21 of the best power anthems for strong women

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My last post on the great Aretha Franklin and the importance of respecting ourselves has inspired me to put together 21 of the best power anthems for women. If you’re ever feeling down, insecure, lonely, hurt, or you’re just in a fantastic mood and want to jam out to some appropriate tunes, then this list is a must. I highly recommend the volume be put up to an inappropriate level to where you can sing at the top of your lungs and all you can hear is how fabulous you sound – because all you can hear is the singer in question. And of course, DANCE. It’s imperative.

So here are the timeless songs that will get you inspired and straight on your way down the aisle to wedding yourself.

1. Of course, Aretha Franklin – Respect. Duh!

“All I’m asking, is for a little respect when you come home”

 

2. Destiny’s Child – Independent Women

“Shoes on my feet – I bought ’em

clothes I’m wearing – I bought ’em

rock I’m rockin’ – I bought ’em

‘coz I depend on me”

 

3. Destiny’s Child – Survivor

“After all of the darkness and sadness, soon comes happiness. If I surround myself with positive things I’ll gain prosperity.. I’m a survivor.”

 

4. Pussycat Dolls – I Don’t Need A Man

“I don’t need a man to make it happen, I’ll get off being free.”

 

5. Christina Aguilera & Lil’ Kim – Can’t Hold Us Down

“Thinking all women should be seen, not heard – so what do we do girls? SHOUT OUT LOUD”

 

6. Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are?

“Show how good you are!”

 

7. En Vogue – My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)

“You’ll give your woman a little respect”

 

8. Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Own Me

“I’m free and I love to be free. To live my life the way that I want. To say and do whatever I please”

 

9. Pink – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

“You think I’m just too serious, I think you’re full of shit”

 

10. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

“She got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down. OOOOH She’s got her head in the clouds and she’s not backing down”

 

11. Lady Gaga – Born This Way

“”There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are”, she said, ’cause he made you perfect, babe”

 

12. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

“Do you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no not I. I will survive”

 

13. Wilson Phillips – Hold On

“You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness”

 

14. Katy Perry – Firework

“You don’t have to feel like a wasted space. You’re original; cannot be replaced”

 

15. David Guetta ft. Sia – Titanium

“I’m bulletproof; nothing to lose.”

 

16. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger

“Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone”

 

17. Martina McBride – This One’s For The Girls

“You’re beautiful the way you are.”

 

18. Helen Reddy – I Am Woman

“You can bend but never break me ’cause it only serves to make me”

 

19. Beyoncé – Flawless

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?”

 

20. Madonna – Vogue

“Go inside for your finest inspiration. Your dreams will open the door”

 

21. Beyoncé – Who Run The World?

“How we’re smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bear the children -then get back to business.”

 

So there you have it. Empowered yet?

Comment below and let me know your favourite girl-power anthems.

 

GIRLS.

GIRLS.

 

Love,

YN

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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“Find out what it means to me – R-E-S-P-E-C-T – take care TCB.”

This is more than just an Aretha Franklin Karaoke special – as awesome as that sounds. This is about the meaning and consequences of girls who do just that – respect themselves. The strong female anthem is directed at a man, urging him to show her respect, but the point is, a man won’t show you it if you don’t show it to yourself first.

Here’s the thing. It may sound a little airy-fairy, but if you, like a gazillion other people in the world listen to anything Oprah has to say, you’ll know there’s truth in positive affirmation and that thinking can manifest into being. It’s in the book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne – you know, the thing that Oprah was going on about for years? Top of the New York Times bestseller list for 146 consecutive weeks? Sold over 21 million print copies? No? It’s small, I get it. Who’s Oprah anyway?

Jokes aside, I can’t stress enough how true it is to actually believe in something in order to make it happen. And of course, the ‘law of attraction’ – which, according to trusty Wikipedia, “is said to work by attracting into a person’s life the experiences, situations, events, and people that ‘match the frequency’ of the person’s thoughts and feelings”. As if you didn’t have an “AHA” moment with that?!

So what does this all mean? Well, what I’m trying to get at here, is that you will attract the same energy you give out. If you give out negative energy, you’re bound to receive negative energy. If you struggle with your identity and confidence, you’ll most likely attract others in the same boat.

