Exploration of the Modern Woman

By: Hilda Kolawole

From Ayesha Curry to Cardi B, the role of the modern women has changed drastically in the last few years. Women are leaving the well-beaten path of being static characters and developing into dynamic multi faceted beings. They are no longer just mothers or cooks; they’re leaders, creative directors, producers: the modern woman has arrived. But who is she? What does she look like, sound like, what does she do? Is it Beyoncé, a role model in the eyes of many, whose recent release of the album LEMONADE has changed the way we see music entirely? LEMONADE was poetry, music and art combined in one; it weaved a story of love, betrayal and redemption. Beyoncé featured work from many young black artists, including a young Somali poet and a ballerina from the Dutch National Ballet. Beyoncé featured black art while, at the same time, making a very political statement by having the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Or Lupita, whose major roles in A-list movies have altered the way people define beauty. Dark-skinned women have been told for so long that they needed to have more European features to be seen as beautiful; the appearance of Lupita in distinguished roles gave some girls the confidence they craved. Maybe the modern woman is Cardi B, a rags-to-riches story, that teaches women to embrace all parts of themselves. Cardi teaches women that in a world where people want to place rules and regulations on the female body, the only rules we have to listen to are the ones we give ourselves. Or Malala, whose fight for girls to go to school in her country has made her a feminist icon and a peace-prize winner. She took a stand in a country where the patriarchy always wins, and she refused to be oppressed by it. The modern woman could be my mother, who is the only girl of four children; she made it to America and simultaneously supports her brothers back home and her family here in America. The sacrifices she made have taught me what womanhood truly is, the ability to not be marginalized into one role; to be the wife, the breadwinner, the singer, the actress, the producer and the leader all in one.  The answer to this question of who is the modern woman seems to be all of the above; the modern women is a woman who refuses to be defined by one part of herself–it is a woman who has spit society’s expectations back at them and is living for herself and herself alone. This woman does not have a specific face or occupation; she does not speak a certain way or eat a special diet. The modern woman is you and me when we finally decide to start embracing every part of ourselves.

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