Lea Michele’s Essay On Sisterhood Is A Great Reminder Of Why We Should Support Each Other

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We can never have too many messages about supporting sisterhood and encouraging one another. Why? Because when we turn on the TV and watch a bunch of “real housewives” throwing punches and slaps at each other and when we open a magazine which asks us “which female celebrity wore it better” we start to get the idea that the media would much rather have us tear each other down as opposed to support one another.

It’s a real shame, but we don’t have to despair because there are plenty of women, media outlets and organizations that are wise enough to stand against this epidemic. One of those women is actress Lea Michele, best known for her roles on ‘Glee’ and now ‘Scream Queens’. She is also the face of a new campaign called ‘Actually She Can’ created by healthcare company Allergan and in conjunction with Her Campus.

Allergan wanted to target millennial women and arm them with the right information about which birth control to choose, and the idea for Actually She Can came from the popular phrase “I can’t even” which they wanted to flip and turn into something more empowering.

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As the face of this campaign, Lea is calling on her own experiences in the entertainment industry as a way to encourage millennial women to be friends, not frenemies. In an essay on The Daily Beast to promote her involvement in the campaign, Lea talks about why sisterhood is important to her, and why women’s voices are very powerful in the world.

“For years, women have been using their voices to articulate their goals and vision of the female ambition. They have used their voices as a means towards progress and equality, to express their dreams, and hopes for the future. They have used their voices to share their stories, to encourage understanding and build community,” she begins.

“The voices of courageous women who have championed female ambition are countless…from my personal hero, the legendary singer Barbra Streisand, to feminists like Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler, to one-name wonders like Oprah and Madonna and all of my inspiring female contemporaries in entertainment and business. These women have been fearless, and in doing so, they have offered us a better view.”

She believes self-expression is vital to our identities, but too often women are not encouraged to express themselves. In fact there are far too many industries and organizations wanting to speak on our behalf and even dictate to us how we should think, feel and act.

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“We are held to unrealistic media standards, airbrushed in order to be more perfect, and even told to change the very things that make us unique to fit into a mold. The truth about women is skewed in popular culture, and so many young girls reading the weekly magazines in the grocery checkout aisle are left to wonder where they fit in. While there are so many trailblazers for change there are still stories that aren’t being heard—young women who are not being acknowledged for who they are, and what they are doing,” she said.

Lea says women are far more powerful when they come together rather than battling each other. We are huge fans of the saying “collaborate, don’t compete” and it’s a great daily reminder we can apply to our lives to help one another raise our voices in our communities. Lea says her own circle of female friends has been vital to ensuring her successful career.

“My voice has not only provided me with a career and innumerable opportunities, but more personally, it has helped me to work through some of my insecurities and make peace with myself—flaws and all,” she said.

She knows that being a celebrity has put her in a unique position where her voice is amplified, and poised to influence a lot of people, which is why she chose to get involved in the Actually She Can campaign, which she describes as “a movement that celebrates female ambition and champions the goals of the millennial generation.”

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In her own life, she has become great friends with women like Kate Hudson who she starred alongside in ‘Glee’ for a number of episodes, as well as Emma Roberts, her ‘Scream Queens’ co-star, both of whom she says have influenced and encouraged her in numerous ways.

“The risks I take in my personal and professional life feel less scary because I am surrounded by a strong network of vibrant females who want the best for each other. I have embraced these friendships and as a result my overall health and wellness has been enhanced. And these are only a few amazing ladies I have met along the way,” she said.

In an interview with Huffpost Women in 2014, she expanded on the notion of female friendships in Hollywood, saying that in such a competitive industry, female friendships are vital.

“I think it’s so important that women really focus on encouraging and empowering other women. That’s definitely something that people struggle with in [the entertainment] business and in this industry, and that the media especially likes to bring attention to in a negative way. It’s so important that we empower one another because it’s hard enough being a woman! We could use all the support that we can get from each other,” she said at the time.

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Although she is in more of a privileged position than most of us, Lea does recognize that every woman’s journey is going to be different, but we owe it to ourselves and each other to unite because life can be tough. A few years ago she sadly lost her ‘Glee’ co-star and real life boyfriend Cory Monteith to a drug overdose and alludes to this by mentioning she has felt loss in her life and that it can be hard to navigate alone. We can all find aspects of our life that are tough, isolating and negative, but having the support of girlfriends can be a lifeline to us.

“I encourage all millennial women to stand proudly on the platform and share their voices in the best way they know how—and to support others that do the same. We have to be diligent, we have to be willing to take risks, we have to be willing to celebrate one another and accept the challenges we face individually and collectively,” ends Leah in her essay.

To find out more about the Actually She Can campaign, get information about birth control, and find out about how you can join the movement, click here. Watch the video below to see how a group of students from Winthrop University in South Carolina are using the hashtag to spread messages of positivity to other girls:

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Author Kathryn Berla Tackles The "Mean Girls" Phenomenon In Her Novel 'The Kitty Committee' - GirlTalkHQ

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