If you look back on all of your relationships, can you instantly tell where exactly you were in your own life and thoughts by who you were dating at the time? I know I definitely can. As I grew up and improved as my own person, so did my relationships. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about dating either. It’s about any type of relationship. As harsh as it may sound, so many tumultuous, toxic and destructive relationships do have to do with all parties involved. Just like I mentioned in my previous post about girls I know in bad relationships who shared the common denominator of disliking themselves (hey, I’ve been there myself too).

This is exactly why it’s so important to wed yourself. You’ve got to commit to you and make sure you’re at your best, to attract the best. Whether it be the best partner, job, friendships or life in general. If you respect you, everybody else will be inclined to as well. Because a woman who truly respects herself knows she doesn’t have to put up with others who don’t feel the same way and will only accept treatment of the standard she knows she deserves.

So go on, demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T from yourself first and then revel in all the respect you’ll receive from others.

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Love,

YN

Rihanna’s great red carpet response

I just saw this on my Twitter feed and thought it was worthy of a post. I’m usually not the biggest Rihanna fan but I can appreciate her outlook on dating:

Now I know she’s made some terrible life choices in the past – getting back with her abuser Chris Brown ring a bell? – but to clarify, just as a rapist is the only one to blame in a rape case, so is the abuser in a domestic violence case. As a vulnerable woman, yes she made a mistake after the fact with matters of the heart but who of us hasn’t? As strong, confident women, we’ve actually been blessed with all the mistakes we’ve made in teaching us the invaluable lessons we know today and for it, we’ve become strong and independent.

I think there’s quite a good lesson here. It’s OK to make mistakes – that’s just what growing up is all about. The important thing is whether or not you choose to learn and grow from them rather than repeat them. Embrace your flaws and never deny your past because it’s exactly what makes you who you are. Own it! That’s when you can truly appreciate solitude and that’s when you’ll be responding to people who ask, with “I’m not looking for a man. Let’s start there.”

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Love,

YN

15 Things I’d Tell My 16 Year-Old Self

"Dear Me"

“Dear Me”

After writing my last post on the Alaskan waitress who faked being deaf for a good-looking man, it got me thinking about what environment she must’ve grown up in, her relationship history, family history, education etc. I mean, ultimately, for someone to go to such extremes reflects on their own insecurities about themselves. Because a woman who acknowledges, accepts and truly embraces all that makes her who she is wouldn’t be able to lie to herself like that; and that’s essentially what she’s doing by lying to him.

Anyway, the point is, we can’t just be born loving ourselves (unless you’re Kanye), or at least being CONFIDENT in who we are with so many forces up against us, especially as women (thanks all the unrealistic ideals portrayed in the media since forever). But through the years, we experience, learn, grow-up and evolve and hopefully become confident, independent individuals.

But let’s not ignore the fact that to get to that stage, we have to get through our teens first. Oh what a great time it was for a girl’s confidence. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like being that age again in the mind I’m in now (clearly I’m talking confidence-related ’cause I sure as hell haven’t matured with my jokes).

So here are the 15 things I wish I knew when I was 16. Where you at Marty McFly?

1. Your weight doesn’t define you.

2. School is pretty much the most AMAZING thing. Having access to free (well kinda, my parents paid the fees) education where people are getting paid to teach you things all day long is seriously the greatest thing. Appreciate every moment!

3. Gossip is not news. Nor is Today Tonight.

4. Friends you have now will either make or break you. CHOOSE WISELY.

5. How many “friends” you have or how popular you are now DOES NOT matter outside of these school years.

6. There is a whoooooooooooooooole big, gigantic world out there beyond your house and the school gates.

7. You don’t have to put up with that deadshit boyfriend and his stupid, ignorant behaviour because frankly, you DON’T love him. I know this because you don’t love yourself yet.

8. You actually have no idea what being in-love really feels like

9. You are NOT an adult so please, just be a kid. Enjoy every, single, passing moment as one! For God’s sake inhale your non-adult existence in all it’s glory!

10. You ARE beautiful

11. You ARE worthy of all that you desire

12. People compliment you and mean it. So believe it.

13. Your “BFF” more than likely won’t be your BFF down the track. So don’t put up with her toxic bullshit!

14. Your grades don’t define you.

15. The “popular kids”, the “nerds”, the “in-betweeners”, the “outcasts”, they’re all the same! They’re all fighting the same battles as you so you’re not alone and you’re not so different – unique, but not different.

Let me know in the comments if you guys can relate? What would you tell your 16 year-old self if you had the chance and why?

