As women, we've seen enough examples of the strength that lies in beauty. Trophy wives and trophy girlfriends are the "reward" for a man of a certain power and net worth. A gift to himself for his acquired wealth? A gorgeous woman who probably wouldn't give him the time of day or even look his way if he was anything less than a seven to nine figure fella.
So with that said, there is definitely power in being pretty. But the real question is, is there "pretty" in having power?
Recently, the beautiful and successful Keke Palmer opened up to Allure magazine about owning her power as a successful and sexy young woman too. The 22-year-old Scream Queens actress told the magazine:
"I want to present a very strong and bold image, but with femininity. There's often the belief that if you are a woman in control, then you must be not as womanly as others, like you have some sort of power that women aren’t supposed to have. Yeah, I’m young, but I’m a boss about my business, and yeah, I’m sexy at the same time, and I know how to have that balance because I am the one who defines my sexuality."
[Tweet "I'm young, but I'm a boss about my business, and I'm sexy at the same time"]
Keke has a point. There is no denying that in this day and age, although the modern "independent woman" receives her share of praise on surface, underneath all the male ego, she still receives flack for making stacks too. The idea that a woman that can do for herself doesn't need a man for material things gets confused with the idea that she doesn't want one at all, which can be off-putting for the person who only knows how to gift you with diamonds versus give you their time, attention or affection.
It also can be tricky in the industry and how they market you. Most likely, young and gorgeous women such as a Keke Palmer are pitched as either the babe or the "b*tch," but seldomly the boss (which unfortunately can still be interchangeable with the b*tch role). It's almost as if you can't be strong and sexy, you have to choose.
This idea of gender and what we perceive to be as sexy or non-sexy, manly or womanly, reminds me of a quote from UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. Over the summer, the mixed martial artist (who is in incredible shape and is lethal in the ring), clapped back at her critics about her body being too masculine, later coining the term "Do Nothing B**ch" by saying that's exactly what she's not!
"I think it's hilarious if people say that my body looks masculine, or something like that. I'm just like, 'Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than [sleeping with] millionaires doesn't mean it's masculine.' I think it's femininely bad-ass as f*** because there's not a single muscle on my body that isn't for a purpose. Because, I'm not a do-nothing b****. It's not very eloquently said, but it's to the point. And, maybe that's just what I am. I'm not that eloquent, but I'm to the point."
Perhaps it is a matter of redefining or re-evaluating gender roles in 2015 and what we associate with being feminine and being masculine. Living in a time where more sports are co-ed than ever and our female faves are still rocking the stage in all their pregnant glory, perhaps we should stop stigmatizing certain positions of power as being any more or less masculine than the next. Women are not only damsels, they are bosses, too. And bosses are beautiful. And feminine. And pow(her)ful.
What are your thoughts on this ladies? Can being powerful be perceived as intimidating and less "womanly?"