What are people really getting at when they call you an intimidating woman? Are they throwing out a backhanded compliment? A straight-up diss? We took the question to some of the biggest bosses we know — ranking members of the Create & Cultivate 100 List — to find out how they navigate the world of being a so-called “intimidating” woman. Here's what they had to say.
Riawna Capri,co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon, InCommon Beauty, BeaYOUtiful Foundation
“Deep down, when someone calls us intimidating, I think they’re really saying that we’re badass. I feel like I get intimidating a lot and I’m like, I’m so stupid and funny, what are you talking about?You think i’m intimidating? What does that say about you?"
Tess Holliday, model, body positivity advocate, and Eff Your Beauty Standards founder
“I get called intimidating all the time. I think people are afraid that I know what I want and they can’t take advantage of me. I hope to continue to be intimidating.”
Meritt Elliott, designer and co-founder of The Great, Current/Elliott, and Emily + Merritt
“Intimidating is sometimes just another word for strong. Women are breaking the mold on what we can be, and we know we can be everything — a mother, a business owner, a boss, and friend.”
Emily Current, designer and co-founder of The Great, Current/Elliott, and Emily + Merritt
“When you’re really convicted and know what you want and can say yes and no, some people can find that intimidating — but I think it’s a positive quality.”
Candace Reels, creator of Female Collective
“When people call a woman intimidating, it's because they are a strong presence that they’re not used to. They’re not used to women speaking up for themselves so therefore, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re intimidating. Why do you have an opinion?’ We’re women and we have opinions — we can let people know what we want and get what we want because we deserve it.”
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