I want to start this article by asking you to come up with one positive word to describe a powerful woman–one who knows what she wants and speaks up for herself. Do you have one that automatically comes to mind? Are you struggling to think of a positive word for this kind of female?
What about the word ?Diva?? What comes to your mind when you think of that word??
It might be an image of a celebrity all glitzed and glammed out. It might be an image of a woman who always gets what she wants. Do you think of these as good or bad qualities??
How would you feel if someone called you a DivaGirl, or asked you to attend a DivaGirl event or conference? Would you take it as a compliment? Or would it trigger you?
Well, maybe you already guessed this, but ‘DivaGirl‘ is more than just a phrase. Thanks to Toronto-based entrepreneur,?Laura Furtado, DivaGirl? is a community of women coming together in the name of empowerment. It?s a network through which women connect, gain confidence, and get business and life advice from other female experts.
And as someone who spoke at last year’s?DivaGirl conference, and will take the stage again this year, I can also say that these gatherings are more than just a melding of ambitious and empowering minds?they’re also really fun.
What happens at a DivaGirl conference?
No, it?s not some sort of secret society. DivaGirl is a lifestyle-based membership group (actually, it?s the largest of its kind) made up of women who value?wellness, ambition, and the shared goal to uplift all women; regardless of age, race, religion, or socioeconomic background. Events happen multiple times a month in the Toronto, Philadelphia, and now Montreal, and they are aimed at helping women embody who they were meant to be and do what they were meant to do.
Years ago, while speaking at another women’s empowerment event in Philadelphia (this is kind of my thing!),?I had the opportunity to also hear Majet Reyes,?the owner of the Philadelphia franchise, speak. Majet’s?energy bubbles up from within her–her passion and joy are so apparent. I was inspired by her speech and when we connected afterwards, I knew I wanted to get a chance to interview her.
Below, that’s what you’ll find–my interview with Majet Reyes, who went from paramedic to DivaGirl Philadelphia owner.
In our interview we touch on the negative connotations of the word diva. She admits to me that when she talks about DivaGirl people sometimes tell her, ?I’m not a diva, that’s not for me.? But then they come to an event and they have a genuinely good time. All it takes is a few great connections with other positive women and the hesitation just sort of fades away.
Find out why Majet went from paramedic to DivaGirl owner
I didn’t want to give away the whole interview! So click play below to watch Majet and I chat and hear why (and how) she went from being a paramedic (and counselor? and mom? I swear this woman doesn’t sleep!) to being Philadelphia?s DivaGirl owner.
The new Diva
Majet defines?the word Diva as “a woman who is confident and knows who she is. Someone who will stand up for themselves.” Does she wear heels? Is she up on the latest trends? Maybe, maybe not. None of that needs to be linked.
We’re in this era now of ?leaning in? and being ?girl bosses? and essentially what all of this is is redefining what it means to be a woman in the workforce, or simply a woman in the world. I recently wrote a post talking about feminism and how it fits in with creating your own skincare (trust me, there’s a connection!)
There are less flattering words for powerful women. They get called bitches. They get called bossy in a negative way. They get told to stop being pushy and are expected to make everyone around them feel good.
What’s important about groups like DivaGirl is that they embrace the various aspects of femininity while helping women inspire each other and teach each other valuable skills.
Now here?s the really important part:
DivaGirl is intersectional. It is not just for one type of woman (ie, it is not just for white women). That’s important, because with this resurgence of feminism due to the current political climate, and following the Women’s March on Washington and other women’s activist events, I’ve seen many, many social media posts from women of color who don’t feel that these expressions of feminism represent or include them. I’ve also seen posts from gay women, transgendered women, Muslim women, and basically any group of women who does not fit the white, cisgendered female type, post that they don’t feel welcome in feminist groups or events.
If we want to make progress, we must expand the meaning of and representation of feminism to be inclusive of ALL women, and specifically shine light on women who have been more oppressed or deliberately left out of the conversation in the past–because that’s a thing, ladies. That happened, and continues to happen.
DivaGirl?s leadership is beautifully diverse, which is probably why their events are also. This is so important for women who identify as feminists. If we exclude women of color, whether covertly or overtly, we are practicing the wrong kind of feminism. We are missing the point.
Majet Reyes is the first American Franchise Owner of DivaGirl (Philly), she is a mom and a yoga teacher to kids. Majet is also a professional counsellor with a masters of science degree in trauma counselling. Her job is to empower people through the gift of therapy. Her mission is to stop the stigma in mental health and make counselling cool.
I would love to know your thoughts.
What’s been your experience with feminism? How do you feel when someone calls you bitchy or bossy, or a Diva–is that a good thing? Please tell me in the comments below.