Love,

YN

Woman pretends to be deaf to keep boyfriend?

The

The “real” Tina

I just finished reading an article about a woman in Alaska who, under the initial shock of how good-looking this guy who approached her was, froze and then lied that she was deaf. She was that awed by his apparent beauty, her first instinct was to lose her hearing – theoretically speaking.

‘Deafs’ makes sense. I can ‘hear’ the Logic Police sirens echoing across the streets of Noconscienceville.

Not only did the Alaskan waitress, Tina (her story was reenacted in this video) blurt out this ridiculous lie when first meeting him, but decided she’d just keep faking the disability throughout the nine-month relationship. She says it was because Mr. Too-Drop-Dead-Gorgeous-For-My-Hearing was a fisherman (and we all know fisherman’s don’t deserve the truth) and his fishing trips lasted months so she didn’t want to drop a bombshell on him before leaving for such a treacherous journey. That was pretty considerate.

In all seriousness, this type of thing really makes you wonder just how desperate women have become in order to snag a man. It’s understandable to succumb to feelings of loneliness at times and sure, it’s pretty natural as social animals to desire companionship. But it’s more the impenetrable societal forces laid out through history, the media and culture that are to blame for instances where women are degrading themselves for the likes of a man. Now don’t get it twisted, I most certainly don’t think that being deaf is synonymous with the degradation of a person. What I mean is that in this particular circumstance, Tina has gone against a moral standard and deceived this guy into being in a relationship with her. And it’s not just a lie like, “this is my natural hair-colour” or “I didn’t spend 5 hours today changing my outfit before coming to meet you” or “I probably go to the gym around say, 5 times-a-week without fail.” A lie this extreme requires a continuous, round-the-clock web of lies to support it and cannot continue to exist unless the lies keep coming.

“If a door slams, you’ve got to not look. If a dog barks, you have to be really careful not to look or anything. Cross the street and you have to pretend you can’t hear the horn honking at you,” she says.

Ladies (and gents), lying about who you are to be accepted or loved does you no favours. If anything, it does you a disservice because if the person accepts and loves you under false pretenses, they’re not really accepting or loving YOU. They’re accepting and loving someone you’re not and if you feel the need to lie about yourself in the first place, it means you can’t accept or love the real you. So by missing out on the love and acceptance from the one you desire and admire most, you’re validating your own insecurities about yourself. So in essence, you’re left with two people who don’t like you when it should be two people who do.

I’ve known my fair share of girls who went to extremes – nothing like Tina but still – for a guy and the one thing they all had in common was that they didn’t love themselves. They didn’t think they were good enough to be treated well enough so would act like the people they thought they were – mean-spirited, jealous, pitiful and disrespectful. A lot of the time, to themselves.

I’ve seen an ex-friend of mine crying hysterically whilst on the floor, grabbing onto her boyfriend’s ankle as he tried to get away from her. Yes, she was being dragged and it was in a VERY public place too.

It saddens me to think about but what’s worse is that it’s so common. This is why we need to come together and inspire one another to make changes in our lives so that we’ll never compromise our truths for the affection of someone. Most of the time that someone isn’t even worth the trouble. We need to start from the inside and work our way out. It’s the only way.

Stand your ground; be true to yourself, THEN you’ll be true to others. And it’ll come so easily too.

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Have any of you guys ever gone to such extremes to nab a partner? Do you know of anyone who has? What are your thoughts on lying to get a date? Let me know in the comments below!

Love,

YN

20 things single women are tired of hearing

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You’re having the best day ever. You wake up with THE best natural bed-hair, cutting your morning regime down by a good 15 minutes. You actually woke up to the first alarm set. You’ve (finally) got time for that gourmet egg-breakfast. Your outfit’s on-point and it’s the skinniest you’ve felt this month. You are most definitely, feelin’ yo self.

Fast-forward to dinner with the family (immediate and extended) after a perfect day at work for your grandma’s 90th. And cue all those broken-record-esque lines you thought would get old by about the first anniversary of your singledom. But lo and behold, with each year – actually, more like month – that passes, it just gets worse. There’s no downer on your perfect day than being reminded of how your most beloved see you – that is, as a pitiful, hopeless and downright miserable mess.

It’s like every single woman has lost control of her life purely because she does it alone. Even though statistics show more and more people in Western democratic societies are delaying marriage – it’s actually at a historical high – single gals beyond the age of 25 are still being seen as somewhat unfathomable outcasts.

