March, 28

A couple of years ago I was at the beach with some friends. The day was gorgeous: sun shining allover the place, turquoise sky, emerald-green sea, really one of those days we feel grateful to be able to enjoy.

The conversation was light and easy. Then, two young girls passed by; we saw them walking towards the sea: small bikinis, sexy bodies, big thighs and bums. They were happy, smiling, waving their curves as they walked. Two guys stared at them and did some nasty comments.

One of the women in my group said ‘They should be ashamed of themselves; if I was their mother I would never allow my daughter to wear a bikini like that, I would put her on a heavy diet’. I was appalled by the comment for all the things it implied. ‘I wish I had that level of self-esteem as they have, when I was their age’, I said, ‘and if I were their mother I would support this love they have for their bodies.’

This comment has been in my mind ever since, and made me thought of other circumstances in which I might have made similar ones. It’s all about our worth, ladies, and we have to face it. 

Let’s talk about WORTH. It’s a hard topic to talk about. Especially for us, women. Worth is something that starts to be diminished at early childhood and keeps on being diminished as we grow:  ‘sit upright on the chair’, ‘pull your shirts and skirts down’,  ‘don’t sit with your legs too wide open’, ‘don’t talk too loud’, ‘behave like a girl’, ‘if you take too much care of yourself they will think you are not clever’,  ‘be sexy’, ‘don’t be too sexy’, ’if you are opinionated you are masculine’, ‘if you’re too feminine you look fragile’, ‘no woman is complete unless she becomes a mother’, ‘age is a curse’,  ‘if you’re ambitious you’ll end up alone’.

And it goes on and on until the day you wake up and pose the big, damn, question:  who am I ? 

The day that question arrives (and for some, unfortunately, that does not happen) is the day you are offered a chance to understand who you truly are, and you will make it by discovering your self-esteem. You see, amongst other things, our worth is generous: it sits there, inside of us, waiting to be rediscovered, nurtured, rebuilt and fully enjoyed. 

The way you see your worth (or the lack of acknowledging it) frames the way you live your life.  Maybe it’s about time to reframe it.

Alexandra Quadros

Photo by Josh Telles

Karin Chien

Independent Producer and Distributor committed to bold voices and innovative forms that build radical practices of ethical filmmaking

Quiet observer of the world and thoughtful listener

Belonging to many continents

Claim Your Worth

As an independent film producer, I work in an industry and a culture that places a transactional value on each person, like a stock that rises and falls. This happens at dinner parties, meetings and screenings (when we used to have them). On IMDBpro, the industry wide database used daily, we are assigned a number value to our profile, and that number changes often depending on our influence, power and fame. In a relationship business like Hollywood, that unsaid value is, what can you do for me? 

It takes extraordinary resources to make a film, which makes my field of work intensely competitive and closeknit. In this kind of environment, it’s hard not to feel like others are always having more success than you (bigger budgets, better deals, more powerful partners). A friend of mine names this, “compare and despair.” We all do it, and we all know it’s an awful use of our energy. 

In my business, the hardest thing to hold onto is your worth. 

I tell students who are entering the film & tv industry, and struggling with yet another rejection or tough day, to keep sight of this truth: you are worthy because you exist. As a human being, your worth is being. We are human beings, not human doings, my twin sister used to tell me. So I tell my students, while reminding myself. 

What I’ve learned over 2 decades as a film producer, is that the most valuable thing I have isn’t my relationships or my ability to outmaneuver others. My value is my point of view. That unique perspective on the world that each of us embodies. The best investment we can make in ourselves as artists is to spend time and energy to develop and interrogate our points of view. Embrace your own distinct perspective, rooted in where you come from and comprised of all you’ve lived through and experienced. This is the most valuable thing you can offer. 

Today, U.S. independent film producers are working together to claim our worth. We are learning to reject the paradigm of individual ascension, the one that tells us to envy our neighbors and fight each other for that one seat at the table. Instead we are banding together to use our collective power to fight for fair treatment, for health insurance, for the right to be paid. We are valuing all the different points of view we bring to this process. We are claiming our worth. 

For more information on this issue, please read this landmark report on independent film producer sustainability. 


Samantha Williams

Educational leadership and gender equity advocate four days a week.

Writer and Southerner year-round.

Setting up a system that protects girls’ self-worth

I often hear from concerned teachers that girls don’t speak up in their classes. They want girls to feel comfortable sharing their opinions, answering questions, and taking part in debates. I applaud this and support them to encourage girls in ways that don’t place undue attention or pressure on them and facilitate easy contribution from students of any gender. This can involve changing the set-up of the classroom or setting a goal to call on more girls, alongside myriad instructional strategies.

However, the most important thing teachers must do is understand that tackling participation is not about addressing girls’ confidence. Rather, it is about ensuring that girls don’t face barriers to speaking up in the first place. We can and must set up expectations and systems that fully support the self-worth and belonging of girls.

I recently read this Harvard Business Review article, “Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome.” The authors suggest that instead of focusing on individual women who experience “imposter syndrome” at work, we need to address the workplace dynamics and norms that create and reinforce feelings of non-belonging and self-doubt. This resonated with me as I considered the landscape of organizations where I and others have felt like imposters. So often it’s the organization itself that has been the imposter, positioning itself one way in branding and during the interview process (“we value diversity and inclusion!”) but engaging staff or doing the work in ways that are counter to those espoused values. 

This can be applied to schools just as well. Schools where gender norms are confirmed through words, actions, and policies are schools where girls experience rejection and a sense of non-belonging once they speak up and find that they are laughed at or cut down. All students should be encouraged to ask questions and offer answers without a guarantee that they are correct, yet girls have more to lose when giving an unpopular opinion or a wrong answer. Over time, their natural sense of worth and faith in their contributions can dwindle. 

Girls experience their engagement as violating unspoken, gendered principles about how they “should” behave. For example, girls are more frequently channeled into reading and social sciences because they are seen as quieter and better able to focus on dense texts. They are less likely to be encouraged around math or science. Think about the messages that sends to girls. Even the most conscious teacher can reinforce gender norms with actions as seemingly innocuous as always calling on girls to read aloud but rarely to work out a math problem on the board. 

