Full text of author Justine Musk’s talk: The art of the deep yes at TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Justine Musk – Author
I have a confession to make. When I was a little girl, about eight years old, I wrote obnoxious things in my diary; things like ‘life is so exciting when you’re someone like me, good at school and writing and sports. And when I grow up, I will be a world-famous novelist and one day, I will rule the world.’
Actually, I never wrote down that I would rule the world but I thought it because I was that kind of kid. I wanted to be great or a gig as a soap opera actress but I would settle for greatness.
And then one day, a few years later, when I was maybe 12 or 13, I found that same diary when I was cleaning out the drawers beneath my waterbed, this was the era of waterbeds. And I saw those scrawled words of my younger self. I felt mortified, I could not believe how deluded and egocentric I had clearly been and I thought I need to destroy the evidence. So, I threw the diary into this big garbage bag with the rest of my junk and I never saw it again.
Recently, I came across a quote by the wonderful singer Édith Piaf. She said ‘I had a very high opinion of myself, perhaps with good reason’ and that kind of blew me away because we’re a woman, not just to think that and believe that but to say that out loud, that’s a ovum.
Because modesty is a feminine virtue and one thing I’ve noticed in my conversations with and about women reading books and magazines about women, listening to other people talk about women is that the culture seems to take it as a given that women as a group have rather low self-esteem and a lot of this is attributed to the fact that bombarded as we are by this insane beauty standard, most of us do not look like supermodels but for the record, Edith Piaf did not consider herself beautiful either. She said, and this is another quote, ‘I’m ugly, I’m not Venus. I have sagging breasts, a low-slung ass and little drooping buttocks, but I can still get men.’