Evolution: 5 Things Women Should Embrace In 2013

by Kirsten West Savali

Happy New Year In many ways 2012 was the Year of the Black Woman. From Susan Rice and Kerry Washington, to Michelle Obama, Gabby Douglas, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, we have shown up and showed out in bold, beautiful, stereo-type and odds-defying ways as only we can.

And 2013 promises to be even more extraordinary. As we prepare to ring in the New Year, our goal should not be to focus on resolutions, but evolution, and Clutch has created a list of 5 things to guide you on that journey in the coming year.

1.) Seek a Mentor
No one can go this way alone and there is nothing like having a woman who understands your professional hopes and dreams in your corner, armed with encouragement and advice. Don’t be afraid to contact someone you admire and ask for their guidance or feedback on your endeavors. Seek out those women who are where you want to be and open yourselves to learning from them.

2.) Be a Mentor
It takes a village and it’s time to pay it forward. There are many young girls who could benefit from your life experiences and expertise. Yes, yours. Becoming a guiding force in the lives of others also tends to have the unexpected, reciprocal benefit of enhancing our own lives. Take the time, or make the time, to step outside of your existence and mentor a young woman. The impact that a positive role model can have in a person’s life is often pivotal to their success.

3. Travel
It’s a small world after all. Leave America. Experience life from another cultural perspective. Create memories that will last a lifetime. If you can’t leave the United States, travel to a state that you’ve never been to before. If you can’t leave the state, leave your city; and if you can’t do that, explore a corner of your city that you’ve never ventured into. The benefit of travel can not be spoken of highly enough. New energy and new faces have the ability to create new dreams. Embrace the unexpected.

4. Me, me, me.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. Children, parents, spouses, lovers, friends and extended family are all important, but so are you. Be in love with you. Be as good to yourself as you are to everyone else. Stop waiting on permission to put yourself first.

5. Ignore Media/Studies
If we are to believe the avalanche of negative studies and media coverage, then black women are overweight, unlovable, narcissistic, multiple baby daddy, baby having nymphos who can’t get a job or keep a man, because we’re too busy being independent and angry.

Ignore them.

Black women are not science projects or social experiments. We know that we are not a monolith and we are not the bottom-feeders in the feminine ocean. We will continue to hold our heads high, embracing sisterhood, service and success.

What more would you add to this list? What do you want for black women in 2013?

  • dirtychai

    Great article. Happy New Year!

  • Yvette

    AMEN to number 5!

  • OMG

    I think women should embrace happiness. Do something that puts a smile on your face or something that makes you feel all good inside. Another issue that we need to embrace is our health. We need to start eating healthier and exercising more.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    Love this article! I cannot stress the importance of numbers one and two. We should lift as we climb.

  • http://addassamari.edublogs.org/ Gail

    Indeed! With those five points in mind, I might add it is also time to shed dead weight – those so-called friends who weigh us down with negativity.

  • Moi

    I completely agree. We are not all angry, etc. and if we are someone/something brought us to our breaking points. Everyone goes through this regardless of race.

  • AM

    Just wanted to wish you a FABULOUS 2013 Kirsten. Your writings on this magazine have been a pleasure to read.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    Thumbs up for #4. It’s ok to say no, and focus on yourself. No one will think you’re stingy. They will think that you have better things in store for yourself, and might even take note of it.

  • http://www.keepcalmandcarryall.blogspot.com Patreisha Richey

    “We should lift as we climb.”

    Beautifully stated.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Great list!
    I would add along to number 5 *maybe because me and the gal pals were in a sentimental mood…lol* make and create your own love stories. Don’t let the media, internet trolls, Hollywood, or whatever tell you otherwise. Let’s just kill the stereotypes of us here on out.

  • -A.


  • Bump Mediocrity

    I’ll add owning our femininity.

    I think black women can be victims of overcompensation: trying to be all things to everyone. Owning my womanhood and allowing my man be a man has truly shifted my perspective on feeling liberated. When men are men they are at their best.

    Too many women allow men to drive their cars, take care of their men financially, go dutch, baby men, coddle men, and allow them to make excuses for not taking ownership in their roles as provider and protector. There are way too many sisters settling for crumbs out of desperation and for the sake of not appearing alone.

    We now have a generation of men who really don’t know how to treat a woman because women are doing ALL the heavy lifting. And a lot of these so called strong black single mothers are turning their sons into their boyfriends….these “boyfriends” turn into men that don’t know the difference between a woman and his momma. It’s another reason why the dating pool for sisters is so shallow.