There’s a lot we can do to bolster girls’ self-esteem and sense of worth. The vast field of social-emotional learning is ripe with tools and strategies that build confidence, coping, and relational skills that provide enormous benefits to girls. But there’s perhaps even more we can do to create structures – classrooms, workplaces, homes – where girls’ sense of worth and belonging are never under attack in the first place.


Diane Radelt

Diane Radelt lives in England and is a Jungian Analytical Psychotherapist. She has been a member of BodySoul Europe Holding Team.

BodySoul Europe is an affiliate of the Marion Woodman Foundation. Both hold that the psyche and soma are inseparable; therefore, body and mind are explored together in the service of healing and growth. BodySoul Programmes involve listening to the body and paying attention to unfolding dreams. In this way, guided by the Self, space is provided for the unconscious to emerge through movement, voice-work, painting, journaling, myth and mask-making. 

For more information please visit:

From Barriers to Blooming 

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) talks of individual responsibility for our own thoughts and actions and collectively, we can all help to create an inclusive world. I would like to explore the IWD’s theme of thoughts and actions and how this might interweave with self-worth. 

I’m very curious about the conversations that occur inside women’s heads and suggest we might think of some, as symbols of internal barriers that affect the development of self-worth. We all probably share an experience of inner dialogue; conversation or voices. Have you noticed the ingredients that create yours? Are they, Encouraging? Dispiriting? Judgemental? Enlivening? Some fragments might sound like this: “I really ought,” “I really should;” “I shouldn’t eat that;” “I could be better;” “Do I deserve better;” “I don’t feel real;” “I’m not good enough.”

Perhaps our conversations are self-critical or self-censoring leaving us somewhat depleted? Are there words that devalue innate worth and self-acceptance? I imagine for many women a discourse that is dispiriting and pressurising, is sadly an all too familiar occurrence.

In the psychological realm, self-worth is a complex experience. Each of us makes sense of the world in our own unique ways. What enables one woman, may feel a hurdle for another. Perhaps a unifying experience when our sense of self feels fragile, lacking cohesion or value, is that taking our place in the world may feel daunting. Gloria Steinem says in: ‘Revolution from Within,’ (Womanity issue 00),

“I who had spent the previous dozen years working on external barriers to women’s equality, had to admit there were internal ones, too.”

She continued: “….I began to understand that self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just there is nothing without it.”

I am offering that these internal barriers are potentially deeply debilitating, capable of creating a no-thing rather than a some-thing. Deaden and keep out of reach the lively potential waiting to flourish. Have the impact to freeze our thinking and feeling; leave our bodies trembling with fears or stiffening them with cortisol, as if in readiness to ascend a mountain when the alarm clock chimes. They deplete our energy leaving us feeling disconnected from being rooted at home and authentic in ourselves. Marion Woodman offers: “So long as we are petrified in a static world there is no danger of us opening ourselves to weeping our own tears or singing our own song.”

Inner conversations often find their genesis in the developmental and formative years of childhood. Attachment patterns and the ways in which significant others related to us have lasting impressions and imprints on how we view ourselves. Through these early formative relationships begin the process of relating to self and other. Attachments influence the development of our internal conversations; a process that fundamentally affects the way we view the worth and value of ourselves and others. These patterns can offer positive ways of being, while others can leave doubt and self-questioning. Metaphorically speaking, the faces of significant others in our lives growing up, offer mirrors through which we begin to see ourselves and others. When these mirrors reflect: disappointment; failure and not being what was wanted. Rather than flourish and blossom we may feel hesitancy, fearful and an imposter.

These beginnings can have far-reaching effects throughout our lives. If our beginnings were symbolically like a verdant garden the world around us is probably one in which we want to explore and play. If our start was more like a tundra or storm, staying safe and feeling afraid to trust might be ways we relate in the world. Some beginnings may reflect what Susie Orbach affectingly described as one where: “Women’s dependency needs not being met and their sense of unentitlement.”

For women who experience this form of symbolic homelessness may begin a journey of Keats’: “Vale of Soul-Making.” Carl Jung spoke of the individuation process as a: “Fidelity to one’s being.” 

For Darian Pictet, the individuation process requires us to be attuned to a deep sense of who we are, of what is absolutely essential to us, of what we cannot betray without causing deep injury to what we hold most sacred.

In Dark Night of the Soul Thomas Moore writes: “Finally this may be the most difficult task of all, give yourself what you need at the deepest level. Your purpose in life may be to become more who you are and more engaged with the people and life around you, to really live your life. That may sound obvious, yet many people spend their time avoiding life. They are afraid to let it flow through them, and so their vitality gets channelled into ambitions, addictions and preoccupations that don’t give them anything worth having.”

Here is a simple activity we might like to try when we find ourselves gripped by an inner conversation that feels critical, creating anxious or apprehensive feelings in our bodies. Peter Levine’s understanding of the neurophysiology of our brain’s social engagement system offers support to settle an anxious body. Sit on a chair. Feel your feet planted on the ground. Your back and body supported. Then with soft focus eyes, relaxed eyelids, let your eyes move around. Follow your eyes and allow them to notice what it is they are drawn to. What do your eyes settle on? It may be a colour, it may be an object. Just stay and really notice what you are drawn to. Notice how your body feels. Neuroscience teaches us our inner dialogues are able to transform. Neuroplasticity enables new neural pathways to be laid down facilitating the growth of different conversations. Old patterns of ways of being can slowly metamorphose into alternative ways of relating to oneself and other. Self-supporting inner dialogues can enable different lived experience. 

As we hold in thought our capacity for transformation let’s welcome the energy of seasonal cycles. These run deep within our feminine body-souls and body-rhythms. We are in the Celtic time of Imbolc, in transition to the time of Ostara – the spring equinox. Imbolc marks the coming of spring and the stirrings of new life. The original meaning of Imbolc is ‘in the belly’ a wonderful image full of pregnant, feminine potential and symbolising the “growth of the returning of the light and Life’s insatiable appetite for rebirth.” 

As women let us support, witness and mirror each other’s rebirth and growth. Plant affirming words and gestures in our inner gardens. We forge our growing consciousness in our relating with ourselves and others and as Jung reminds us, we cannot individuate in isolation. So, as the alchemists of old let us transform the ‘base matter’ of these internal barriers in to ‘gold’; enabling sacred, precious aspects of our authentic selves to come in to being and bear fruit.

