Breaking Down the Shine Theory

April 18, 2016


The Shine Theory


Let me start by acknowledging that I often find myself in awe of powerful women:  Athletes, educators, entrepreneurs, multi-tasking, well dressed moms, well organized party planners and the like.  I swear on everything, I was inspired to get my out-of-shape behind BACK into shape at my son’s track meets.  I’d watch those fit hurdlers, and not grimace at their high butts and tight thighs, but take notes on their pre-race stretches and exercises, in order to emulate their moves.  I’d hope against all hoping to one day have a high butt and tight thighs, too!  Since I was little I’d compliment other girls when they looked pretty or could sing or hit perfectly straight splits.  My older sisters all had strong feminine friendships and that taught me from a very young age to support other women.


There’s nothing new about the notion of having girlfriends, but Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman coined the notion, Shine Theory.  The basis of the term, is a simple one -- strong friendships with powerful women can help all women get ahead.  If you shine, I shine. Being around fabulous women makes you more likely to be fabulous, too, as the Shine Theory goes. 


Look at powerful female pairings like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, or Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, as examples of long-standing female friendships that also helped women advance professionally.

Further proving that the emphasis on female friendship isn't just good for some women; it's good for all women.  Female relationships can translate into tangible empowerment. 


I genuinely believe that celebrating feminine friendships, rather than competition, between women will help the next generation of women embrace, rather than resent, the strong women around them. 


Here’s my solution: When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with great people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.  Remember:  True confidence is infectious.


**Shout out to the Real Divas Read and More Social Group, for exhibiting the Shine Theory.  Shine on, Divas! **

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