Fierce

In Majo Molfino’s Debut Book, The Argentine Author Teaches Us How To Break Free from the Good Girl Myth

It’s not uncommon to hear women share that they’ve sacrificed their career aspirations or passion projects because they didn’t align with the standards someone else set up for them. Majo Molfino wants women to stop subscribing to these external guidelines and, instead, follow frameworks that fortify their gifts and dreams.

In Break the Good Girl Myth, the Argentine-American author identifies five self-sabotaging tendencies she believes women need to relinquish in order to unleash their power and lead lives of purpose. 

HarperOne

According to Molfino, also a designer and women’s leadership expert, there are five so-called good girl myths: the Myth of Rules, following authority instead of trusting ourselves; the Myth of Perfection, demanding perfection in ourselves and others instead of accepting reality; the Myth of Logic, choosing logic over intuition; The Myth of Harmony, seeking harmony instead of embracing conflict; and the Myth of Sacrifice, putting other people’s needs ahead of our own.

“We pick these messages up as little girls, and that follows us into adulthood,” Molfino, who is also the host of the women’s empowerment podcast Heroine, tells FIERCE. “It’s the subconscious and self-sabotaging beliefs about ourselves that I believe hold women back in becoming their fullest expression.”

In her book, which was published this year by HarperOne, Molfino leans on mindfulness and practical design tools to help women first understand the myths that most actively thwart them from enjoying the lives they’re meant to be living as well as help them build the creative confidence they need to break free from these limiting myths and share their talents, visions and joys with the world.

“There are a lot of women who are brilliant and who are sitting on incredible gold, but they can sit on that gold for weeks, months or years, and part of the reason that they delay sharing their gifts is because of the five good girls myths,” she says. “I want women to read this and feel ready to become the women they’re meant to be instead of the women the world wants them to be.”

Understanding how some of these good girl myths have seeped into Latin American culture, and still permeate in many Latinx houses, Molfino breaks down some examples of how these good girls myths manifest for Latinas and how we can all work to resist them.

HarperOne

1. The pressure to take career paths we aren’t passionate about:

“In Latinx homes, there is the pressure to follow a conventional path, an economically secure path,” Molfino says. For the first-generation Latina, it looked like this: Getting the highest degree possible of education, like a Ph.D. or an MD, and reaching as high as possible in order to make money and elevate in life. “Forget about risky paths like entrepreneurship,” Molfino was told. However, she says she ultimately found her sense of purpose when she chased her dream and started her own business.

2. Feeling like we have to have babies:

In Break the Good Girl Myth, readers are introduced to one of Molfino’s clients who feels like she “should” be trying to have a baby with her husband, even though it’s not something she feels she wants at the moment. “Whenever I hear the word ‘should,’ I get a little suspicious,” Molfino says of the case. “There was so much ‘should’ in her language that it was clear she was really gripped by the Myth of Rules. This good-girl programming was really impacting every area of her life. She was choosing obligation and approval from her family, and what was done for generations, instead of what she truly wanted, and it was making her miserable.”

The author tells FIERCE that this isn’t uncommon in Latinx households, where there is a lot of focus on family, something she says, while beautiful, could force women into making decisions they aren’t ready for or that don’t align with their authentic self. 

One of the reasons Latinas self-sacrifice in this way is because of our desire to belong and connect. “Think about it: if you follow the rules, you’re going to gain approval from your tribe, your family, and you’re going to get that sense of belonging. So it’s hard to break away from it, because the benefits you get from following it are so high,” Molfino notes. 

3. Doing things we don’t want to do in order to make our parents proud:

If there’s one thing that ties the immigrant, or first-generation, experience in the U.S., it’s this urgency young people feel to make their parents proud given all the sacrifices that were made for them. “I’m the daughter of immigrants. I am an immigrant. And my entire life has been about being the best: be the best I can be, be the best daughter, be the best sister, be the best friend,” Molfino says. While it’s not wrong to want your parents to be proud of you, Molfino believes the pressure this puts on Latinas to be high-achievers in everything could be detrimental. “These are part of the pressures that we feel to be good instead of powerful or who we really are,” she adds.

4. Adopting self-sacrificing gender roles passed down through generations:

Growing up, our parents’ behaviors oftentimes send us louder messages than their lectures. As a child, Molfino knew that her mother gave up her law career in order to follow her husband’s career and become a mother. For Molfino, the message was clear: women make big sacrifices; men don’t. “If we saw our mothers putting families in front of their own dreams, their own goals, their own care, that’s our expectation now. We are going to feel the pressure that we need to be like that,”  Molfino says. While her mother has questioned surrendering her career in her later years, Molfino wants Latinas to push back on gender roles and expectations our mothers and ancestors were forced into in order to save us from leading lives where our passions aren’t being fortified and our dreams aren’t being realized. “It’s interesting to see how something like the myth of sacrifice gets passed down through generations. We’re talking about big stuff. It’s not something that’s going to change overnight. But it’s something we can start to bring awareness to: where was my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and where am I in that lineage in terms of progress,” she says.