The poet Louise Gluck captures that potential preparing to flower.


Do you know what I was, how I
lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again,
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring –

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

Let us share in this process of rebirth of self-worth and self-acceptance. Let’s take our place in the world. Feel the earthiness of our bodies. Stand our ground. Feel held by our much-treasured mother earth and celebrate being-at-one-in-ourselves. Together. Here are Marion Woodman, Anais Nin and Mary Oliver’s encouragement…

‘Perfection massacres the feminine. Our culture pulses to the pressure of perfection.”

‘The Conscious Feminine gives us the courage to love an acorn without knowing what an oak tree is.”

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”


Chiara Mecozzi

Artist of Truth

Prophet of Gentleness



One of the most important determinants of happiness, and priorities of life. 

How can one be happy without self-love, the true unconditional love of oneself? 

Well, you can’t. Believe me, I tried.

Ever since I can remember, my priority was to make sure that everyone around me was happy. I worked so hard to always be a good daughter and for people to like me. The latin culture that I was brought up in tells women to serve that role from a young age. As I started cognitively understanding interactions and relationships with my family and peers, I internalized that as long they were happy, I was happy. I depended on their approval to make me feel like I was valued, worthy, accepted, and loved. 

As my body started to develop throughout my teenage years, my self-esteem and self-worth got worse. Always caring too much about what others thought about me, I tried to look pretty, tried to follow trends, and tried to get attention. I compared myself to others and was constantly telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, or smart enough, or skinny enough, or pretty enough, or had big enough breasts. Eventually I started living in constant anxiety, crumbling under the weight of my insecurities, and emotionally exhausted from caring so much about others’ opinions. 

Now that I think back on it, it baffles me how much power I gave them over my own happiness.

As a result, I ended up in very toxic relationships – relationships that were manipulating, abusive (both sexually and verbally), with narcissistic, unreliable, and unstable men.

In one such relationship, my partner coerced me into doing things I didn’t feel comfortable doing, but because his opinion meant everything, I gave him all the power to decide if I was enough. When he wasn’t happy with the weight I’d gained from grief after my brother’s passing, he pushed me to go on a diet. He convinced me to take lewd photographs for him, and as uncomfortable as I was to go through with it, I did. I just shut my brain and did what he asked. The worst part of it was that he later used them to seduce other men online while he was impersonating me. 

I spent a very long time and immeasurable energy allowing anything he wanted to happen, just to feel like I was worth something. And I convinced myself I wanted those things too – I was that scared of being rejected. Instead of feeling any sense of self-worth, I became more and more insecure and disconnected with myself, to the point that I didn’t know who I was anymore, I was numb. I craved his attention. I craved anything that would make me feel loved, wanted, or worthy. The more he mistreated me, the more his opinion mattered. 

I didn’t know how to set boundaries or say no.

I didn’t know how to walk away.

I found myself in states of debilitating depression, not knowing how to live. 

I’ve had several relationships like that – some worse, some not that bad, but all in which I found myself putting my self-worth on others.

I eventually got married and although we loved each other so much, our relationship was very unstable. When we started dating, he was in a very insecure place, had just recently broken up, and I was coming out of a rollercoaster of a relationship. We were both young, and although it was very hard and destructive, we always figured out a way to stay together. 

Throughout our relationship our dynamic consisted of him being very distracted by work, side businesses, and social life, and me trying to fit myself in there, figuring out my career, while also trying to be a good partner. I would do anything to be a part of his life, but I felt I was always fighting – fighting for his time, for security, and for stability. Yet the more I fought for these things, the more I spent my energy on everything he was doing, and the less on me. 

Down the Rabbit Hole, 2020

Behind Closed Doors, 2018

I wasn’t strong enough to just focus on what I needed and not care about what he was or wasn’t doing. I think I knew deep down that focusing inward would help me, but I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to, so much, but I was too weak. I tried so many times, and so many times I failed. I can’t tell you how often I found myself crying in my closet with the lights out, not knowing how to get out of the dark hole I had fallen into. 

I found myself living a very harmful, unpredictable, and unreliable life, with him prioritizing work and other relationships, and me waiting for him to give me the space in his life as his wife.

Again I found myself putting all my self-worth on someone else rather than myself. My goals, my ambitions, my happiness depended on making sure that I was fulfilling everything he needed. 

I started getting very sick from the constant stress and anxiety I dealt with. I was fighting every day to be heard, to be understood, to be loved, by him and by me, and again I found myself in a place where the more I fought, the emptier I felt. We failed to build the foundation we needed in order to face life together and to communicate our needs. So when it finally became unbearable for us both, we decided to separate.

At this point I found myself living alone in New York city in an apartment that I couldn’t afford and without a stable job. My anxiety took its toll on my body, and I became very ill from all the stress. Some days I could hardly sit up from the pain in my neck and back. 

I was at the lowest point in my life. 

I was disconnected entirely from who I was, from my body, from my heart, and from my being. I found myself with two choices: fighting or giving up. 

It is in this moment of desperation that I finally woke up and started climbing out of the abyss. I realized that everything I had been fighting for didn’t matter anymore – all their opinions and their thoughts and all the weight I’d put on them, just left me. All the noise went away, I felt hope, I felt strength and I felt liberated. And it was then, finally, that I began to care about getting to know myself and fighting for who I really am.

This is when Brenda, my first autobiographical photograph was created. 

This was the moment I found myself living and caring for nobody else but myself.

The woman in the photograph is a representation of me, in my most raw and vulnerable state, realizing that I no longer had to live for anyone else. I wasn’t going to care what others thought about me, I was done. No one else mattered but me.

Ever since then, I haven’t stopped creating. I dedicated almost two years to expressing myself about what I was going through with my photography. Since I was living in New York alone and figuring out how to survive, photography was my main medium and source of income. I couldn’t find time for painting, and back then I didn’t feel like I could’ve painted anyway, since I was still getting to know myself. I was still healing, learning, and unlearning. 

My juxtaposed photographs became autobiographies of moments and emotions I was trying to understand and heal. 

For example, Dominika, is my interpretation of the language between men and women. The men in my life have always loved cars, their power, their speed, and the identity behind owning them. Women have always been a shadow of that world.

