Beauty and Brains, Women Can Do Anything

By: Tara Latimer

19931 Votes

Beauty and Brains, Women Can Do Anything - Tara Latimer

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

Tara Latimer

Ever since I can remember, I have been surrounded by opinionated, powerful women. As I grew up my mother instilled in me the fact that I can do anything that I set my mind to. This has been a maxim in my life ever since. I was fortunate to grow up in a small school, where I was given opportunities to express my individuality without judgment, where I never felt discriminated against because of my gender. However, as I grew and obtained my first part-time job, I really began to experience gender inequality. I was constantly talked down to deliberately mentioning my gender, and I was the victim of sexual harassment. I continued to work through this, believing it was truly my age limiting my opportunities, and blaming myself for the harassment, because I was one of two women in the workplace.

Unfortunately, I was young and naive, and I have come to learn that my first job was not an anomaly, but is common. Throughout college I worked various jobs, and encountered very different minded people. It became abundantly clear to me that there are still far too many people in this world that believe women were placed on earth to be looked at and used, to make sandwiches or to clean. During my time in college I worked at two different bars, where I tolerated verbal harassment nightly. I needed the money to pay for school and living expenses, and I was not willing to sacrifice my education just because a drunk male told me I couldn't be that pretty and be smart. I also ended up getting into an emotionally draining relationship, where I was treated as a lesser human because of my gender. I was expected to stay in my place, which was the kitchen, and be a good cook, which I am not. I have encountered so many men in my life that have expected me to change myself or my dreams because of their thoughts and beliefs. However, I have not let that change me, I have let it fuel me.

When I decided to go to law school, I never realized how shocking it would be to people around me. I will never forget the first time I was told that I could not have both beauty and brains. I was constantly doubted, told that I would not succeed, and told that women are too emotional to be attorneys or judges. I have a passion for the law, more specifically, the Criminal Justice system. It is my intention to excel throughout law school, become a revolutionary prosecutor and one day, a judge. I have not let anyone define my dreams or lead me to believe that I cannot achieve them. It is important for young girls to have this confidence instilled at a young age, which is why I also spend time coaching for Girls on the Run, an organization focused on building resiliency and confidence in young girls. Although my passion is in the law, it has grown to ensuring that girls everywhere know that they can be both smart and pretty, that they can do whatever they put their mind to. It is important for women to stand up for themselves and their dreams, it is the only way to achieve them.