    Sisters. We have got to allow men to be men in 2013! You cannot lose him because if you’re paying his way you never had him. Own your femininity. Wear heels, get pretty, expect to be taken on dates, expect to be courted, take care of your body, mind and soul. More importantly nurture your man but never become his mama.

  • C

    No more living in fear, and no more letting fears keep you from living life and reaching goals.

  • The Other Jess


  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    Thank you!

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    Thank you for writing this. Sometimes our fears keep us from truly finding out what we are capable of achieving. Let 2013 be the year of I can.

  • http://gravatar.com/bossladi bosslady

    Great Article

  • P

    Mmm..what a perfect way to start the New Year to the Clutch Team! This article is very inspiring. I didn’t see it earlier. Nice comments as well..:)!

  • http://twitter.com/Tamstarz Tameka (BloggerPoet) (@Tamstarz)

    Great post! I think all women should always try to learn something new each year. Whether it’s a language, a new skill or learning about another culture. Whenever we expand our minds our world gets bigger and we can invite others along for the journey. Happy New Year ladies!

  • http://gabandgraffiti.wordpress.com marloweovershakespeare

    I can dig everything except the “wear heels” part. I would’ve added an (if you want to) next to it. Overall, well put:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/herdiamondback Rubi

    Be Open. This goes along with the “Travel” point, but on a smaller scale, try sushi. Go hiking with a white boy. You never know what can happen when you open yourself to new experiences and cultures.

  • beks

    As a person who uses ‘studies’, can we be slightly more nuanced and say ignore the medias portrayal of studies about us? Many of the studies that are well done and respected in various fields, like mine (mental health) have and are used with great effect to make changes that are beneficial with regard to race (racial divides, poverty, inequality) and especially to gender (use of contraceptives, studies on how sex ed helps girls/kids, Dv issues). Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Most of the time when you read the actual study it RARELY says what the ‘article’ claims it said.

  • And

    I want so many things for black women including myself. Love and respect, the atmosphere of love and respect, the expectation of love and respect. I’m not talking about the landing the great guy on paper and 10 new facebook photos a week love where everyone congratulates you on having strong black love and then sighs. Real love period that we don’t get period, that we are made to feel like we have to constantly earn with some new standard of perfect. And as far as respect I’m want to see a real appreciation for who we are, I mean DANG!! ALREADY!! I cried as much as anybody for the big successes of of black women in 2012, but that’s been us all along whether or not the media gave attention or not or if Oprah decided to give a rare nod or not. We still had to hear ridiculous negatives about every celebrated black female in 2012. ET did a segment explaining each bill Gabby Douglas’ mom had, they never apologized, Serena is freaking unbelievable they researched her dance roots as being from the hood. I’m not making out that we need more queen pageantry to appreciate ourselves, I mean I want to see black women acknowledged and respected like people know it’s 2013 and it’s beyond time.

  • http://gravatar.com/ohyeaohyea modern lady

    That’s a great one, C. Fear is definitely the enemy-esp. if you’re a Christian.

  • http://gravatar.com/ohyeaohyea modern lady

    Really, go hiking w/ a white boy? I’m too through, lol.

  • http://hardwick kj

    Stop making excuses! STOP making excuses…for you, your man, your family, your children, your beliefs, your feelings, your knowledge, your truths, your everything and anything…just stop making excuses. Start making examples.

  • theafropologist

    1. Start trusting in God’s promises or whatever greater power that you believe supplies all of your needs and wants like you used to trust your parents words without a doubt, as a child.
    2. Refresh your exterior with that new haircut/color/style, lipstick, nail polish color that you’ve been eyeing.
    3. Don’t sleep until you’ve accomplished one goal that brings you closer to your dreams each day!

  • http://enchantedroots.wordpress.com teamtimberance

    I couldn’t agree more….I am highly inspired by Clutch and the comments and fellow readers…I finally made the push to push out an original African-American fairy tale, because I think we need great love stories too.

    2013 will by MY and OUR year!!! :)

  • http://www.lorrikey.com LorriK

    I love this article! Get a mentor, stop inhaling negative junk that contaminates our mind and ability to see the REAL. Black women are doing great things and we must support them and brag on them like we do everything else! If there was anything I’d add, it’s to stop extending support to those who choose not to support you.

  • http://gravatar.com/karenmm2 karenmm2

    I love this comment “bump mediocrity”…i would just say that it’s not a matter of “allowing” the to be men, but “requiring” it from them. I think we’re too afraid to have standards and we all suffer because of it.

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