Can we be strong, independent, and still cry?

Feminism confuses me. What an opening, huh? And I will tell you more, it confuses me almost as much as Bella Swan in ‘New Moon’, when Edward leaves her and she goes all emo in the forest. And there’s a reason for it.

Being strong and independent

When I was younger, I thought feminists were those who would burn bras because women had to be free. I thought if you cried over some silly thing then you weren’t truly independent. Also, I was sure that a real feminist would not allow princess goals nor show weakness.

Since then, I learned a few tricks to get by my daily life such as using a spoon to open a tight jar, bathroom first and nail polish after, never to write just a number on a sticky note, wear comfy shoes and bring a big bag because you’ll never know where you will end up or need, and so on.

Maybe these are not ‘feminist’ life hacks, but they sure help prevent external induced crisis and distress.

You can imagine my reaction when I was reading about poor Bella Swan and her loss of will to live because her vampire boyfriend left her. I shook my raven head, facepalmed, and threw the novel in my big tote bag. In my opinion, if you were a strong and independent woman, you shouldn’t have let yourself go and be that sad for a boy.

A boy! Do you guys remember how silly we all were at sixteen?

Now, I hear of self-proclaimed feminists who wake up every day thinking the right way to live is to be a #girlboss. Every morning they take a filtered selfie, wear their imaginary crown, and smile at their inspiration board in their Pinterest perfect home because hashtag gratitude and hashtag living life to the fullest.

This new trend belongs to an elite, that deems looking organised and positive more valuable than being strong and independent. Don’t get me wrong, these four adjectives are great, I would have them all with extra whipped cream, please. But it got me thinking…

Is there a chance for us to be weak and cry?

Here I am, years and miles later, thinking about Bella, again. After all, she took her own life in her hands, she made decisions and she cared about someone, which aren't bad choices per se! Being inclusive, not just towards individuals but towards emotions, is a good thing, therefore she should rightfully be given the chance to wallow, cry, and be sad. She is free to decide to feel sad.

Are we strong enough to allow her to?

If being strong and free are required attributes for people nowadays, then we should independently decide to take our time to feel sad, angry, scared, etc. I am strong and independent and today I decided to hide under my blanket all day. I will be fine tomorrow.

Other things matter in life and define who we are.

I am strong and independent and I am aware there are things I can't do. I learned that my best self is not your best self.

We are strong and independent, and anything we add after this sentence shouldn’t interfere with its meaning.

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