Do you know what a modern woman looks like? And what are her thoughts on love? These are loaded questions. BeforeI attempt to answer anything, I’ll do some research. Well, it turns out that there is a definition for the phrase modern wom- en. According to the Urban Dictionary, the first time anybody uttered the phrase was in the 1950s. Modern women were often seen as sexually active, independent, self-sufficient women. It may be somewhat true that these qualities may exist in mod- ern women now. However, in current times, modern women do not fit into a generalized mold. What makes a modern woman is her willingness to be different from others and her strong values and beliefs. From my perspective, women are now more themselves than ever, and they are more sure of their individ- uality because of it. Of course, from person to person, it may be different. In my eyes, a few qualities that they all share is that they are self-motivated, independent spirits ready to dive intotheir journeys. Now I search for the response to my second question, what are the mod- ern women’s thoughts on love. Looking for the answer took me in a few directions. The wise choice is to leave the research behind and go with modern wom- en’s hearts.
A photo of Karibay taken by her brother, Enmanuel Angeles, at the Ocheka Castle in Long Island, NY.
Before I genuinely go into my find- ings, I’ll let you know my view on love. Well, first, I have to say that I do consider my- self a modern woman. My reasons are that I am ambitious and stand tall with my values and most of all, I am silly. Lastly, I will always be real. I always strive to follow my path, no mat- ter what. Now that you know these things about me let me tell you a bit about my love concept. I have to be honest with you. It’s taken me a few tries, but love is honesty and communica- tion; I want my partner to be better and be happy, and if that means without me, it’s okay. For me, love is knowing when to be patient and kind, but most of all, learning when to let go or hold on. My views on love are not based solely on my parents’ relationship but on my own experiences in the real world. Now that I have spilled my feelings in this article, let me tell you the insight I found in modern women’s hearts.
After searching and reading everything I could find, I had the realization that I had to make this personal. I took the op- portunity to go out into the field and interview two real women. One is a young, ambitious college student that is in her early womanhood. My second subject is a more mature and experi- enced woman that has a successful career. I chose these wom- en because of their unique perspectives based on the different stages of their lives. I asked them both the same questions and can’t wait to hear their experiences.
The first woman I interviewed was Nicole Miranda. Before I begin, let me tell you a little bit about who she is. Nicole is a 20 year old studying towards a BFA in Communications and Media Production with a minor in Graphic Design in New York City. She grew up in Miami, Florida. One of her interests in- cludes painting. She’s undoubtedly fun-loving. She’s an extro- vert and a kind soul. Nicole is no ordinary young woman; she wants to be successful, and she has all the tools to make it. Of course, she’s a modern woman. I have no doubt. From her own words, “...as independent and confident in myself as I am, I do classify myself as one.” Now that I’ve told you all you need to know let me explore her concept of love. It’s important to know that Nicole derives her idea of love from how her mother and stepfather love. Which, as she says, is composed of “words of affirmation and acts of service.” Nicole also used the words “tough love.” In a sense, this helps me see that she sees love as a balance, and without one or the other love can’t exist.
Furthermore, as I spoke to her, she sees that some people may find her too young to understand love. However, Nicole is passion- ate about love itself. She describes love as “...a great journey, I don’t think be- ing in love is just a straight line.” I can agree with her. She even says similar words as me “communicating, comprehending, and car- ing!” It’s clear that Nicole genuinely loves. Moreover, I wanted to see if this reflects in her relationships. I asked her about one experience
A selfie of Nicole before heading out on datenight.
that marked her love life. Currently, she is in a relationship. She couldn’t find a precise moment that marked her love life. Even though this is true, she said it didn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. In her words, “...there’s just always great experiences with my current boyfriend.” The only thing that came to mind was that she is pretty confident in her current relationship. This led me to believe that Nicole has had relationships that she didn’t quite feel confident in. Her last remarks were, “... you feel the way you do in a relationship because that’s how your partner makes you feel.” After interviewing Nicole I re- alized, everyone is different. It all depends on how you define love, how you grew up seeing it, and how your relationships have changed you. Nicole proves that the meaning of a modern woman doesn’t make you just career-driven. There can always be a balance between love and work for the modern woman.
The second woman I inter- viewed was Cheryl Lafer. Let me tell you a little about her also. Cheryl is an older woman. She looks pretty young, however, I won’t discuss her age here.
She grew up in California and after graduating from college, she pursued many paths. Cheryl wore many hats professional- ly, including marketing, public relations as well as now owning her own business in what she loves. Presently, she’s the proud owner of a wellness center that promotes both mental and phys- ical wellness. Besides her pro- fessional life, Cheryl is happily married and has two children. Now that you know a little about who Cheryl is, let me dive into
A selfie of Cheryl. her views. As said in her own words, Cheryl is a modern woman, “...a modern woman with traditional values”. This is because she is a working mom with goals and, of course, achievements under her belt. Unlike Nicole, Cheryl is an older woman, and therefore her experiences and journey have further shaped her. She described her current journey as “...able to juggle life being a Mom, and having a full-time career with the vision of ex- panding my business...”. It’s truly admirable how she balances all she does with her family life. Cheryl is a modern woman, and she strives not only for herself but for her family. It’s important to know that Cheryl found her meaning of love through watch- ing movies, mostly Disney ones. She wanted a prince charming for herself for as long as she could remember. However, her perspective shifted to a more realistic view when she took a look at her parents’ relationship. Her parents have been together for 45 years and as a result, have four daughters. Unfortunate- ly, her father has since passed away and even though he isn’t physically here, Cheryl’s mother will always love him. It’s clear to me that Cheryl now and forever will derive her meaning of love from her parents. Well, as you know now, Cheryl has a family meaning that she did find her prince charming. Now their story is one worth telling. They met when Cheryl was on a girls’ trip in Las Vegas, and now I know that what happens in Las Vegas does not always stay in Las Vegas. That was 13 years ago. I’m genuinely aspiring that day. Now that I know all these things, I can definitely see how Cheryl sees love. Her love, as she says it, “knows no boundaries.” I’m left without words after exploring Cheryl’s journey. All I can say is that similarly to Nicole’s story, there has to be a balance between work and love for modern women. Being a modern woman is much more hard work than what it may look like from the outside.
To conclude, modern women can not be defined by a series of characteristics. Modern women exist everywhere you look, and it takes time to become one. If you are a modern woman, you are inspiring and bold. You are a woman of many trades, and you are fearless, depending on who you are, both pro- fessionally and in your love life. It takes great courage to be yourself and stand tall as yourself in this society, so don’t be apologetic about it and make your mark on this world.