F.A.D.= Female Appreciation Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, I would like to take a moment to honor the women around the world who have dedicated their lives to further equality in our not-so-equal world; women, both tough and self-sufficient or shy and passionate, who have helped bring us closer together as the community we are. This day isn’t dedicated to women who are merely strong and loud; this day is for those who have made a change through a simple seat refusal, a hushed “no.” For the one who took a stand for equal education opportunities after looking down the barrel of a gun and thinking that her life was about to end. This day is for those women who break down stereotypes and double standards one award show at a time. But these women, although destined for greatness, only make up a small percentage of the women in the world, because ultimately, this day is for you.

This day is dedicated to the girl who woke up this morning, got out of bed and went to work her eight hour shift at her underpaid job to pay her rent while balancing school and an internship. For the girl who has to support not only herself, but also her family back home by helping paying the bills. For the girl who has no family at all. This one is for the girl who looks in the mirror day after day feeling repulsed by the image looking back at her, constantly reminding herself that she isn’t good enough. You are. This one is for the girl suffering with anxiety or depression, unable to speak about her feelings and unable to be heard. We are listening. This day is for the girl who drinks herself into oblivion weekend after weekend, thinking that one day she’ll start feeling again. This one is for the girl that was cheated on by the “love of her life.” Don’t think twice about leaving — you deserve better.

The point is, we all have different worries and issues. We are not defined by these problems — we are defined by our reactions. As women, we must be strong in times of weakness, smart in times of longing, self-sufficient in times of worry and confident in times of doubt. There is no single factor in this world that can define our worth. Take this day to flaunt your confidence and realize that you are important, hot, fierce, strong and worth it. Remind yourself that independence isn’t a turnoff and your voice is as equally important as anyone else’s. We are no longer in the era of being outspoken because it our turn to speak. And it is time for the world to listen.