International Women's Month: Where Every Day is for Us
My university roommate and I grabbed coffee over the weekend. I saw her because of her hands first – she’s always got them adorned in bracelets, so that when she talks with her hands – we’re both hand-talkers – they shimmer in the sun and add a little bit of extra oomf to the conversation.
E-Vyn wears the Nieve Drops and Fleur Ring, both in Gold Vermeil
And that’s exactly what we got to talking about. That extra oomf. “I don’t understand something”, she started, brows furrowed slightly. “We’re already in this modern day and age, but sometimes what I see on social media is a bit strange.”
“In what way?” I pressed.
“Well, let me ask you a question”, she continued. “What is it like to be a woman?”
Immediately, I thought of my favourite it-girl routines on TikTok, of new business influencers who shared their style on Instagram, and of friends and family who were in various industries and excelling at what they did.
“It’s taking so long for you to answer”, she remarked. I explained that I was thinking of a lot of different things.
“Yeah, but why can’t being a woman just come from existing? Why do we need to think so hard about what being a woman constitutes of, why do we need to always align ourselves with some extra oomf – female entrepreneur, female actor, etc?”
That question got me thinking. Why couldn’t it come to me easily – what defines a woman? – when I was one myself?
“Close your eyes and think again.”
This time, I said what was came to mind instantly. “To me, being a woman means finding home in chats with my girlfriends.”
“Being a woman means embracing the emotions of the day through the longest, most nonsense Telegram chats with you.”
Ching wears the Dimension Necklace and Yule Studs, both in 925 Silver
My roommate nodded, deep in thought. “Being a woman simply means to look at myself in the mirror and like how I can dress myself up when I want to, dress casually if I want to, and eventually get to compliment my girlfriends freely about what cute dress they’re pulling off today.”
When it comes to being a woman, we often find ways to celebrate the successes and struggles of their journeys. But as us girls navigate the snakes and ladders of womanhood, perhaps we need to learn that there’s no measure to being a woman, and no strict, boxed-in definitions that we need to follow.
“Being a woman means coming home to a group of friends – sisters – that get me”, my friend, Chan Mi said. “You know how it’s like when you navigate growing up – adulting can be scary. It’s so awesome to be with girls that have my back and aren’t afraid to discuss these fearful emotions with me.”
One of her best friends, Nadine, an interior designer, agreed. “It’s so comforting to be with my girls. We’re cool to share hard truths with each other, because we know that we’re going to be there, celebrating one another, lifting each other up, at various points of our lives.”
“Job promotion? Great! Wore your favourite ring today? I feel you, girl – made me feel cute and all!”
In Singapore, International Women’s Day was celebrated across various offices with gifts for the girls, the cutest bazaars with women-owned businesses, and social media was chock-full of stories with inspirational women. My friends and I shared links, “bad bitch empowering” anthems, and indulged in the popcorn that was given out at work. The day after International Women’s Day, one of my colleagues came in with the most beautiful, long silk skirt.
“Why’re you wearing that today”, our friend asked playfully, “Women’s Day over leh.”
Our colleague shrugged. “I don’t need a reason to dress up. I just woke up and felt like it’d be cool to wear a skirt today.”
We agreed that it looked amazing on her, and as she walked to her desk, I found myself processing the thought. We’re women, we’re existing each day, coming to work, going about our activities, trying our best.
We’re women, and every ordinary day is our day – the support we give one another is what makes it extraordinary.