Brenda, 2018​

Dominika, 2017​

That year, 2018, I created over 18 autobiographical pieces, but since I was still trying to figure out who I was, I found myself having a hard time using myself in the photographs. I used models from previous shoots, my sister, and people that I photographed, because using myself was just too hard. I was still so disconnected from my body, I didn’t have the strength to really see myself.

Through journaling every morning, researching, reading countless books, watching videos, and listening to seminars by Brene Brown, Esther Perel, and Eckhart Tolle among others, I started noticing a shift in the way I was living. 

I started approaching life differently, I slowly started trusting – trusting myself and trusting the universe. 

I began creating very genuine connections with the most wonderful and supporting people. People who stood up for me, even against myself. What really amazed me is that most of them were women. Women who didn’t know me, women who trusted me and stood by my side, helped me with my career, pushed my limits and always believed in me. 

That’s not to say every day was easy – I was still prone to intense bouts of lowness, anxiety, uncertainty, and pain. But trusting the universe has a way of giving you the things you need in life, and when you least expect them.

One day, I was coming home from Madrid to New York, and I had a layover in Lisbon. For the whole two hours I waited for that second flight home, I cried from anguish. Not only was I leaving my sister behind, but I was dealing with situations and conversations surrounding my separation and I was still feeling so much pain from it all. There was so much work I had yet to do to find peace within myself with everything that had happened.

As I was standing in the middle of the transit lounge, sad, lost, and alone, a lady came up to me to see if I was okay. I could barely stand up. In that moment, as I looked into her eyes, and saw my reflection in them, something inside of me just clicked. 

I told her I was okay, and thanked her for asking me, and I ran to the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror, and in that moment I told myself, “no more.” No more crying. No more pain. No more desperation. So I washed my face, put makeup on, and as I walked back out into the world I promised to start a new life for myself. 

As I got my bags and walked up to the gate to board my flight, I looked up and this guy was standing there, looking at me, with a big smile on his face. We only had five minutes to exchange pleasantries on the shuttle to the plane. He told me he lived in San Francisco, was a French teacher, and was a drummer, I told him I was from Argentina and lived in New York and was an artist. Then we exchanged contacts as we boarded, and that was it. In that moment I was so focused on me, I was so raw and vulnerable, that I didn’t even have the head or heart space to understand what the universe was doing. I didn’t think much of it and went on with my life.

Being in New York with this newfound sense of determination and boundaries I had set up for myself, I finally got to understand what peace, stability, self-love, and security feel like. 

I felt free. I felt alive. I felt like I could breathe.

I felt so much strength within my body and heart, that with that feeling, the photograph, “The Only Way” was born. The first photograph that I exposed myself in. And I felt EMPOWERED. 

I didn’t care what anyone thought. What that photograph made me feel, no one else had ever made me feel, and I had created it. It came from within me. 

I spent a year focusing on getting to know myself profoundly. Journaling became a daily habit and the most incredible way of understanding who I was. Through journaling I have been able to learn, clarity and heal many past traumas. Still to this day I journal every day and I’m still learning and healing. 

I also learned to face my fears. Every time a challenge arose that made me feel uncomfortable, I would face it. It was the only way to become stronger. 

During all this time, that guy from the plane and I messaged each other and got to know each other more and more. For me, it was still very hard to trust someone, or even to love again. But he was different, and so was I. We decided to start dating long distance – it was the only way I felt I could be with someone. I still needed more time for myself. 

The only way, 2019​

Seeking Strength, 2020

We dated for one year, a year during which I learned so much about myself by being alone, and also by being with someone who understood me, treated our relationship as his priority, and who made me feel safe. For the first time, I was able to feel what stability with another person meant: for once, our relationship was easy. 

You know the phrase “Be with someone who makes you want to be a better person”? Well, I finally figured out what it mean.

If you’re going to be with anyone at all it shouldn’t just be with someone who constantly tells you that you are amazing as you are, or who wants you to be better or happy for yourself – these things matter, of course, but it’s much more than that. 

Be with someone who doesn’t bring chaos and uncertainty into your life.

Be with someone who helps you feel secure and stable in your relationship.

Be with someone who makes life easy, so that you can focus all your energy into being present and at peace, and into fulfilling your passion and your work.

That’s the kind of partner who inspires you to wake up each day wanting to be better.

After that year and after getting to know each other and feeling so much love and certainty, we decided to move to Lisbon together. Living in Europe had been in my plans all my life, so I trusted my intuition and the opportunity that was put in front of me. I trusted myself and trusted the universe, and we moved in together.

I sold everything that I owned. I wanted to start a new life, disconnected from all the material things that I had once thought made me happy. I sold and donated dresses, purses, furniture, jewelry, clothes, and so many things I had accumulated from my past life. I got rid of everything. I felt liberated. The less I cared for material things, the more I could see and love myself. 

Together We Bloom, 2020

Almost immediately after I moved to Lisbon, Covid and Lockdown happened. I kept journaling and through my writing, I decided to use the time in lockdown to learn more about myself, grow, forgive myself, and heal. The universe was giving the whole world a pause to reconnect with our inner being and love. 

With everything I’d learned, being in lockdown at this stage of my life gave me the space to address long-cultivated issues with my own body. One day in particular, I got out of the shower and started spiraling down a particularly deep rabbit hole of self-hatred when I looked in the mirror. This couldn’t go on, I told myself.

I decided to use my photography and painting to figure this out. I decided I was going to take photos of myself and paint myself to figure out how to love my body. 

I set up the tripod and immediately started taking nude photographs of myself – it was probably one of the hardest things I’d ever done. The only other time I had done this wasn’t with my own will. At first, I was very shy and discouraged and I felt pain, but I kept going. I wasn’t going to stop. I was going to change the way that I thought about myself, by seeing myself. I was not my vagrant, hateful thoughts. I was done listening to that voice. I was going to love my body. 

After going through the photographs, I set up a canvas on two chairs and started sketching my body onto the canvas. 

It was so hard to complete the first painting of this series, I couldn’t even include my head. Just my body. I used very washed-out colors, and was fighting myself throughout the whole process, but as I stepped back, my whole body started vibrating. 

When I looked upon the painting, I felt so much strength. I felt liberated, and something else I had never felt before: I felt love for myself. 

