A Moment of Honesty: Embracing "The B Word"

ban bossy?
High heels, red lipstick, a tight-fitting dress-- however "purely aesthetic" as these things may be, they're things that are often associated with a woman who is in control. A woman who knows what she wants is going to be naturally drawn to them. They're all risky accouterments though. Bold, bright lips could draw unwanted attention to facial imperfections. Strappy stilettos leave little room for error-- one slight stumble could turn into an embarrassing face plant. Curve-hugging dresses reveal every flaw. Some women though, we thrive on the danger. There is great beauty in risk. It's something called confidence, however, this sentiment has become twisted through the years. Somewhere along the line a woman with a strong presence has been labeled anything and everything from "attention-seeking" to, dare I say it, "overbearing." Or, more so lately, "bossy." 

There is a lot of hubbub on the internet these days having to do with the word "bossy." There's even a campaign going around to ban the word completely. Free speech issues aside, would it not be far more advantageous to internally change the definition of the word on our own terms, and make that new definition the norm? Slowly but surely, we can do it. Why not just embrace "bossy?" Since when are virtues such as decisiveness and ambition a bad thing? Dissect the word for a moment in your mind. You'll see quickly that, at its core, "bossy" can be quite the compliment. It's the same as saying, "you know what you want and you'll do what it takes to get it." If you've ever been labeled as such, congratulations. Just as many other malicious phrases, the use of this word is largely reserved for the insecure. Unsure and possibly envious in the face of confidence, they will result to this kind of pre-pubescent name-calling. 

To be a little more personal with it, I was always a spitfire soul in an introvert's body. I'm not sure if my fear of voicing any of my very strong opinions was out of sheer insecurity or because over the years, I'd been conditioned to speak when spoken to. Once I started my business, I started finding a lot more confidence. I started to be open with my thoughts and concerns about life, politics, and anything else under the sun. It wasn't too long before the horrible insults started flowing in. I can't even tell you how many times I've been called "THE b word." (And I'm not talking about "bossy!") Yes, it is a fact that anyone who has chosen "the boss lady" path unfortunately knows intimately: anything worth chasing after will absolutely put you in the line of fire. It can hurt at times but I've recently embraced any kind of name-calling. Why? Something I've been learning is that if anyone feels the need to resort to that, fear not. You've already won. Instead of taking such petty attacks on your character to heart, take them as compliments. You have what it takes to be the bigger person and to "get stuff done." You know what you want and your ambitions will take you places if you don't succumb to the weight of anyone who may want to stand in your way. And trust me-- there will be many.

As ugly of a word as "bossy" can seem at times, a push to ban it completely would only empower the bullies. It gives it more weight. It makes it an issue when in reality, words are just words. For little girls and women alike, encouraging strength amidst the many narrow-minded insults we face is something that I would gladly support. That is, after all, what the bullies hate more than anything. They are powerless in the face of someone who is unmoved by their antiquated ways. Let's all embrace "bossy." Let's own it and use it as a compliment, not backhanded, but with smiles on our faces. 

xo,
e.m.

5 comments

  1. That's really good and encouraging! Thank you!
    Hanna
    www.simplywanderous.com

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