Little girls, just like Elvie, should be seen and heard

Little girls, just like Elvie, should be seen and heard

It’s not just about speaking loudly; it’s about speaking wisely, kindly and together. It’s about changing the narrative for the next generation of little girls.

“Little girls should be seen and not heard.”

That was the mantra of my childhood as I dared to let my voice mingle with the laughter and debates at my parents’ dinner parties — only to be reminded to keep quiet and let the adults talk.

With every gentle word of warning, the notion that girls had to be silent became etched deeper in my young mind.

This wasn’t just a narrative in my household. It was, and sadly often still is, a societal norm passed down through generations.

Let me be clear: this isn’t about blame or pointing the finger — my mum was only passing on what she’d been taught, after all.

No, this is about understanding and challenging outdated narratives so that we set a new path for our daughters and then for our sons to know how to support them.

I am now the mum of her own “slay” girl and boy — both of whom I remind to not worry about being seen and heard; and, when they’re ready, to share their thoughts and fears. I want them to know that their voice matters. It’s a small revolution in our family narrative and it’s one I hope will continue for generations.

Challenging taboos

This week, femtech brand Elvie took over Times Square with a bold campaign that challenges yet another taboo: the stigmatisation of postpartum women’s health issues. It splashed words like “anxiety”, “baby blues” and even “bleeding” across billboards to highlight issues that are often whispered about but rarely shouted.

The powerful message I am taking away is that these are normal feelings, emotions and experiences, and that it’s OK to talk about them.

Elvie — if you were a person, I would definitely want to be your friend.

The mastermind behind Elvie, Tania Boler, designs products that are as smart and innovative as they are needed. Her creations like the silent, wearable breast pump and the pelvic-floor trainer are more than just gadgets; they are lifelines to women seeking support through the physical challenges of motherhood.

It often takes just one voice to break the silence. Just one campaign to start a conversation. Elvie’s approach isn’t just about visibility. It’s about initiating conversations that lead to understanding, empathy and change — principles that echo through Elvie’s every campaign.

Inspiring our own work

The best thing we can take from this is to get inspired in our own conversations at work. So where do we start?

Empowerment through dialogue. Channel your inner Elvie and be the one who encourages open discussions in your workplace about personal health and wellbeing. Something as simple as sharing your own experiences with certain challenges, or as organised as setting up a lunch-and-learn session focusing on <insert relevant issue> so that we normalise these conversations.

Networks. Create supportive networks and lean on each other — whether it’s through forming a group at the office or joining online communities and forums. Connecting with like-minded individuals who advocate for and support women’s health can be an invaluable source of comfort and resource.

Knowledge is power. There is so much support at your fingertips and, when you’re ready, the universe has a funny way of bringing you what you need. Even down to newsletters, emails, stories and facts about women’s health issues — it is all there for the taking.

Education creates empathy and understanding, and that can transform a workplace from merely functional to truly supportive and empowering.

Elvie’s campaigns teach us that being seen and heard isn’t just a matter of speaking more loudly; it’s about speaking wisely, kindly and together. It’s about changing the narrative for the next generation of little girls who will grow up knowing they should never have to retreat to the background.

A message to Elvie: we see you, we hear you and we thank you for lighting the path.

Stefanie Daniels

Stefanie Daniels is CEO of Life Begins at Menopause and an executive group coach. She worked in media for two decades at companies including Wireless Group, Bauer Media and GCap (now Global).

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