As one might expect of a fashion company, other people in my office have expertly decorated desk spaces. I love looking at everyone’s little tchotchkes on my way to fill up my water bottle, all the while trying not to look like a creeper while getting distracted and walking past my own desk because I’m staring at everyone’s decor.
Somewhere between the office kitchen and my desk, there’s a sign above someone’s desk, proclaiming, “YOU HAVE AS MANY HOURS IN THE DAY AS BEYONCE.”
It’s been bothering me for awhile, but it’s taken weeks for me to nail down exactly why.
Yes, we all have 24 hours each day. That’s true.
The idea that we all have enough time to look phenomenal, work our asses off, exercise regularly, cook decent food, spend quality time with loved ones, experiment and try new creative endeavors, be recognized as leaders in our industries, and still have time to sleep enough to not be an ogre is misleading, and dare I say, damaging.
Beyonce has someone telling her how to work out, and probably spends hours doing so each day. I bet she has excellent childcare. My guess is that someone probably cooks, cleans, and does her laundry for her. The list goes on. The point is, she’s got lots of help. And all of that is wonderful! I wish I had all of those things (except childcare — that’s unnecessary at this point in my life), and I certainly don’t begrudge her that. I think it’s great. Good for her.
It’s very Lean-In-esque: Tell women they’re just not working hard enough. If we just lean in, surely we can be as powerful and dynamic in all spheres of life as Bey. Work harder! Lean in! You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce!
Well, I call bullshit. Maybe it’s just that I’ve had a difficult few months and a chronic overcommital problem, but this sentiment is kind of insulting and breeds 1950s-housewife levels of feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and shame.
Let’s please be kinder to ourselves. Give ourselves a little grace. Unload just one responsibility that doesn’t bring us joy or rest. Really examine how we want to spend our time and what is a healthy way to harmonize the disparate pieces of our lives. Let’s believe that we really can do all the things, maybe just not all at once. And that is totally ok.