I’ve met some quite extraordinary people in my life, many of whom I’m fortunate enough to call my friends. However, I’ve come across some hilarious dullards as well – I’m just as grateful for the morons as I am for the geniuses because they’ve provided excellent examples of how not to do things.
As I’ve progressed through my career I’ve noticed a trend for female entrepreneurs who add an element spiritual mysticism to the wares they peddle – as well as buying into a product you get to have a good dose of soul medicine as well. I’ve no particular bone to pick with any form of spirituality, however I don’t believe that it’s a commercial commodity that can be bought and sold. I’ve come to realise that anyone who tries to sell you spirituality is a fool, and if not a fool then a venomous snake in the grass. I worked with one lady who genuinely believed that she could cure cancer through the gift of spiritual healing. She thought herself to be an angel walking on earth, however, when aggrieved she once uttered the sentence – ‘I don’t have to put up with this, I’ve shopped at Chanel!’. I wish that quote was exaggerated, but those where the actual words that toppled out of her jabbering mouth.
I’m loathed to criticise my fellow woman, however I believe that this is symptomatic of women being ashamed of ambition. Some of the businesswomen I have come across over the years convince themselves that their fashion or makeup enterprise is really there for the greater good; not actually a means for them to pay their bills and buy shoes. Women who are ambitious are frequently lambasted in the media and vilified as ball-busters – you only have to look at the controversy surrounding Cheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’. Consequentially female entrepreneurs often brand themselves as an earth mother or a spiritual guide, here to nurture her flock by flogging lipstick. This softens the socially unacceptable hardened business woman persona.
I must emphasise the point that I have no issue with any kind of alternative practice that’s paid for – such as reiki or tarot reading – it’s a clear exchange for services rendered. I’ve got a beef with the hypocrisy that goes hand in hand with the faux spirituality that gets crammed into the branding of women led businesses; it’s not only phoney but also dangerous. It sends a message that material gain will expand one’s spiritual horizons, let alone the potentially fatal blunderings of my absurd ex-colleague who thinks she can cure cancer.
The gnarly root cause of insidious commercial divinity is the fact that women’s interests are belittled within society. It’s believed that to be interested in fashion and beauty equates to superficiality. There’s nothing wrong with liking fashion, end of. One of the business women I’ve worked with who I have upmost respect for is very clear about her goals – she wants money, power and beautiful clothes. She has no delusions of spiritual grandeur, her goals are clear and aimed for without shame. A man can reach for similar stars without comment or criticism. I may not share my colleague’s ambitions, but I respect her candour and drive.
Don’t mix up spirituality and commercialism; buying nail polish won’t enrich your soul, it will give you the pleasure of having a beautiful colour embellishing your fingers. Let’s not feel guilt about female interests or ambition, men don’t trouble themselves with such pointless angst, why should we?
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