Three Terrific Talks

This month’s topic was going to be haircuts — the experience of getting your haircut in a foreign city and how it’s a great way to live like a local. I was going to tell you all about Chie, my Tokyo hairdresser. She’s amazing, by the way. She listens to what you want but ultimately gives you what you need. You can read her super cute blog here.

Then, I watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability. Twice. Her message is so important that I decided I had to share it with you instead.

My biggest takeaway from Brene’s talk is that vulnerability is the key to wholeheartedness — to living and loving with a whole, happy and healthy heart. Listening to Brene, I genuinely believe this to be true. She’s a researcher so she makes a strong case supported with data. But there’s more to it than that. It’s her personal struggle to come to terms with what she’s discovered, which she shares with us so candidly. It’s her understanding of human nature perhaps best illustrated at 16:10: “I know that’s knowing laughter, I hack into your lives for a living… I know that’s “Haha, God”.” (This makes me smile)

Most of all, I believe Brene because what she’s saying makes sense. Like pre-revelation Brene, I avoid vulnerability. Like the plague. When Brene talks about the link between vulnerability and shame and fear, I think about my fear of public speaking. My fear of rejection in relationships also comes to mind. Both have held me back at different times in my life, and caused unnecessary stress and heartache.

So, Brene’s talk really struck a chord. Many TED Talks do but I found The Power of Vulnerability particularly compelling. The result? Nothing so dramatic as a breakdown/spiritual awakening but I do have a new goal in life: to let myself be seen more. Not a manicured, public image of myself; my true self.

For inspiration, I’ll think of Brene. I’ll also think of Lana Wachowski and Tavi Gevinson, and their terrific talks (see below). The common thread linking these three are their views on acceptance — accepting flaws and imperfection, accepting who you really are, accepting difference. Lana’s speech is particularly brilliant — please watch take the time to watch it if you haven’t already.

As a woman who is constantly pondering image and identity, I’m so grateful to have role models like Brene, Lana and Tavi — strong, successful women who are perhaps most importantly authentic. And I’m forever on the lookout for more. So, tell me, who are your women role models?

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