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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

At least once in our lives, women are told that this is a man’s world. That they will never be ‘as good’ or ‘as successful’ as men. The ABC series Scandal, featuring Kerry Washington, proves to the world that women are powerful, intelligent, and capable of being just as, if not more, successful than men. Kerry plays a badass political cannon, named Olivia Pope, who is known for fixing everyone’s problems while overachieving in all fields of her life. Olivia Pope is an icon for all women, proving that this can be a women’s world.

Growing up, I was blessed with a very strong female figure in my life: my mom. She was my cheer coach for five years, my girl scout leader for 13 years, attended all of my band concerts, cooked a meal for me every night, and was always the person I could call no matter how late in the night it was or how busy she was. Not only was she always there for me in my most difficult times, but she also showed me what it is to be a woman. Strong. Independent. Smart. Even sexy. To this day, one of the most impactful things that she continues to tell me is; “know your worth.” Any time I am having a stressful day, or a day where I feel like I have failed myself, she would always tell me this and it would give me the courage to push through the negative feelings. 

In a world designed for men to succeed, women must work twice as hard to be the best. Olivia Pope embodies all of the values that my mom taught me growing up and proves that women are more powerful than many imagine them to be. Not only did Pope graduate at the top of her class, but she also works with the White House and owns her own business known as “Olivia Pope and Associates.” She is the first person everyone calls to help them in tough times and represent them in political campaigns. Olivia Pope is the woman that every woman, and even some men, wish they could be.

One thing Olivia Pope does that every woman can do, is to know what you want in life and prove to yourself that you are more than capable of achieving it. There is no limit to what you can do. Whether it is succeeding in your profession or achieving a simple goal you made for yourself that day, if you have the mindset that you can do it, you can and will. Another characteristic that Olivia has that anyone can copy is confidence. Confidence is a mindset that everyone can achieve. She embraces every part of herself – that she’s smart and powerful, but also that she is stubborn and vulnerable. Even if you aren’t confident in yourself, acting like you are, gives the perception that you are to others and can unknowingly boost your confidence. Knowing that you are good at what you do and loving who you are, ultimately radiates confidence. 

Olivia Pope turns heads when she walks into the room and so can you. Clothing is also a key factor in how she is the powerless and fearless woman that she is. Make sure to wear what you feel comfortable in and what makes you feel like the best version of yourself. This being said, wearing baggy and ‘unprofessional’ clothes might not be the way to go. Dressing in a respectable way earns you respect from your peers. You don’t have to wear business attire each day, but a nice shirt and pants combo, or a cute dress, can still emit the power that you have.  

Olivia Pope demonstrates that this can be a women’s world. Being the badass, confident, and intelligent woman that you are, you can achieve beyond your expectations. In the wise words of Kerry Washington: Women often feel they have to choose between smart or sexy. This collection says you can be both of those things and you can be fabulous and fearless.”

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Sydney Lamoureux

U Mass Amherst '24

Sydney is in her junior year at Umass Amherst. She is a double major in legal studies and psychology with a minor in history. She loves advocating for mental health among college students as well as finding cute cafes in New England :)