“Lets have a toast for the douche bags, lets have a toast for the ass holes, lets have a toast for the scum bags, everyone of them I know” (Kanye West)
If someone had to ask me who I am and what do I do? My simplest answer is I am a Women’s Motivator. My passion, and I am beginning to accept it as a talent, is to encourage all women to be healthier, stronger, fitter and more confident versions of themselves. Just through my general way of living, everything I am about is to uplift women. I believe in them before they are ready to believe in themselves. Through women’s health I educate them about themselves. Apart from that, I am a personal trainer, I run workshops and special events, I do motivational talking at events, I design statement tees, I write eBooks (that empower women with knowledge to better their eating and bodies), I talk on a radio show, I generally provide information to women and I also collaborate with others in the industry in order to offer a comprehensive product from a collective of strengths.
Coming from a Design background with a Bachelors of Technology in Graphic Design: media, print and communication have always been my strong point. Growing up in the print industry meant I was always swooning over magazines, admiring the women on its covers… until I realized it was all just bullshit. Smoke and mirrors intertwined with so many lies, fed to girls becoming women, making them feel terrible about themselves, selling them products and solutions to problems they did not have in the first place, problems magazines told them they had. I walked away from the industry, feeling refreshed and lighter. I traded my poor posture for a much more confident one and have not bought a magazine in years!!! LOL Who reads print anyway, when you have Twitter? This takes me onto the next part of my story.
One of my gorgeous followers tweeted me something interesting. If she had not, you would not be reading this story. So listen up. @fatima_saib wrote: “Hey @Rushtush you totally need to be in the @WomenshealthSA magazine! I cannot think of a better local fitness coach for women!” Her tweet got 5 stars, and a few replies. I thought what the heck! Let me get on this, so I followed Women’s Health SA, who was already following me. Below is the correspondence between us word for word on 26 May 2015. Excuse my Twitter DM shorthand.
“Hey team how do to get involved with your team for a feature or article perhaps even for your online magazine. The work I do for women in
in the health and fitness industry is vast you may stalk my FB profile business page Instagram and even snapchat I also have YouTube videos
Have published ebooks workout guides, I have a slot on GoodHope FM every Monday chatting about women’s fitness. I dream of being on your cover (insert HEART) wild dream alert. Thank you. Rushda”
“Hi we follow you already. To be honest your values and mission statement and ours are very different, so it’s not the best fit. Good luck!”
“How are my values and my mission statement different to yours?”
“Hey it looks like you are inspiring your community and have a great following which is great – keep it up!”
“We just have to be very careful with what we put out there. If you would like to take it up with the ed please mail us email@example.com”
“My community?” As in females or do you mean women of colour / black women / Muslim women? Bc I inspire ALL women… I will indeed.
“Hey okay chatted to our editor and she is keen to chat to you. What’s your email address?”
“Yes sure I am very interested in chatting to her and perhaps clear up what has been insinuated. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org”
“Hey sorry I did not mean to insult you at all! I think it came across the wrong way. Anyway I will get her to mail you now ;)”
“I am not insulted at all in fact proud of what I do which is female empowerment. I look forward to her email.”
Totally confused with her response because my business is based on women’s health. Women’s Health magazine is also based on women’s health too, right? I understand that not everyone is going to love you and I am totally cool with that. I also understand that it is their prerogative to feature, interview or mention whomever they wish. But what confuses me is that I inspire my community, which the responder then thought I was later insulted about. Nothing can make me more proud than helping my community, and yes I have many women of colour in my studio, but I also serve the full spectrum of the rainbow, who are influenced by me and who influence my business and product in return.
I had no idea that Women’s Health was exclusive to certain communities only? Does this mean women of colour aren’t concerned with their health? Does it mean only certain communities read fitness magazines? Does it mean colourful people don’t need role models? Does it mean I’m too real, talking about actual fitness and exercise? Maybe I’m too honest and raw, and honestly that would have been the best response from them. I respect myself too much to “take it up with their editor” for a quota response or apologetic feature. Telling me that there is no fit for me in a broad spectrum of local SA health is outrageous. I have not heard from the editor and honestly I no longer want to be involved with their publication or brand. Women’s Health SA, a brand that divides women into “communities”, when all women are so alike and yet so magnificently different. A brand that keeps local women wishing that someone more relevant, close to home who would step up and become welcomed. Sadly it is not going to happen. South Africa will continue to look toward the US for role models. And even the states have recognized the appreciation and need for colourful role models. Rihanna became the first black woman to become the official face of Dior, a 69-year-old fashion house.
Some magazines might only have a mission statement and values that are cover deep. Do not be fooled by Kerry Washington (my bae), Zoe Saldana and Paula Patton to name a few who grace covers. It seems you can judge a book by its cover. For as long as I have been shining my light I have never looked to beauty or fitness magazines or any kind of media to give me an indication of what I should look like to be accepted or loved. Regardless of your skin colour or the “community” in which people box you in, never let it stop you from being fucking awesome. You are enough, just as you are and worthy of everything you desire! Whatever that desire may be!
No twitter birds were harmed in this article.