I recently heard a life analogy that just clicked for me. It was about the orchid versus the succulent. One takes a whole heck of a lot of work to take care of, but is also satiny and stunning. The other takes very little nurturing and has its own unique, if somewhat spiny, beauty.
Applying these characteristics to real life, maybe you believe an orchid kind of job is the right fit but later realize the succulent flexibility is more your style. Or maybe you think that orchid on the magazine cover is better than your succulent self. Suffice it to say, both are gorgeous. They aren’t in competition. One isn’t right and the other isn’t wrong. Instead, the right one is the one that works for you. You never know: In the end, everything may come up roses!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Almost 800 Products
The next time you’re shopping for shampoo, take a look around. You might instantly notice a gunmetal gray bottle sitting next to a cherry-colored shampoo bottle that’s shaped like a diamond or a stiletto. Girl, it’s clear which one society expects you to choose.
A recent Washington Post article titled “Why you should always buy the men’s version of almost anything,” notes that the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared almost 800 products—from clothing to toiletries and event haircuts—with so-called male and female versions. Surprise, surprise, all the products were practically identical, except, of course, the “female” variety often had a surcharge, with some retailers bumping up the price of their women’s clothing by nearly 29 percent. The moral behind that mind-blowing statistic is that you shouldn’t let labels sway your choices because they’re just that: labels.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sara Geffrard, Founder of A Dapper Chick
Today’s fashionable Woman to Watch gives me the confidence to do that. Sara Geffrard shares her style expertise and empowered positivity on the smart and snazzy blog A Dapper Chick.
As a Haitian turned New Yorker, Sara offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on creating a wardrobe that genuinely speaks to you. It stems from her experience growing up in Haiti. Like many girls, Sara enjoyed being active, spending much of her time dancing, learning martial arts and playing soccer and basketball. But such sporty activities don’t lend themselves to wearing cute dresses, frilly tank tops and cut-offs. So, Sara decided she’d adopt boys’ clothing, which allowed her more wiggle room to be active.
When a hurricane hit her island in 2004, Sara’s life was upended, and she and her siblings were relocated to the New York City borough of Queens. There, among fashion-industry icons, Sara began to hone her personal style, adopting a more dapper approach by wearing sophisticated suits that elicited respect. Her sharp ensembles, while erring more on the traditionally masculine side, are striking and chic, and still evoke femininity.
Sara’s eye for debonair style and her ability to create one imaginative outfit after another have garnered her some attention. Featured by press outlets like Vogue and The New York Times, Sara and A Dapper Chick have amassed quite the following. What started as simply a creative way to share her curated personal style has turned into an avenue for influencing others and breaking down barriers.
For Sara, fashion has no gender. Yet, within months of launching A Dapper Chick, Sara faced some closed-minded cyberbullying about her proclivity for traditionally male clothing. Undeterred, she joined forces with another blogger and they reached out to women in New York who had an affinity for ungendered fashion. Thus, Dapper Chicks of New York was created to bring the community together, showcase individuality and tackle issues like bullying and women’s equality.
Sara believes the way we dress tells a story, and her story definitely reveals that this chick is nothing if not dapper!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Being yourself never goes out of style. As motivational speaker Lisa Nichols said:
“Mostly, the world sees you the way you see yourself.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.