-What is your name and occupation?
My name is Chrystal Rose and I’m a writer & entrepreneur. I own Rebellia which is a clothing company for athletic women and blog over at Heylittlerebel.com. I’m the author of a memoir and have a children’s book that should be coming out later this year. I’m also a local chapter president for the global women’s business organization, FemCity.
-Why do you think women judge each other so harshly?
Judgement in general is natural when people pop outside of societal norms, but I think there’s a kind of visceral judgment that is different. I think that it comes from a couple of places, but both are internal. First, there’s insecurity. When we feel badly about ourselves we tend to pick apart others. Second, sometimes it’s envy and when we feel envy, we usually feel shame. That shame is then projected onto someone else in a negative way, like disdain.
-What do you think young women need to hear more often?
Believe in yourself. Stop believing other people’s lack of belief in you and put all your energy into self-belief. I see so many women who just don’t have that. They are so scared to try, so scared to fail. But when you believe in yourself, you also trust yourself. You’re not going to let yourself completely crash and burn, and you know what? If you do, then you know that you are strong enough to pick up the pieces. You know you can lose everything and stand back up and come back for more. Self-belief leads to self-awareness, self-trust, self-reliance and a whole lot of resiliency. No one’s doubts (or even their support) should ever be louder than your own belief.
-What do you think is your best quality?
I’m an insanely hard worker and I’m resourceful. I’m also kind. I’m not sure I have a “best” one, because I definitely wouldn’t be me without the sum of all my parts, but I think kindness is important.
-What accomplishment are you most proud of?
One of my last companies, The Indie Chicks, was an online women’s magazine when I came into the fold. One day I had the crazy idea to do a print issue and we just sort of went for it. It was exciting! After our first issue came out I asked myself, “Could we get this in stores?” I had no idea how, I just pitched a few companies and was shocked when we got a couple offers. Though short lived, our magazine had a couple issues distributed nationwide and one even had a small run in Australia. When I’m feeling stuck, I remind myself I did that and that I can do anything, no matter how daunting it may seem.
-What advice would you give your younger self?
Lift weights. Start NOW. Love yourself. START NOW.
-How do you find ways to be happy?
This is a good question because I suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia and night terrors. My world can be a very, very dark place at times. I do my best to self-manage all that, but I find I am happiest when I’m taking care of myself. When I am eating well, training well, looking in the mirror and appreciating myself. I find a lot of happiness in giving to others. I feel like I’m so fortunate to have escaped the sort of fate someone with a past like mine would normally have. It drives me to help people. Sometimes it only takes a minute or two and it feels good to know that I’m capable of elevating someone else. I’m also very fortunate to have such an amazing husband and partner in life. He adds sunshine to my world and I couldn’t be more grateful to him.
-How do you learn to love yourself more?
Gosh for me this was so hard. I think fitness really helped me discover self-love. Not just the physical aspect but getting to transfer all the mental and emotional strength I’ve carried over the years into a barbell. It feels so good. It helped me to accept myself in the moment and that it was okay to have goals and a destination but to really live in the now, rather than where I want to be.
-How do you think other girls could learn to love themselves more?
I recently wrote an article about waiting to love yourself and I opened it with: “We live in a world where people feel like they need to wait to love themselves. Like we have to unlock some achievement, obtain a goal or get a little closer to perfection before we deem ourselves worthy of our own love.”
Like, what is that? I hate that this is even a question. We don’t ask ourselves how we can love someone else more. We just do. We just love them. Even if they hurt us deeply, we usually can’t just stop loving them. Why isn’t this true when it comes to ourselves? Why is self-loathing the norm? Why do we have to embark on a multi-year journey and practice self-love when it comes so damn naturally to love someone else?
Start putting yourself first. Practice self-care. Live in the moment. Accept where you are right this minute. Have gratitude. Believe you are deserving, at the very least, of your own love.
– Is there anything else you would like to add?
Some of my best friendships have come from women who didn’t like me at first. I never noticed because I’m completely oblivious to that for some reason, but had they gone with their initial snap judgment of me, we wouldn’t have this amazing friendship. People are multi-dimensional. They are more than what you see on social media. They are more than their hobbies, their looks, their religion, their beliefs, their vote. They are more than what meets the eye on the surface. Maybe you aren’t going to end up everyone’s best friend, but I think it’s so important to have compassion for other humans, especially when they lack it themselves. Those are the people who need it the most.