Today is International Woman’s Day.
OSIER salutes and admires all strong women who bring joy, passion and love into our lives and society - today and everyday.
To celebrate the power of women, we interviewed two inspiring , strong ladies. Gabrielle Koster and Rashi Favier shared their experiences of becoming the women they are now and navigating through the world.
Here is Gabrielle:
It is the 100th international Women's Day: if you could write a message that goes out to every woman globally, what would it say?
Embrace who you are completely, embrace your softness, your strong intuition, your quirkiness, your inner lion that needs to roar from time to time, the mistakes you make, the achievements you are allowed to be proud of, the doubts you have, the choices you make, your body and all that it does for you.
Everything that makes you you. You don’t need to be better than others, you’re good the way you are. Embrace your sisters (and brothers!) in the same way, there’s no such thing as competition in this beautiful thing called life. We’re on this planet together.
Has being pregnant and knowing that you’ll soon enter motherhood changed your perspective on womanhood at all?
I’ve been feeling a whole new support from mothers around me, which made me feel more part of a certain tribe. The mom-tribe. And that has been so beautiful. I’ve seen how they perceive motherhood in other cultures, and I love how ‘family’ is a big concept in lots of cultures, where everybody is taking care of each others kids. I’ve also gained even more respect for the female body and the miracles it performs, and the intuition we’ve been given. It’s never wrong.
What does being a women in our day and age mean to you?
It means being underestimated and undervalued. And it means that people feel like they can criticise you. It means that we still have to fight to be heard, which can be done in many ways. There’s still men that believe women aren’t meant for great things, and these men run political parties or are in high positions. But it also means being a sensual, super strong and highly intuitive being. It means being able to make this world a softer and more beautiful place (just look at the countries that are being run by women). It means achieving great things and surprising everyone by doing so. It means being able to create life. Also: the concept of sisterhood is rising again. Making those connections with other women, and also with men and non-binary people, is a beautiful thing. And just what this world needs, in my humble opinion.
Read what Rashi has to say below:
What advice would you give 14 year old you about navigating the world as a young woman?
Try not to judge others. Everyone has a story, a life experience, a culture that is different from yours.
As long as they are not hurting anyone, it's their prerogative and we should respect their choices. Instead listen and read about different communities and cultures to be more understanding and this helps you grow as a person.
You recently moved countries from India to The Netherlands. In what ways has that transition changed you and how does the experience of being a woman in India compare to the experience of being a woman in The Netherlands? What are the differences and similarities that stand out to you?
The biggest change I find between India and NL is India has more of a community feeling and NL is more individualistic. Also being away from family and friends for long periods of time is something very different for me. This has made me more self-sufficient and even more independent than I was, as I have to navigate life here all on my own. Being a woman here is a whole new experience. I definitely feel more free and equal in society in NL than in India, although there is work to be done here too. The fact that I don't have to think about what I am wearing while planning my day was pleasantly unnerving, as it left a lot of free space in my brain, for actual important things. I feel more independent here as I can do things on my own and am taken more seriously.
Having done several jobs as a model requires confidence and self-esteem. Have you always felt as strong and self-assured as you do now or has that been a process?
I am very fortunate to have amazing parents who never commented on or highlighted my physical appearance growing up. Even though that was what society did (You're so tall, you're too thin, you're so fat, you're so pretty, your skin is so bad), it didn't affect me much, as at home it was not something that was constantly talked about. My parents instead talked about my talents, interests, education etc. and were my cheerleaders. I think that is where the change needs to begin, at home and with people you love. This made me very comfortable with myself and my body and gave me tonnes of confidence. This made me love myself.
We loved hearing what these women have to say about their growth, the challenges they overcame and what they have learned along the way.
Your female energy is needed, is powerful and brings joy. Embrace it.