The onslaught of “concerned” comments and questions are relentless and downright ‘Uuuuugh’.

Me whenever someone probes me about being single.

Me whenever someone probes me about being single.

Here’s a list of the worst ones every single 20-something-and-over female has had to endure and frankly, does not have time for:

1. “Are you a lesbian?”

2. “So… any special man in your life yet?” – emphasis on “yet”.

3. “Hey, Richard and I are going bowling after the movies on Friday night. Wanna come along?”

4. “Hey, Richard and I are going bowling after the movies with Michelle and her bf Dave. Wanna come along?”

5. “Hey, Richard and I just want to see you as happy as Michelle.” – Richard and “I” are your mum and dad.

6. “We’re worried about you.”

7. “We’re just concerned because we love you.”

8. “But you’re such a pretty girl.”

9. “But you’re such a smart girl.”

10. “But you’ve got so much going for you.”

11. “You’re not getting any younger.”

12. “I have the perfect guy for you!”

13. Followed by, “we could double date!”

14. “Don’t you think it’s about time you reassessed your priorities?”

15. “You can’t be alone forever.”

16. “You can’t marry Netflix.”

17. “Your biological clock is ticking.”

18. *In most condescending loved-up-person-tone* “Don’t worry, your time will come.”

19. “Somebody say, ‘crazy cat lady’?”

20. “So… what’s happening with you and [insert every single male you have more than .87secs interaction with that year]?”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for committed relationships and happy marriages, I just think it’s much more important to live your life to the fullest as an individual before committing to another. If anything, it’s crucial.

Please tell me you guys can relate? Am I the only single girl in their late-20s that actually thinks it’s possible to be fully satisfied without a partner? Let me know in the comments below what you think or just add some more to the list. What makes you wanna be like:

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Love,

YN

Single in your early 20s vs single in your late 20s

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Let’s just add to the title, parentheses: ‘and then God forbid you pass 30’. because we all know society’s view of that crossover is akin to the transforming of a caterpillar into a butterfly – on opposite day.

The transition is formidable. Maybe not according to you but it seems for everyone around you it is. It’s like an Olympian running hurdles where everybody’s cheering and basking in the glory of this person successfully and so triumphantly jumping over life’s hurdles – let’s just say these hurdles are relationships for context. They reach the 25th hurdle and suddenly the crowd isn’t so amused. The fans start dropping off like flies and before you know it, the hurdler is left to run and jump with barely anyone supporting them anymore. The fans have now gotten bored and think the hurdler should’ve crossed the finish line at 24 and joined the relay race. With all the “cool”, “normal” kids.

The hurdler is now deteriorating faster than Usain Bolt. “Nobody will want you to join their relay now,” they cry. “You’re too old,” they shout. You have a sudden realization that everybody seems to think you can’t possibly win gold in a hurdles race unless you’re running in a relay with a significant other.

Basically, you’ve gone from this:

24 and single

24 and single

to this:

Single and over 30

Over 30 and single

But here’s the thing, to you, you’re at the top of your game. You’re mature enough to make life-changing decisions for yourself that’ll actually benefit your future and still young enough to live for the moment and just have fun. These years are actually the best for embracing your independence and running for gold. So don’t let anyone on the sidelines of YOUR race deter you from doing what you do best. Now go and win that race!

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Love,

YN

20 Famously Unmarried Celebrities Over 30

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The big 3-0. Ah yes, the quintessential milestone that precedes life as a “responsible” adult who’s main purpose is now to become the best domesticated version of your 20-something self. If you were single at any point throughout your 20s, it was easily forgivable – what with all the mandatory self-discovering going on in those nightclubs, strangers’ bedrooms, backpacker hostels and late-night drive-thrus (it’s amazing how reflective you get with major panda-eyes and a double cheeseburger in-hand at 4am). If anything, it’s commendable. Especially in your early-20s when the ratio of single vs loved-up makes it perfectly logical to sequester and ridicule all couples in sight.

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How dare they try and spread their love-germs. Be gone you diseased pariahs!

It’s amazing how much a few years changes that ratio. Oh how the tables turn when you’re in the final years of your 20s and suddenly your single friends start dropping off like flies. Once you’re 30, you best pray that you’re not single. And if you’re a single FEMALE past 30? You may as well give up on life now because if nobody wants you, what kind of a life could you possibly live? Right?