From the Inside, Outside, 2020

Disentangling, 2020

From that moment, I didn’t stop painting. Every week I was creating a new oil painting. I decided to go even bolder. Make the colors and contrast darker, show my body in a more emboldened and empowered way. I felt a very genuine connection with myself and so much awareness in my body. I felt my whole-body vibrating. I cried, I laughed, I danced, I got turned on, I painted with my emotions, with my energy, with my sex, with my love, and with my light.

One of the most powerful artworks of this series is “Free, Together, We Bloom”. During the process of painting this piece, I had never felt so connected with my inner self. I wasn’t painting with my mind, my thoughts, or my program, I was painting with my energy, my presence, and my light. I was physically transmitting what my body felt in that moment, and it made sense. I felt I was communicating and vibrating with the paint, the figures in the canvas, and the colors. I have never felt so in tune with my inner Being. 

The experience of that painting was so enlightening, I wanted to feel more of it, so I decided to go even bigger.  

I was disentangling so many years of self-hate, self-sabotage, programmed behavior, and liberating myself from all of it. 

And I keep doing it every day…

I’m still healing, I’m still learning, I’m still unlearning, and I’m still forgiving myself and others. 

But what I do know now is that I am worthy. 


To see my full body of work please visit my website, and follow me on Instagram @chiaramecozzi  

For Me, For my Desires, For my Love, 2020​

Carolina Weil

Anos 90.
Curiosa e comunicativa.
Amante da Bossa Nova e da MPB.
Brasileira de nascimento, alemã de alma e portuguesa de coração.

Geminiana, com ascendente em Escorpião e Lua em Caranguejo.

Licenciada em Gestão de Empresas – Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ)
Especialidade em Análise Financeira – Fundação Getúlio Vargas Rio de Janeiro (FGV-RJ)
Formada em Culinary Arts – Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Lisboa
Membro da equipa de Diversidade e Inclusão na empresa Mercer Portugal – Grupo Marsh McLennan.

A minha cor é verde.

Frio na barriga

Você já sentiu isso? Aquele frio na barriga e o coração batendo mais forte? 

Me acostumei com esse sentimento desde criança. Filha mais velha com origens alemãs e uma brasilidade muito marcante que me deu ginga para a vida. Nascida em uma pequena cidade do Rio de Janeiro, minha primeira mudança veio aos 18 anos, quando desci a serra de Petrópolis para fazer faculdade de Gestão de Empresas no Rio de Janeiro. 

No meio do caos urbano da cidade do Rio de Janeiro, após alguns anos de trabalho em grandes empresas, tive a oportunidade de me mudar para Portugal. Percebi então que seria mais uma daquelas chances únicas de descobrimento e desafio pessoal e profissional. 

Foi assim que veio um ano sabático, de autoconhecimento, amor próprio e sobretudo fundamental para minha evolução e compreensão dos meus propósitos.

Resolvi então seguir os meus instintos e me formei em Culinary Arts para desenvolver um outro lado que sempre foi uma grande paixão familiar, a culinária. 

Sou apaixonada por tudo que junta as pessoas, seja um pequeno almoço ou grandes viagens em grupo. A comunicação é fundamental para mim, gosto de estar em movimento, acredito que nosso desenvolvimento surge dessas pequenas trocas interpessoais. Entender origens, vivenciar costumes e tradições, aflorou em mim um grande senso curioso e de querer saber sempre mais.

Afinal, o frio na barriga e o batimento cardíaco acelerado é o que nos torna mais vivos e livres.

Batimento Acelerado

Em Lisboa, subindo e descendo a montanha russa da vida, neste caso as colinas da cidade, completamente fora da minha zona de conforto, senti o coração batendo mais forte. Bateu forte para o tema da Diversidade&Inclusão (D&I), e mais especificamente para a Igualdade de Gênero. 

Em 2019, tudo ficou muito claro e a culinária passou a ser o meu hobbie favorito, onde consigo juntar as minhas paixões, investigar origens e relembrar memórias. Afinal, cozinha é memória, para quem come e para quem cozinha. 

Me juntei então à empresa Mercer, inicialmente num projeto financeiro. Ao estar cada vez mais envolvida percebi que o diferencial desta Companhia não estava apenas nos cálculos e sim nas pessoas. Com isso, o tema da Diversidade&Inclusão (D&I) vem ganhando um papel de protagonismo cada vez maior e a Companhia é sem dúvida uma referência no assunto em todos os países que atua. Resolvi assim abraçar duas frentes deste movimento, a Igualdade de Género e a Orientação Sexual.

O movimento da Igualdade de Gênero começou há alguns anos na Mercer e no grupo Marsh McLennan. Nasceu com muita potência nos EUA e se espalhou pelo mundo em forma de pequenos grupos chamados Women@Mercer. Em 2014, o tema não era ainda uma prioridade pois acreditava-se que a Desigualdade de Género não existia na Mercer Portugal. O tema foi investigado, as mulheres ganharam voz e a Mercer começou a fazer um estudo mundial, o When Women Thrive. 

O estudo When Women Thrive iniciado em 2014 teve como objetivo partilhar as práticas, perspetivas e tendências sobre como as organizações estavam a atuar relativamente à otimização do talento feminino. Em 2014, foram analisados mais de 1.7 milhões de colaboradores em 28 países, incluindo mais de 680.000 mulheres. O estudo identificava ações que as organizações poderiam adotar para desenvolver e monitorizar estratégias efetivas que promovessem a Igualdade de Género.

Em 2020, comemoramos o seu 5º aniversário com a particularidade de ser o estudo mais abrangente do Mundo no tema da Igualdade de Género. Fizeram parte desta edição 1.157 organizações em 54 países e com a participação de 7 milhões de colaboradores em todo o mundo. 

O estudo apresenta a ideia da transformação da Diversidade em Representatividade e a da Inclusão em Experiência. As transformações começam essencialmente com mais oportunidades para as mulheres, mais investimentos em formações e igualdade salarial entre homens e mulheres. 

