Mio Acosta

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

While working a very stressful office job for years without prospects of growth and in a field I didn’t care about, I consciously made an effort to find an organization that served others rather than a for-profit company. I first realized that I wanted to help people through volunteering I’ve done over the years via my sorority and on my own. Finding and working for a non-profit agency that helps people with disabilities has filled the gap of just “paying the bills” with me actually making meaningful connections and tangible changes in people’s lives—to my immense satisfaction.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

Oprah Winfrey is a woman I will eternally admire and respect due to the work she’s done in shaping the media and the world. Despite the adversity she faced in her early years, she shifted television to be more vulnerable and open about important topics and opened the discussion for important narratives to be told. Her current platform has created room for women and people to improve themselves as well as heal and not be afraid of vulnerability and emotion. Oprah is a self-made multibillionaire committed to using her influence for the better. I will forever respect that.   

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

It is so easy to go the negative route and point out all of our shortcomings since we are our own harshest critics. That’s why I think it’s important to celebrate milestones and who we are today because our individual confidence will provide a space to inspire others to do the same without judgement or fear.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Recently, someone jokingly said that some people I know were talking about me behind my back. Without hesitation, I said “well good thing I don’t care what people think” and moved on. This comment and reaction surprised me because I used to struggle so much with being myself and compromising who I am for others. I felt happy and proud to have reached the self-esteem and confidence to say something like that and truly mean it and believe it. 

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

I think women shy away from celebrating or praising themselves often because society always has something to say about a woman’s behavior or attitude. If she is positive, confident and self-assured she is viewed as too assertive or a b*— or self-centered. If she isn’t, she is told she is a pushover, doormat or needs to get out of her shell. This environment of constant criticism can be discouraging when you want to share good news or praise with the world and especially when you are trying to make progress. It also creates this “competition” among women and these comparisons discourage them from showing pride in a milestone due to it not “being as good as” someone else’s happy news.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

When given a compliment, I take into consideration that the person is coming from a good place and went out of their way to praise me. This allows me to accept the compliment graciously and examine what was said without negating it, regardless of my initial feelings.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

There are many examples as to how women are painted as not enough in society whether it be in the wage gap, the prevalence of traditional gender roles, in political campaigns, the media and entertainment industries (pitting women artists against each other as if there is no room for both); the list goes on. We can take back that power by standing up for ourselves and each other in the workplace, in a social setting and/or any situation where what we bring to the table is questioned. Furthermore, being united and not allowing anyone to use us or our likeness to degrade another woman for their own skewed beliefs.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

THE TRIBE movement is important because it is imperative that we as women lift each other up and celebrate all of our accomplishments. This unity, in turn, will help combat all of the negative societal norms of pitting women against each other, and undermining our talents through constant scrutiny and comparisons. It reminds me of the quote “when a flower doesn’t bloom, fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” Imagine what a beautiful garden will follow if we cultivate an environment of support, love and praise from within—for us and by us.

 

Occupation: Marketing Coordinator for Non-Profit Organization

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