“WE WANT TRANSPARENCY. WE WANT TO BE BOUNDLESS AND FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE, WE WANT TO NOT BE PUT INSIDE A BOX.”
“Woman, you should marry a rich man.” “But I am a rich man.” – Cher
I’ve always been the woman being filed under “difficult” in the past. Difficult, not in a Stubborn, elusive way. But because I was one to always go against the status quo. And when you go against that, expect to get uncomfortable.
I’ve always felt different. Untamable, less timid and find myself to always run away from the comfort that everyone seems to settle into. At 26, I got engaged to my best friend. At 27, we got married and I couldn’t be happier. Solely our decision. Nothing against age nor time. I remember my mother in law’s speech at our Island wedding dinner on the shores of Bali, “I expect an 8th grandchild soon.” I also hear my mother’s voice echo in my ears, “I would love grandchildren soon.” Even my brother in laws and my own sister would play back that same echoed track as if it wasn’t overplayed enough. And yes, some also say that if I truly cared about my husband that I would get pregnant and start a family instead of working on my own goals and dreams. And to that, my husband says, “I married an equal and married her because she’s one to always follow her dreams and make her goals into realities.” A big thank you to the guys like mine who measure women past their baby-making skills.
Varick has values to value women and their goals. Be like Varick.
To the women who’ve felt themselves laugh at those said words from friends and family. To the same women who felt themselves roll their eyes back so hard they saw their brain hide in anxiety. I know you.
To the woman who feel the need for all of these pressures, I know you. I know how it feels to be pulled from both sides of settling down and breaking free.
Repeat After me, “I do not have to tone myself down to a smaller, frailer version simply to feel accepted and loved.
You pull the trigger. They just hand you the gun. You, as I have, have the power to change our thoughts. You are not your age. Your worth is not measured in the number of children you bear. Nor is it measured in marriage or in how much of the status quo you’ve caved into. We do not exist for that. We are not here only to raise children and live up to society’s expectations. You and I don’t owe time anything. We make time work for us, through our careers, our achievements, our self-love and our personal happiness. I don’t have to have a house and a mortgage a month after marriage. I don’t have to have kids right away because society says so.
Growing up, there have always been certain things expected of me. I recently watched a video from SK-II called The Expiry Date and it touched me beyond words, giving me such an intimate connection with the women who feel the tug of war that I, along with many other women feel. The scene of the girl standing in the train while the question of “Through whose eyes do we see ourselves?” was being raised really stood out to me. It came as a reminder that you should always see you for you, not as whom others think you should be.
SK-II’s #INeverExpire campaign is something I really connect with as an Asian-American woman. It’s so important that we challenge society’s artificial timelines for women and look inside ourselves to choose our own path. As part of the campaign, Chloe Bennet was interviewed by Vanity Fair and shared her own experiences with age pressure. The reason these conversations are so important is so we can encourage each other to live life on our own terms. That as cliché as it may sound, we can go against the status quo. And that we can redirect our thoughts and easily change our destinies because yes, we are allowed to be difficult in the best way possible! We do not have an expiration date, ladies. We only have goals waiting for us to achieve!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SK-II. The opinions and text are all mine.