Mesmo com muitas ações implementadas, é improvável que haja Igualdade de Género nos próximos 10 anos. O estudo mostra que dos cargos executivos nas empresas, as mulheres ocupam apenas 23%. Quando se trata de cargos mais baixos, o cenário é mais equilibrado entre homens e mulheres, como por exemplo em posições de Support Staff (47% Mulheres e 53% Homens). No geral, as mulheres preenchem 40% dos cargos, enquanto os homens ocupam 60% dos mesmos. Aliado à questão das oportunidades para as mulheres, verificou-se que o objetivo não é apenas aumentar, mas também oferecer mais condições para que elas consigam chegar a posições de direção, tomada de decisão e cargos executivos.

Mesmo havendo comprometimento com a Diversidade e Inclusão, é urgente uma estratégia para atingir o progresso. Das Companhias analisadas no estudo, 81% das mesmas diz estar focada no tema, porém apenas 42% tem estratégias D&I ao longo do ano e ações que são efetivamente implementadas para fazer a diferença.

A responsabilidade sobre a mudança não deve recair apenas nas mulheres. É fundamental a participação ativa e maior envolvimento dos homens. Uma vez que no cenário estudado, os cargos executivos são maioritariamente ocupados por homens, torna-se assim essencial a participação efetiva vinda de cima para baixo, como num efeito chapéu de chuva.  

Atualmente na Marsh Mclannan em Portugal, temos um grupo chamado DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Community & Equality) e dentro dele o pilar da Igualdade de Género com um plano de comunicação bem elaborado e alinhado com a nossa liderança e também com o departamento de People Team

Faz parte do nosso plano uma cultura de linguagem inclusiva onde todos têm voz, direito de escolha, flexibilização de horários de trabalho para o melhor equilíbrio da vida pessoal e profissional. O tema relacionado com as oportunidades é muito valorizado e vemos muitas mulheres em cargos de chefia, em que são fundamentais nas tomadas de decisão no que diz respeito ao rumo da Companhia e fortalecimento da cultura inclusiva. 

Temos também alguns aliados que nos fortalecem. Somos parceiros do CITE (Comissão para a Igualdade no Trabalho e no Emprego), do movimento PWN (Professional Woman Network), do fórum IGen (Fórum Organizações para a Igualdade), também temos parcerias com a TESE, por meio do projeto Job Tours e com a APPDI (Associação Portuguesa para a Diversidade e Inclusão), através da Carta da Diversidade. Porém, mesmo com todo o esforço feito, de acordo com o estudo do Fórum Económico Mundial (FEM – 2017), mais conhecido pelos seus encontros anuais em Davos, levaria 217 anos até que se acabe com as disparidades salariais entre géneros e que as oportunidades de emprego sejam iguais para homens e mulheres. O que é alarmante é que este número é significativamente mais longo do que os 170 anos apresentados pelo mesmo estudo no ano anterior. 

A situação pandémica veio piorar o cenário desfavorecendo ainda mais as mulheres. Mulheres estas que muitas vezes, tiveram as tarefas domésticas aumentadas, cuidados com os filhos redobrados e a saúde mental afetada.

O Início

A coragem de ser vulnerável provocou em mim a vontade de enaltecer outras mulheres, de lutar pelo fim da pressão estética e perceber que não existe corpo ideal. Existe sim o corpo que temos.

O surgimento de cada vez mais mulheres empreendedoras é algo que todos os dias me inspira. Apoiar a criação de uma rede de mulheres fortes, poderosas e independentes é algo que faço diariamente. Promover estas mulheres e aquilo que fazem é fundamental. E juntas somos mais fortes. 

Afinal, o que queremos no fim do dia é a igualdade entre géneros e o reconhecimento pelo mérito que juntas conquistamos com os nossos movimentos contínuos e imperfeitos.

Com muitas mudanças na vida e sempre com aquele frio na barriga, aprendi que aquilo que se leva na bagagem são poucas coisas materiais. O que levamos é o que realmente importa, a nossa história, valores, muitas sementes, muita luta, muitas raízes e tantos sentimentos. É isso que molda a nossa Womanity e é dessa forma que escrevemos a nossa própria história.


Lourdes Monteiro

Career Redesigner, Coach, Mentora, Speaker, Autora. 

Facilitadora de Mudança.

Sóbria à simples vista; praticante de todas as danças quando se olha melhor.

Leitora compulsiva e conversadora também.

Uma introvertida do mais sociável que há.


do nosso valor próprio

Recebido o convite para escrever neste número da Onzine sobre o tema Worth, fui procurar os significados da palavra no dicionário de inglês e no de inglês-português. Deparei-me com os seguintes:

– Digno, merecedor, meritório,

– Valor próprio, auto-estima.

Estas palavras provocaram de imediato, em mim, um turbilhão de memórias e de pensamentos. Daqueles que nos permitem unir os pontos e perceber tantas coisas acerca de nós. Contudo, as pontes que unem os pontos, surgiram na forma dos questionamentos que tantas vezes ao longo da minha vida, coloquei a mim própria. Questões como: ‘quem seria eu para estar ali?’, ‘naquela função/papel?’, ‘ao lado daquela pessoa?’. ‘O que tinha eu feito para merecer aquilo? Era bom demais para mim’. Ou, ‘era mau demais’. Fosse para um ou outro lado a premissa presente, era a de que ‘eu não seria merecedora’. Porque talvez ‘não tivesse valor suficiente’. 

Fruto do meu trabalho, sei que são muitas as pessoas que têm exactamente estas interrogações. Com frequência as escuto a dizerem-me: ‘não sei qual é o meu valor!’.

Este tema está estudado na área da psicologia. Área na qual não sou especialista mas antes uma estudiosa autodidacta. Contudo, sou muito sensível a este tema até porque me deparo diariamente com o mesmo. 

Os exemplos pessoais que acima referi, são manifestações típicas de quem tem um baixo self-worth. De quem sente que pouco ou nada tem a oferecer. Que não é bom o suficiente. Que, independentemente do que seja capaz de alcançar, não é merecedor. E, os resultados são os típicos também: ansiedade, procrastinação, sobrecarga.

