Superwoman may appear to be a positive female role model. Strong, in control, strutting around in her stilettos, fearless, fierce and invincible but the cape is a cover up for insecurities, guilt, low self esteem, the imposter syndrome, a fear of rejection and failure and the need to be liked.
Superwoman strives for perfection in everything, she has to be the best Mum, best social host, best domestic goddess, best boss, best neighbour, best daughter, best sister, best Mum at the school gate, best, best friend etc. Her expectations of herself are high so when she makes a minor mistake she is the first to beat herself up. This over reliance on self leads her to control freak territory and she is more than likely an eternal juggler as she attempts to do everything, for everyone all the time!
Superwoman has confused control with power. But controlling everything does not give you power, it gives you a blinding migraine and ensures you are only minutes away from emotional exhaustion on a daily basis.
Real power comes from authenticity, from being real, from being YOU and recognising that YOU are enough. Real people make mistakes, ask for help, let go, own their voice, do not subscribe to anyone else’s idea of beauty, know who they are and value their uniqueness.
We need to kick Superwoman to the kerb, the next generation deserve a better life model and here’s why …
- Superwoman is overly concerned about her appearance and this is a negative message to a generation of girls already struggling to navigate through the living doll culture, a disempowering media, reality TV and early sexualisation.
- Superwoman is harnessing too much of her male energy. If she works in big business she has probably gone native to get on and whilst I admire this, it is not sustainable and a turn off to young women. It indicates we all need to be trailblazers to have a career and this is the wrong message.
- Superwoman has little time for sisterhood. She is a one woman show believing it is easy and faster to do everything herself as other people cannot be trusted, cannot deliver like her and do not have her high standards. This is bad news for obvious reasons and empowers tokenism and the Queen Bee syndrome. All negative messages to bright girls.
- Superwoman sees vulnerability as a weakness and will cover up her emotions rather than let go and share. This makes girls think success means taking on the characteristics of men and hiding their true nature. We are emotional creatures and we should celebrate this!
- Superwoman multi-tasks within an inch of her life on a daily basis, she is a military Mum, army wife and tough boss all rolled into one and if this is what ‘having it all’ looks like many teenage girls are saying no thanks!
- Superwoman often disempowers everyone around her including her team, her life partner, her kids, her friends and her work colleagues. She sets herself up as untouchable and so when she needs support it is almost impossible to let go and ask. This is a hard and often lonely position.
- Superwoman has very little time for herself. Her constant juggling and perfectionist mentality means her down time is non existent and every now and again this becomes unbearable so she will become stressed, ill, angry or all three and tend to lash out at the people she loves.
- Superwoman as an entrepreneurs find it difficult to grow a business and become stuck in self employment. This is because they cannot let go or delegate which is needed to allow the business to blossom. This has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with fear. Our girls need to learn to fly not sit on the nest for eternity!
- Superwoman is tough on herself. She is a harsh critic and an expert in self flagellation. We need to be kinder to ourselves and teach the next generation this too.
- And finally Superwoman is a cartoon character – she is not real, not authentic and not sustainable and her sell by date has definitely expired!
To read more about Superwoman and her arch rival The Diva and the landscape our girls are growing up in check out Jane Kenyon’s latest book Diva Wisdom – Find Your Voice, Rock Your World and Pass It On! Now available on Amazon