By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
I’ve long been a L’Oréal customer, and I’ve appreciated the range of colors and ethnicities of their spokeswomen. So much of the fashion and beauty industries are focused on the very young and very skinny (and very white), to the point that it’s still refreshing to see new role models who look like me and my peers—and who look like who I aspire to be in coming decades. This sends a positive message to girls and women, I think, that beauty comes in all sizes, colors, shapes, and ages. Brava!
The slogan I’ve long associated with this brand is “Because I’m worth it,” and I’ve always loved that message of strength and self-confidence. Spokeswoman, Susan Sarandon is quoted as saying, “It had to do with women becoming the masters of their own lives and decisions,” and again I say Brava!
I continued to read the brief article, egged on by the teaser: “So what does being ‘Worth It’ mean to Sarandon?” I wanna know, I wanna know…oh, crapamole! “(Hint: it involves motherhood).”
I’ve spent the past several years trying to determine for myself what is my worth, especially as I’ve grieved and healed, and grieved and healed some more while struggling to make peace with being childfree by circumstances. I’ve done my best to embrace that I bring value to the lives around me by being a devoted friend, involved auntie, and contributing team member. I’d pretty much convinced myself that my life has meaning even though I haven’t fulfilled society’s expectation that the only role women should aspire to and revere is motherhood.
Having put so much hope into finding a positive and uplifting message that accepts and celebrates every woman, I felt deflated by Sarandon’s response (and the brand’s apparent endorsement). Again, I am put in the heart-wrenching, possibly defeatist position of having to ask myself: “Am I worth anything?”
So I need your help today. In the Comments, please share with me—with all of us—how you define your worth. Let’s compile a list that helps us remind ourselves that we have something to offer the world, that we have value, that we are worth it—whatever “it” means to us.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.
Kathleen… I’ll sing your worth from the streets and the house tops! You have brought light into my life and a fresh empowering and more truthful perspective. I have hope again and I know that because you speak up others feel strength as well.
To me family and mothering has taken on a bigger perspective. I love to bring hope and new perspectives to those struggling around me and watch them walk away with a spring in their step. To pull down the weights of current societal beliefs that no longer serve us. No. It isn’t my own biological family. I accept that my ‘family’ is fluid and changing and I think that’s beautiful.
Wow, Jane. Thank you. 🙂
Jennifer Smart says
It helps to remind myself how many patients I help on a daily basis. Donating blood is also a big part of feeling self worth these days.
Thank you for this post and activity. I was put on this earth for the purpose of being a supportive and joyish partner to my husband, to be the light in my own parent’s lives. To help customer’s at my job with tech issues, to be patient through any struggle life gives me. I am just as worth it as those who are mothers. I am a loyal friend. A brilliant mind .. I am that good friend and support system for my TL who is also going through a life without children. We were put on this earth for a purpose, motherhood is not the only thing to live for (or at least i remind myself)
“Am I worth anything?” YES !!!!! WE ARE PRICELESS !!
1. I am a human being. I respect, love and treasure the human race.
2. Psalm 139:14. ” I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
3. I am a loyal friend, compassionate. Always building people.
4. I am a child of God
5. … I am more than people think I am…
Always praying for all of us !
Now… type up these lists and post them somewhere you can see them the next time someone/an ad/social media tries to make you feel less worthy.
Sending love, strength, and gratitude to you all! xoxo
This I have struggled with, especially as I come to terms with not being able to be a mother. As my mother’s whole life has been about being a caring and nurturing one, always putting the needs of her family before her own and this has been reward enough for her in life. I am finding my way, but wanted to experience that deep experience of helping to develop and shape another human being. I define my worth these days by what I bring to my relationship as a wife, being a loyal and caring friend, helping children through teaching and still search for that uniqueness that will add that extra meaning because I couldn’t have children. I am in a better place, but still search.