runner and I competed in two NCAA championships.
3. I work in Facilities Management. So random, I know. I spend my days managing buildings at a university and I love talking about HVAC.
I dreamed of starting a fashion blog for YEARS, and finally, largely in part due to the constant encouragement by my dreamboat husband (because let us not forget the men in our lives who stand alongside us in the fight for gender parity), I published my first blog post in November of 2018. I was so excited to start photographing and posting my #OOTDs, but I was initially so nervous to share any part of myself with a completely unknown audience. What would they think? Would they hate me? Would anyone be interested?
Enter Style Collective. I first joined this organization because I didn't know what in the heck I was doing and I read online that they had great resources for bloggers, which they absolutely do and I am downloading something or other from the website almost daily to help me become a better blogger. What I wasn't expecting was just WHO the women are who make up this massive content creating community. As soon as I joined and introduced myself, I had dozens of new followers who had massive accounts but took it upon themselves to support someone like me who is still just learning the ropes. SC women sought me out in my Instagram DMs to shoot me notes of encouragement and to offer their guidance. Honestly, I probably would have given up in the first few weeks if it weren't for this network of other women who set these massive goals and chip away at them bit by bit every day. I didn't know it at first, but I needed this sense of community that I got from Style Collective to keep me going and to make me feel like I wasn't crazy for having big dreams. The level of support is incredible, and it's so crazy to me because really, we could all be seeing one another as competition, vying for the same audience. Instead, it's this driven, creative group of women who are all so excited to share the stage. I swear I'm not advertising anything, I just would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to SC (and its founder, Annie Spano) on International Women's Day.
The mission of Fashion Bylaws is to "entertain, inspire and inform women of all ages with an interest in fun, versatile and affordable fashion by posting high quality, humorous and relatable content including shoppable outfits, recommendations, style tips and tricks and information on major sales and deals." A major goal I set for myself in January was to reach 10,000 women in my first year who find something relatable and interesting in the things that I post. I think the most exciting part about blogging is knowing that you're resonating with someone, and also in turn finding other women who resonate with you and creating this symbiotic bond. I'm working towards this 10,000 not because I want the "swipe up" feature in Instagram (that would be fun though!!), but because it means that I will have a community of 10,000 unique, wonderful (mostly) women who I get to connect with, share with, speak to on a daily basis through social media, blog posts and events. I think that's something really cool.
To me, International Women's Day means a lot of things. I've spent my life surrounded by these tenacious women who have said stuck it to so-called social norms and uninspired expectations. They've accepted the challenge of being mothers, friends, wives AND CEOs in a world that tells women that they fail as a mother if they succeed in the workplace. They've fought this battle as my predecessors to give me the same opportunities to excel and to falter as my male counterparts. Additionally, they have raised men who will always view women as peers; equally competent, capable and committed no matter the situation.
I think International Women's Day is about making the world finally accept that women can be whoever and whatever they want, free of stigma, while being held to the same standards as men and being offered the same level of respect. So today, let's celebrate our superior empathy, unmatched compassion, unparalleled ability to embrace our flaws, unwavering adaptability, and the tenacity that has been ingrained in us by the original suffragettes. Being a woman presents us with more obstacles, and that makes us stronger, and that makes us powerful.