The Independent Woman

It’s Monday morning, and millions of mothers wake up to get their children off to school and themselves off to work. They do their hair while cooking breakfast, prepare for a work presentation in their head while brushing their daughter’s hair, and attempt to look professional yet feminine, succumbing to modern day beauty standards. Alicia Keys illustrated this role in her song “Girl on Fire”, and women every day live the actual reality. According to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12 million single parents, more than 80% of those are single mothers.

The image and story of the independent woman is one that begins with the single mother. The women that keep their head up, raise decent and upstanding children, succeed in their careers, and do it all without the help of a husband or spouse are the women we should all look up to when we define ourselves as independent women. Classic shows such as Gilmore Girls portray the image of the single mother fiercely building a life for her and her daughter. It also shows the triumphs and struggles of her romantic relationships.

Every day, college girls do their makeup in their dim dorm room lighting, and they finish their assignments for class so they can eventually have a career in which they will have to work harder than their male counterparts to be taken seriously in. They remember to take their birth control, because the female is typically responsible for contraception, and they rush out the door to be on time for all their responsibilities. An independent woman is in all of us.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I think it’s important to recognize the women who independently handle their daily lives with such class and grace. From single mothers, to fierce college women, we all deserve praise for succeeding and continuing in a world that so often disadvantages us.

With that being said, my best friend recently said something to me that I feel rings true for every woman.

“Just because I am an independent woman and do not need a relationship does not mean I can’t want one.”

I began thinking about the single mothers, the college students, the women strongly pushing forward in their career goals. So often we as women get tunnel vision on our goals. When we set a goal for ourselves, we turn all our attention to it and forget about our personal lives. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think that it is okay for every single strong, independent woman to want love. For every strong woman, there is a heart inside them deserving of love, comfort, and happiness.

You don’t have to be strong, brave, independent, or okay all the time. That is an unrealistic expectation that modern society has put on us. It’s okay to want someone to love and protect you, it’s a very real and natural feeling. Don’t ever feel bad for wanting a relationship, even though you will still be the independent woman you are without one.