5. The pressure to look perfect:

The historic fetishization of Latinas has made many of us believe our worth comes from our appearance, and it has created a pressure to look flawless at all times. For Molfino, this ties into the Myth of Perfection. “There’s a lot of pressure for us to feel like we have to be the perfect wife, mother, the beautiful woman. You can feel the pressure to be that perfect woman. We’re walking on a tightrope,” she notes. For those struggling with this good girl myth, she offers a simple mantra: “I am worthy simply because I exist.” Molfino urges Latinas, and women everywhere, to understand that their worth is not conditional.

If any of these cases of good girl myths look familiar to you, you’ll benefit from picking up Break the Good Girl Myth, which is available for purchase where books are sold. Departing from these disempowered rules, Molfino warns, isn’t easy and won’t occur overnight. But she wants readers to take comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this journey of unlearning and encourages them to be patient and gracious with themselves. 

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Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

Fierce

Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

H. Armstrong Roberts/ Getty

Newly elected member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Christina Haswood, paid tribute to her heritage on the day of her swearing-in ceremony with the ultimate power look. Dressed in traditional Navajo attire, the 26-year-old made history on Monday when she became the  youngest member of the Kansas legislature, and only its second Native American member. 

Haswood took her oath of office wearing traditional Diné regalia which she made with the help of her mother, and partner.

Wearing moccasins, a velveteen skirt, and a red blouse embellished with silver string made a point to highlight her heritage and identity. Speaking to Vogue in an interview about her clothing, Haswood explained that she “wanted to honor my ancestors and all their sacrifices for me to be here and in this job. I wanted to honor my family, who has taught me how to be a strong, young, Diné woman while growing up in Lawrence, Kansas.” 

In addition to her dress, Haswood wore heirlooms given to her by family members which included a squash blossom necklace, a belt given to her by her uncle, and an additional belt given to her by her shimá sání (grandmother). Her great grandmother also gave her the earrings she wore. In addition, she wore a tsiiyéé (a Navajo-style hair tie) that she made with her shimá sání.

“The significance of these pieces are priceless,” Haswood explained to Vogue. “Many of the pieces I wore that day only come out on special occasions, because of how old they are. I don’t have the funds to be a collector, so many of my pieces have been passed down to my mother, who lets me borrow them.”

Haswood gave a behind-the-scenes look of her swearing-in attire on a TikTok video that has gone viral with more than 500,000 views.

In the video, Haswood readies her hair and does her makeup before eventually getting help from her mother and grandmother to get dressed.

Haswood won the Democratic primary after running unopposed for a seat in the Kansas state legislature that represents District 10.

With degrees in public health from Haskell Indian Nations University and Arizona State University, Haswood also received a master’s degree in public health management from the Kansas University Medical Center.

At the moment, she also serves as a research assistant with the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Center for American Indian Community Health. There she studies nicotine addiction in tribal youth and researches the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous groups.

“Just two years ago I was in graduate school, and my greatest worries were about getting a job and student loans,” Haswood said in an interview with the Daily Kansan. “Today, the world has changed.”

According to Esquire, four Native candidates ran for office in Kansas. This week, each of them won their primary elections.

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Keke Palmer Made History By Becoming The First Black VMAs Host In 33-Years

Entertainment

Keke Palmer Made History By Becoming The First Black VMAs Host In 33-Years

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Since her appearance at Black Lives Matter protests, just about everyone knows that Keke Palmer is a whole mood. She’s proving to be a history maker too.

Over the weekend, the 26-year-old actress became the first Black woman to host the VMAs in thirty-three years. For her appearance, she paid tribute to Black people, the movement, and Chadwick Boseman.

All while stunning in vintage Versace.

During her hosting duties, Palmer kicked off the show with her most powerful Black Lives Matter message yet.

Dressed in a feather-fringed art deco gown Palmer took to the digital stage with an impassioned speech about the power of music to make cultural change. “This is incredible. I can’t believe MTV asked me to host. I don’t know if I was their first choice or the only one brave enough to do it during COVID,” Palmer joked. “Either way, I got the job!”

“As rough as it’s been, there have been incredible moments of inspiration that have given my generation hope,” she went onto continue. “We’ve seen heroes going above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines in a hospital. And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough!”

Speaking about the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, Palmer said his murder was “yet another devastating reminder that we can’t stop.”

“We can never tolerate police brutality. Or any injustice. We must continue the fight to end systemic racism,” Palmer explained saying that it is “time to be the change we want to see.”

“Music has that power. Music can help us heal,” she went onto share. “It’s all love, and that’s what tonight is about.”

Before officially kicking off the show, Palmer dedicated the show to the memory of Chadwick Boseman.

“Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered,” Palmer said. “We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just onscreen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”

Over the weekend, Palmer became the first woman of color to host the show since 1986. Back then -MTV VJ Downtown Julie Brown co-hosted the show.

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