WRONG.

And here’s a list of 20 famously unmarried or single people past 30 who are hugely successful to prove it. Because life doesn’t begin once you find a husband (or wife) to share it with. It begins once you commit to you and all that you have to offer the world. Regardless of what age you are, make sure this is your priority!

1. Oprah. Age 60. Never married.

All hail the queen of self-validation and empowerment.

“It’s not because I never had time — if I wanted to get married, I could’ve made the time. The show was the true love of my life.”

2. Diane Keaton. Age 67. Never married and single for 13 years.

Says her independence is

Says her independence is “wonderful.” “I’m free to do what I want. I don’t have to worry that I’m not living up to some responsibility as a partner to somebody else.”

3. Sheryl Crow. Age 52. Never married.

“Hey, I would love to get married — I’m still old-fashioned. But I don’t think marriage is the be-all and end-all…It’s better to have three broken engagements than three divorces.”

4. Charlize Theron. Age 39. Never married.

“I really want for myself a long-term relationship. That’s the kind of union that I want. The actual ceremony is not something that is important to me.”

5. Mindy Kaling. Age 35. Never married.

'In my 20s, I was not only boy crazy, but marriage and relationship crazy. Now it's almost the opposite. My work is so rewarding and I'm so self-centred about it that I'm kind of excited about not having to go home and ask someone about their day.

‘In my 20s, I was not only boy crazy, but marriage and relationship crazy. Now it’s almost the opposite. My work is so rewarding and I’m so self-centred about it that I’m kind of excited about not having to go home and ask someone about their day.”

6. Coco Chanel. Died at age 87. Never married.

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person.

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person.”

7. Kylie Minogue. Age 45. Never married.

“I’ll be walking down the aisle one day, but I’ve never really seen it. I’m totally fluid. For me, love is the people I work with, it’s my family.”

8. Cameron Diaz. Age 42. Never married.

“I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off of old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”

9. Marisa Tomei. Age 49. Never married.

“I’m not that big a fan of marriage as an institution, and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.”

10. Jane Austen. Died at age 41. Never married.

“Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without Affection.”

11. Benicio Del Toro. Age 47. Never married.

“Why do I have to get married? Just so I can get divorced?”

12. Chris Isaak. Age 58. Never married.

“I’ve had that desire [for marriage]. I’ve also had the desire to buy a large catamaran. The desire passed when I looked at the realities.”

13. Matt Dillon. Age 50. Never married.

“Sometimes I think marriage sounds great, but I see so many people who settle, who marry too early, people who don’t have the tools.”

14. Eva Mendes. Age 40. Never married.

“I just think it’s a very old tradition and if you look back to what marriage symbolises in the first place… it has nothing to do with why we get married today. The idea of marriage sounds very boring to me. I have to be honest.”

15. Tyra Banks. Age 40. Never married.

Tyra's never publicly spoken of why she's never married but has mentioned she will eventually want kids - with or without a man.

Tyra’s never publicly spoken of why she’s never married but has mentioned she will eventually want kids – with or without a man.

16. Chelsea Handler. Age 39. Never married.

“Now I’m just like, the person that’s not getting married so I like it and I think it’s a good example to not have that be part of your identity. I’m a better, happier human being when I can focus entirely on my friends, family and job.”

17. Colin Farrell. Age 39. Never married.

“For me, I don’t know if it’s possible. But I certainly do believe in monogamy. I don’t believe that it’s for everyone.”

18. Amal Alamuddin-Clooney. Age 36. Married George Clooney this year.

Being an international law and human rights barrister, as well as the legal adviser to the King of Bahrain leaves you little time to contemplate why you're not married.

Being an international law and human rights barrister, as well as the legal adviser to the King of Bahrain leaves you little time to contemplate why you’re not married.

19. George Clooney. Age 53. Divorced from first marriage in 1993 and only remarried again to Amal at 53.

“I was married in 1989. I wasn’t very good at it. I was quoted as saying I’ll never get married again pretty much right after I got divorced and then I’ve never talked about it since.”

20. Sandra Bullock. Age 50. Married once to Jessie James at 41 but divorced after 5 years. Single ever since.

“I’m learning how to have a good time through him [her adopted son]… I’ve got everything I want, and it couldn’t be sweeter, better or more fulfilling.”

So go live and discover your full potential WTers!

Love, YN