Quando ainda nem tinha consciência deste tema, numa das várias vidas que já tive, e para provar aos outros e a mim própria que era merecedora das conquistas que alcançava, dava por mim em exercícios de exigência absolutamente escravizantes: lia todos os pormenores dos textos, ao ponto de detectar detalhes que mais ninguém conseguia. Estudava mais do que todos os outros. Estava sempre a exigir de mim, para provar que era boa o suficiente nas áreas académicas e depois nas áreas profissionais. De outra forma, pensava eu, não estaria à altura do que me pagavam. Ou do que tinham investido. E mesmo quando superava as expectativas, não descansava porque não podia baixar o nível que tinha alcançado. Tal iria certamente desapontar alguém. Consegue imaginar o nível de tensão presente?! 

Outras vezes, entrei em fuga ou em procrastinação. Pudera! Quando ‘ia a jogo’, a exigência que colocava em mim era tão grande, que havia alturas em que não desejava mais nada a não ser uma pausa. Então fugia ou, nem sequer começava.

Vivi nesta espécie de montanha russa muitos anos. E sei que não estou sozinha. Estes relatos estão também muito associados à chamada Síndrome do Impostor, muito interligada com a nossa percepção de baixo valor. Segundo a Drª Adia Gooden, psicoterapeuta americana que estuda o tema do self-worth, 70% das pessoas envolvidas em investigação sobre o tema reportam sentir ou já terem sentido por diversas vezes os efeitos desta síndrome. 

Quero enaltecer, atendendo à minha vivência pessoal e enquanto testemunha das vivências de outros através do trabalho que faço, que há uma enorme alocação de energia para alcançar algo externo, na expectativa de que isso nos faça sentir bem de algum modo. Mas geralmente não faz. Assim que o conquistamos, já estamos focados na batalha seguinte. Existe demasiado em jogo e não podemos descomprimir. Estamos sempre a correr atrás do próximo objectivo ou problema para resolver. Não podemos parar. Se pararmos corremos o risco de perder algo. Talvez a máscara que criámos em nós. 

Por quanto tempo se consegue viver assim? 

Por diversos anos. Até que há um momento em que sentimos que não dá mais. E aí percebemos que não é este o caminho!

Tudo o que em tempos persegui para provar aos outros que era merecedora, nunca fez a menor diferença. Lembro-me que quis durante muito tempo provar aos meus pais que era capaz – fiz a licenciatura e ganhei uma bolsa de mérito. Depois encontrei um emprego bem remunerado que me dava status e um óptimo ordenado. Neste trabalho, queria provar às minhas chefias e pares que era boa no que fazia. Contudo, nunca fui tão infeliz. De tanto querer provar aos outros que era merecedora, perdi-me de mim. Odiava literalmente o que fazia. E a forma como vivia. Os meus dias eram de angústia. Tudo em prol do conforto dos outros. De terem escolhido bem a colaboradora, de terem feito um bom investimento na sua filha. Os outros acima de mim. 

Quando comecei a aperceber-me disso e do que eu realmente valorizava, percebi que o que eu gostava e era natural em mim, não tinha nada a ver com as escolhas que tinha feito até ali e que um exercício de afirmação pessoal iria afectar o conforto e a satisfação dos outros. Com isso vieram novos questionamentos: ‘Será que eu iria conseguir ser paga por aquilo que realmente valorizava?’

Hoje sei e tenho evidências de que quando nos permitimos a ser quem somos e damos o devido valor aos nossos dons e forças, fazemos escolhas profissionais e escolhas de vida que se tornam sinérgicas. Já o inverso leva-nos a uma vida miserável. 

Todos temos forças. Podemos ser bons ouvintes, escritores, comunicadores, empáticos, fazer boas perguntas, ser organizados.

As forças são aqueles aspectos que somos capazes de fazer naturalmente e que, quando pomos em prática, nos dão energia e entusiasmo.

Se não conseguir identificar as suas, fique atenta aos motivos pelos quais os outros a procuram. Ou peça feedback a pessoas próximas.

A partir daí o importante é focar-se em como as poderá usar, tendo presente que pode fazer bem as coisas e que também pode cometer erros. Geralmente quando se permite a este passo, descobre-se o impacto profundo que se é capaz de provocar. E é também nesse movimento que reside a gratificação. 

Perdemos demasiado tempo da nossa vida a fugir de quem somos e a tentar encaixar nas expectativas de algo ou de alguém. É nas pequenas coisas, que nos damos conta que nos realizamos.

Quando eu era miúda, inventava, escrevia e contava histórias fabulosas. Daquelas que os professores partilhavam com colegas e alunos. Mais crescida, fui estudar ciências e separei-me desse dom. Voltei a reencontrar-me com ele há quase 10 anos, quando timidamente aceitei dar uma entrevista e falei de forma simples e nada pretensiosa sobre a minha história de vida e partilhei partes das histórias de outros. 

Por causa disso, descobri o impacto da minha voz e das minhas mensagens, na vida de desconhecidos. As pessoas escreveram-me, telefonaram-me para partilhar como aquela entrevista os tinha ajudado. A partir desse momento, decidi que queria recuperar a minha escrita. Sem esperar nada de volta. Esse caminho que iniciei, fez de mim uma pessoa grata, melhor, completa. Capaz de saborear o verdadeiro valor da vida. Sem perseguir, nem exceder limites. Simplesmente fui-me mostrando e dando pequenos passos nesse sentido. Hoje, não perco uma oportunidade para partilhar a minha voz levá-la mais longe. Sei que há muitas pessoas como eu. Com muito para partilhar. É aí que reside o real valor da vida. Na partilha.

O que em síntese gostaria que levasse deste meu desabafo é que ninguém é mais nem menos do que ninguém. Por isso convido-a a sair do paradigma do ‘ter de provar’ para o paradigma do ‘simplesmente ser você própria’. É aí que coisas maravilhosas acontecem. E é nessa decisão que percebemos o valor que temos para oferecer ao mundo e que temos mantido tantas vezes em segredo.


Sara Andrade

Diretora de Novos Projetos na Lighthouse Publishing a tempo inteiro.

A vestir a camisola da Vogue Portugal e GQ Portugal a tempo inteiro.

Amiga a tempo inteiro. Irmã, filha e tia a tempo inteiro. Pessoa de família tempo inteiro.

Jornalista a tempo inteiro. Surfista (mais ou menos) e skater (mais ou menos) a tempo inteiro.

Mulher a tempo inteiro.

