Updated: Jul 12, 2022
I grew up in a Muslim country. My mom had four aunts, many female friends and relatives. Traditionally at big family gatherings females would sit separately from males on the floor around a big table filled with amazing Uzbek treats. It is almost mandatory for every member at the table to ask how everyone else is doing. The conversations would start and go on for hours. Sometimes the dialogue takes a funny turn and everyone laughs, other times we'd honor someone who has passed away and there would be sadness in the air. I found these gathering entertaining, but what I didn't realize at the time is that they were actually extremely beneficial in scientific terms. Here are the main three reasons why female friendships and productive venting is great for you.
1. Woman Who Support Woman Are More Successful.
In this article by Forbes Shelley Zalis lists the reasons why women supporting women are more successful. Whether you are starting a small business, advancing in your corporate career or stay-at-home mom - there are always ways to support your girlfriends. It doesn't have to be monetary, sometimes simple words of encouragement and motivation go a long way.
In this research Harvard Business Review states that creating and networking with your close female contacts help graduates land a better positions. Having that close circle of trust helps overcome hurdles such as unconscious bias. Here's a short excerpt from the research: "because women seeking positions of executive leadership often face cultural and political hurdles that men typically do not, they benefit from an inner circle of close female contacts that can share private information about things like an organization’s attitudes toward female leaders, which helps strengthen women’s job search, interviewing, and negotiation strategies."
2. Being In A Group Of Females Benefits Physical Health.
Whether you joined a detox marathon or a gym challenge - you are more likely to succeed and complete the task if you are in a support group with other females. Discussing openly the struggles and sharing small wins on a regular basis will get your butt off the couch and moving fast!
A healthy competition is always a win, but to know all the members of the group share the same interests and is a huge plus.
Even if you want to exercise solo - there's a great power of female influencers. Watching other role model women achieve their fitness goals will get you doing those jumping jacks in no time. In this article for Playbook Cara O'Bleness discusses 2022 fitness influencers to watch. These strong women are not preaching "no pain no gain" old-school mantras. In fact, they will give you the confidence you need in gym and allow you to eat cake.
3. Talking To Female Friends Helps You Live Longer And Happier
(aka great for mental health).
It is no surprise that going out and talking to your besties will inevitable improve your mood. But did you know that it also impacts your longevity?
This article by Forbes explains in depth how hanging out with your girlfriends helps improve your mental health, better cope with stress and depression and as a result live longer.
In addition, when I think about female friendship and longevity I always remember the book "The Blue Zones". In this book the author discusses the parts of the world where people live the longest. One of such places is on an island of Okinawa, Japan. Besides other healthy habits, Okinawan women practice getting out daily and sitting in the sun with other women while discussing pretty much everything there is to discuss. While we cannot be certain about the correlation, it seems pretty clear that getting the toxic thoughts out of your system could positively impact your mental health and leads to longevity. Okinawa being the place where people live the longest in the world is a good example.
Female friendship is what inspired me to create IKAT wear. I was motivated by my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister and so many other amazing strong friends, role models to create a brand that would celebrate womanhood.
Wearing IKAT piece indicates that you belong to a tribe of women who will support you. When I wear my ikat kimono robe it takes me back to those gatherings around the table on a family event, where my Uzbek aunties would discuss the latest fashion trends, where to get cheapest groceries or recent celebrity gossip.