Empowerment Series: What Empowerment Means To Eleni
Eleni is without a doubt one of the most fierce ladies we know. She marches through life to the beat of her own drum wearing her heart on her sleeve. This summer she is in Germany, on her latest adventure. This is Eleni's take on empowerment.
Growing up is an adventure, but that doesn’t mean it’s always fun. It can be daunting, embarrassing and once those hormones kick in; downright painful! And as well-intentioned as the adults around us may be, they do not always know "what it’s like” to grow up in our environment with the influences and challenges we face. My message is this: if your parents/ grandparents/ teachers/ siblings, or even friends don’t understand where you’re coming from, that is fine. It doesn’t mean they love you any less.
“You’re never going to get a boyfriend if you keep wearing men’s shirts” was a comment that hit so hard it floored me. It wasn’t unusual for me to hear things like this as a teenager. However, this time, as I was about to walk out the door for a night out, it stressed me out and cut deep. It especially hurt coming from somebody I loved so much, who was supposed to love and support me. In retrospect, that comment highlighted the different views of an older generation and mine. And it doesn’t mean that they're a bad person for having worn out beliefs. Believe it or not, it did come from a loving place. The important thing was, I went out that night and got laid. In my man’s shirt.
“It especially hurt coming from somebody I loved so much, who was supposed to love and support me.”
Because of course it doesn’t matter if you wear men’s clothes or kids clothes, glitter on your face or have tattoos or piercings or pink hair or no hair or extensions down to your arse. If you’re feeling yourself, my gal you bloody go and do it! And you might look back on these photos of yourself in a years time and cringe so hard it causes you to cramp, but that “phase” was part of your adventure and it was important in you becoming the person you are today.But let’s not begrudge and shame the older generation - or anyone who doesn’t know how to embrace identity. Let’s teach & inspire them to accept each other wholeheartedly and love without judgement. Nothing is as fierce as confidence and for me, that is empowerment.