Faz tudo a tempo inteiro. E isso é que mantém o seu coração cheio

V de…

…não é de vendetta. Não buscamos vingança, mas antes justiça, amor-próprio, reconhecimento, igualdade, tolerância, crédito pelo mérito. Este V é um V de valor. Um V de valor que, quiçá, também é um V de vagina? É, mas não tem que ser. A vagina não nos traz valor automático, mas aquilo que ela metaforicamente representa na sociedade não tem muitas vezes o valor que merece.

Porque falar em mulher nos dias que correm, mesmo nas comunidades mais democráticas e igualitárias, é falar de alguém que se desdobra em mil papéis muitas vezes menosprezados pelos demais. Não é uma novidade que uma mulher não é só uma mulher. É um cargo mais ou menos elevado dentro de uma grande empresa e tudo aquilo que ele exige, é a mãe da Carolina, do Gaspar, do Tomás, dos três ao mesmo tempo, é a mulher/namorada/it’s complicated do Pedro, é a amiga da Ana, da Tânia, da Sofia. Mas é também a estagiária, os quadros baixos de uma pequena empresa, é também a solteira com romance casuais e a pessoa que decidiu não ter prole, é aquela que lida com padrões de beleza impossíveis e que tenta constantemente lidar com a sua própria ansiedade e as pressões sociais. É-nos exigido, muitas vezes por nós próprias, standards difíceis de acompanhar, mas nós fazemo-lo todos os dias, com mais ou menos sucesso. Somos tudo o acima e fazemo-lo a tempo inteiro, de coração inteiro. Super-mulher, mulher-maravilha, etc, essas heroínas que representam o feminino na BD têm nomes redundantes, porque uma mulher já é super e é uma maravilha. Ainda que nem todas as comunidades o reconheçam.

Porque o V de vagina também nos retira valor. Em algumas comunidades, o V de vagina é também um V de inferior. Não poder conduzir, não poder sair à rua sem um elemento do sexo masculino, ser violada e ainda ser condenada, não poder votar, ser ostracizada violentamente pelo género, sofrer mutilação genital, é uma realidade que quase parece ficção e que não é, e que ainda tem um longo caminho a percorrer para deixar de sê-lo. É uma realidade que felizmente não vivemos neste canto privilegiado, mas que temos – ou vamos tendo – conhecimento. Mas mesmo neste canto privilegiado, ainda vivemos numa realidade em que lutamos pelos salários e oportunidades iguais. Pela destruição do conceito de que as mulheres são da cozinha e reduzidas a um papel acessório ao homem. Uma realidade que ainda assim, tem um V de esperança, com mulheres e homens de igual modo a lutar contra esse estereótipo. A minha realidade, por exemplo, é deveras afortunada. Trabalho numa redação composta maioritariamente por mulheres, 90%, diria. Ocupamos os cargos altos, as chefias, e não fomos contratadas por nenhum contingente, foi apenas fruto da meritocracia. O nosso trabalho era e é de valor e essa mais-valia selou e continua a selar o nosso contrato. É verdade que trabalho numa área como a Moda, cuja conotação e colaboração é maioritariamente feminina. Mas também trabalho numa área como o jornalismo, cuja génese foi dominada pelo género masculino, mas que as mulheres têm vindo a conquistar há anos, hoje não se distinguindo como um meio dos homens (pelo menos, não se considerarmos a multiplicidade de vertentes de redações de lifestyle e fait divers). E acima de tudo, não é um meio de homens na minha realidade. Mesmo na redação de uma revista masculina como a GQ, são mais as mulheres que o sexo oposto. O que me parece uma opção de valor. Acima de tudo porque estas pessoas que estão lá, mulheres e homens, conquistaram os cargos e empregos pelo seu profissionalismo, não pela sua genitália.

O que era de valor é que esta realidade reverberasse um pouco por todo o país, toda a Europa, todo o Mundo. O que era de valor era que algumas mentalidades mudassem, que não criássemos as nossas filhas para terem medo de andar sozinhas na rua e em determinadas zonas ou terem mecanismos internos de defesa automáticos que restringissem a sua liberdade, como deixar de sair à noite ou gastar dinheiro em táxis para não apanhar o metro a horas tardias. O que era de valor era criarmos os nossos filhos para perceberem estas (des)igualdades desde pequeninos porque o shift aqui devia ser nas mentalidades. Até nas nossas. Para onde foi o nosso V de valor-próprio? E o V de amor-próprio?

Esse, o nosso, enquanto pessoas, e o nosso, enquanto género. Queremos sempre ser melhores amanhã do que somos hoje, nunca estamos satisfeitas com as nossas conquistas, com o nosso corpo, em paz com as nossas ansiedades. E isso acaba por nos deixar com um V de vencidas pelo cansaço. Mas, por outro lado, também queremos sempre ser melhores amanhã do que somos hoje, nunca nos contentando com o medíocre, tentando superar-nos a nós mesmas dia após dia. E isso acaba por ser uma motivação para nunca estagnarmos, para nunca nos conformarmos. O problema é quando não há equilíbrio e essa busca constante pela perfeição inatingível se torna uma fonte de stress, que acontece mais do que gostaríamos. E isso transforma-se numa espiral de sabotagem da auto-estima, muitas vezes criando inseguranças que não só nos traem a nós, como a outras do nosso género, gerando invejas, entre mulheres, completamente não-fundamentadas. Somos por vezes – talvez mais do que queremos admitir – cruéis umas para as outras e isso surge de um desequilíbrio interior fruto de vivermos tudo tão intensamente – o bom e o menos bom. Mas isso é porque o M de mulher é também um H de humana, com todas as falhas inerentes à condição. Só que também fazemos dessa condição força divina para que o M de mulher seja também um H de heroína, com um V de valor maior que a média. Não porque somos melhores, mas porque tentamos sempre ser melhores perante as adversidades. 

O valor de uma mulher tem um V de viver. Tudo. Intensamente. Plena. Por inteiro. O bom, o mau e até o (des)valor.*

*Este texto não exclui o V de valor dos homens, poderosos aliados neste V de valor feminino. Apenas sublinha o caminho que ainda temos de percorrer enquanto mulheres para termos o mesmo ponto de partida nesta maratona que é a vida. Mas é uma luta que não se faz a solo, mas antes com o contributo de todos. Homens e mulheres. 


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