To My Mama, Georgina Bergen – Happy Mother’s Day. I love you!
As I pulled out of Moose Jaw en route to North Battleford on Tuesday my mind took me back to my grade four classroom. There I sat under a mushroom cut and in baggy boys’ clothing, sideways in my desk with my right hand white-knuckling the writing surface and my left hand crushing the maroon plastic chair as I felt a fire rise up inside my belly in response to the question the teacher just asked, “Are there any strong boys who’d like to help me move some desks?”
Next, one of of my favourite quotes, “Become who you are,” popped into my head. I think we show our true nature as children and some of us are able to grow into the full expression of that nature, and others subscribe to society’s beliefs about who we should be; we put on masks and costumes that aren’t who we really are deep inside, and then once we’ve acted like the person society wants us to be for long enough, we completely forget about who we are underneath the facade; our true nature is lost.
Lately people have been commenting on my writing and social media posts, “Your stuff is really targeted to women, hey? Don’t you think you’re missing out on a few clients?”
I was about to do a total revamp of my website – make it less pink and more male-friendly, but because it was a Tuesday (and on Tuesdays I spend seven hours in a vehicle) it would have to wait. On the long drive those ideas sent my head spinning, reflecting on who I am – on who my brand, Idealistic Isabel is – and if you’ve ever wondered about the answer to that question I’m about to reveal it (and I know when I write something and can feel energy pulsing from deep within the essence of who I am through my biceps and forearms and into my finger tips, rhythmically striking the keyboard to produce the very words you’re reading right now – you’re in for a real treat).
As a child I was that tiny tomboy, white knuckling my desk with a fire in my belly that probably poured out of my eyes if anyone would have looked at me when a teacher asked for “strong boys” to help with something.
When someone said “girl push-ups” I went and hammered out push-ups from my feet like a boss, hoping someone would notice and stop using that term.
I challenged every boy in school to an arm-wrestling match, and beat half of them.
Whatever the boys could do I wanted to do, better.
Make no mistake, even if you see me in a dress or lifting in pink knee sleeves with makeup on, I’m still that little tomboy; only now the drive is different.
In the past few years I’ve found myself scouring training websites, looking for a program designed for women that are badass and lift heavy and look like they could decapitate a lion. They don’t exist.
I’ve read lifting blogs, and while I saw the information as useful I often found myself looking at the pictures and wondering, “Where are the women?”
I’ve watched sweet promotional videos of dudes slamming barbells and been left asking “Where are the women?”
Here they are.
When women who lift heavy shit (or who just want to become stronger) land on my website, I want them to feel like they’ve found their home. The place where they really belong (or will belong).
I want every woman who’s ever been left asking, “Where are all the women?” to have that realization: “Here they are,” and to feel her heart, her spirit, and her chin lifted in that exact moment.
I want men who stumble on my site to feel the power behind the words and to see photos of strong women – women who are discovering their potential in all areas of their lives – and I want them to feel a combination of scared and excited because that’s the feeling we get when we’re out of our comfort zones and freaking awesome changes are about to happen.
So who is Idealistic Isabel?
She’s not just Brittney Bergen.
She’s any and every little girl who gets a fire in her belly when a teacher asks for “strong boys” to carry something.
She’s any and every young woman who’s worked at perfecting her push-ups so people stop calling them “girl push-ups.”
And she’s the grown up woman who, instead of waiting and hoping for a day when ladies are given as much respect or as big a wage as men, takes things into her own hands and earns it; she creates respect and establishes her own non-negotiable value.
And Idealistic Isabel is any man who supports women in discovering their full strength.
I’ve been running this blog for a year, and most recently I’ve been questioned about whether my products and my writing are just for women, and the answer is no.
Idealistic Isabel is everyone, female or male, who believes in these words:
“Here’s to strong women.
May we know them.
May we raise them.
May we be them.”
It’s my dream that we, as women, stop apologizing for our strength.
So no, I’m not going to redo my website or change the way I write. Idealistic Isabel is the home for women and for men who believe in the strength of womankind.
And since it’s almost Mother’s Day, I want to point out that Idealistic Isabel is the result of my mom’s love.
This business and this brand is the product of my mom letting me dress like a boy until I was ready to wear a bra and buy my first tank top with spaghetti straps.
Idealistic Isabel is the outcome of my mom letting me play on the boys’ baseball team, even if she worried I might get hurt.
This business, this brand, this movement is the result of my mom letting me move in when I quit my job to launch it, and cook up something beautiful and positive in her garage in a world where usually only things that destroy society are engineered in dark places like that.
Idealistic Isabel is every mother who gives her daughter the space to become who she is.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all the Idealistic Isabel moms out there, and especially to my mama. I love you!
Who is Idealistic Isabel?
Idealistic Isabel is every person who believes that when women and men push themselves to become their best – to uncover their strength and become who they are – together, we really can change the world.
I dream of a world where there are no questions like, “Are there any strong boys to help me with this?” or “Where are the women?” when we’re looking at a website that’s supposed to represent strength.
Where are the strong women?
Here they are.