International Women’s Day may be officially over, but let’s talk about how to keep that empowerment emanating through the world on Friday going for the rest of the month and beyond. This day celebrates the monumental movement for women’s rights and equality. The success of such a movement relies on passionate social activism and political involvement. However, revolutionary actions depend on revolutionary thoughts. Sadly, empowerment, rather than being a norm, is often classified among “rebellious” mindsets.
This rebellion flourished on this year’s International Women’s Day, with every social media platform plastered with messages of self-love and empowerment. I couldn’t click through Instagram stories without seeing virtually every organization and public figure I follow posting motivational graphics and quotes, along with my friends re-posting such messages or praising women within their own lives. But, hey, I am not complaining. I posted Cher’s iconic “Mom, I am a rich man” quote from her infamous 1996 interview with Jane Pauley.
Such messages may seem cheesy, but that doesn’t make them less valid or important for those who identify as women across the world to hear. Speaking of identity, I was thrilled to witness a concentrated effort among posts to convey intersectional feminism, although trans inclusion could unsurprisingly be more prevalent.
Starbucks posted a “StrongLikeCoffee” campaign featuring “women who bring leadership, strength, and purpose to the world of coffee.” As a tea worshipper, I’d like to see the women of the tea world, but I guess we aren’t there yet as a society. Leslie, one of the first female roasters—I want that title too, but for a different reason—in the industry asserts, “We have to uplift each other. We have to be each other’s advocate. We have to empower each other, and we have to give each other the dreams to be what we want to be.” It is crazy to think that gender discrimination extends into arenas such as the coffee industry, but of course, it’s not surprising. The company’s Instagram promised many more stories to come in the following days, ensuring that its support for women isn’t a one-day spectacle.
Amidst the beautifully-designed motivational drawings, images, and posters on social media platforms, it’s easy to forget that there are so many other methods of empowerment that can be employed in our day-to-day lives. Starbucks, once again, delivered. The company declared its partnership with Malala Yousafzai’s organization, Malala Fund, to promote girls’ education and expand leadership opportunities for young men in growing coffee and tea—I stand corrected—communities in India and Latin America. To commemorate their collaboration, Malala created an empowering playlist of female artists from 16 countries, which Starbucks played in over 10,000 of its participating stores in the U.S. and Canada.
As we return from spring break missing the feeling of empowerment that filled the air on Friday, put on Malala’s playlist. You’ll be reminded that we decide which day is the day to feel strong and empowered in our womanhood. That day is today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. Hit it Malala. *Bad Girls by M.I.A. starts to play* Yes...Bad Girls...this playlist is fabulous.
Check out Malala’s playlist on Starbucks’ Spotify account.