We're celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) all month long by featuring some of the incredible women on the Superfeet ambassador team. This year's IWD focus is #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging people to celebrate women's achievements while raising awareness about gender bias. Read on to learn more professional photographer, writer, coach, athlete and Superfeet Ambassador Shannon Mahre, and her experience. Follow Shannon on Instagram: @shannonmahre.
Have you ever felt like you had to check your authentic self at the door?
There was definitely a time that I wasn’t myself around others because I wasn’t confident in who that person was, and I was also very concerned with how others viewed me. That time in my life was difficult because everything I did was to impress someone else or to show a facade that really wasn’t me. The day that I stopped caring what others thought and embraced who I was (not giving a **it what others thought) was literally one of the best, happiest and most important days of my life.
Has someone assumed you could or could not do something because of your gender?
Constantly. As an athlete and professional photographer, I feel like I am constantly thought of as the underdog or as the lesser-skilled person due to the fact that I am a woman. But actions speak louder than words, so that’s what I focus on.
Have you ever felt excluded from a conversation, situation, process or decision because of your gender?
I’ve definitely felt excluded from all of those due to my gender at some point in my life. But, as I have gotten older, I have learned to speak up and to let my voice and actions be heard instead of letting the moment and situation pass me by.
Have you ever felt shame or inadequacy because you didn't live up to expecations placed on you because of your gender?
I have felt inadequate in many relationships due to how I have felt in the past society expects me to be. But as I said before, once I let go of caring what others thought about me, including society in general, these negative feelings are no longer a part of my life, and I am a million times happier and stronger because of it.