Is it a) the fear of putting yourself out there and failing; b) being judged on your looks, your race or your disability; c) your addiction to how many likes your last Instagram got? Join us in challenging society (and sometimes ourselves) with our #BREAKFREE campaign. Let's do this...
Here’s a test for you. Step away from your Netflix account, clamber over the empty new year wine bottles, and find a corner away from prying eyes. Take a piece of paper and a pen, and write down one thing that you’d like to change about your life. One thing that you honestly dream about doing. One thing that you know you’d be amazing at. If only you could cut the crap that gets in the way.
Now, safe in the knowledge that nobody will see this, write down what that crap is, exactly. Is it the fear that everyone will laugh if you fail half-way through? Is it the fact that people judge you on your looks, before you’ve had a chance to speak?
Here’s the thing. We know as women, we’re capable of anything. It’s 2016 for God’s sake! But still, the most recent statistics show that less than a quarter of all senior FTSE management positions are filled by women, 86 per cent of us are the primary carers to our children, and the gender pay gap still stands at 13.9 per cent. Muslim women are 65 per cent less likely to be employed than their white female counterparts, black women are considered the ‘least desirable’ on online dating sites, and over 40 per cent of lesbians hide their sexuality from colleagues for fear of homophobia.
Even if we take intersectionality out of the equation, one in three female students will experience sexual assault at university, and 97 per cent of us feel insecure about our bodies. And while studies show that men stop progressing in their careers at 55, for women, that kicks in a decade earlier.
But it’s not all bad. We’ve ticked some big boxes in gender equality. We can tick some more. Which is why Marie Claire – and our nine ambassadors from across the UK – are taking a stand. Over the next 12 months, we’re going to #BREAKFREE from the big things that make us feel small – that make us feel like we’re still not good enough.
We’ll be taking to social media and to the streets. We’ll be loud, and we’ll be proud of ourselves for it.
And we’d like you to join us too.
Join the #BREAKFREE discussions on Twitter and Instagram @marieclaireuk, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org