Welcome back to another I Am More article, where I have the pleasure of telling the life story of another amazing woman! In this post, you will have a chance to learn about the vibrant, dedicated Diana Austin.
Diana was born and raised in California’s bay area, where she still lives today. Diana is LVN (licensed vocational nurse) and the owner of her brand Applauding Women. Applauding Women is a brand that promotes women, in a similar way we do here. To learn more about it, click here to read more about her mission and how Applauding Women came about. In her regular 9-5, Diana works in a clinic where she is able to provide the necessary care to her many patients day in and day out.
For those who don’t know Diana and I have previously spoken when Diana interviewed me for Applauding Women. Being as though we both have taken a special interest to uplifting women, a main focus in during this most recent conversation included how each of us relates to feminism. In an article I wrote in I Am Woman’s first year, “I Am Feminism, A New Take”, I expressed my struggle with feminism and referring to myself as a feminist despite running a blog centered around encouraging women. To my surprise, Diana dealt with a similar struggle to me when it came to committing to the role of a feminst. She expressed how her brand is more so a platform for her to share her experiences as a woman, in hopes of helping other women in similar situations. When it comes down to committing to being a feminsit she struggles because she feels she has very little knowledge in the political sense. In my experience this is a common struggle amongst women who believe in equality and women's rights, but fear that calling themselves a feminist will narrate the story of taking certain polictical stances. Continuing our conversation, Diana went on to say that she is in full support of what she does know about feminism and is willing to continue learning, but is not ready to be considered a feminist. While Diana nor myself have the answers for where to go from there, we do want you to know that you're not alone and we’re all figuring it out together.
As women who own women empowerment brands, Diana and I also spoke about navigating the relationships we have with men considering a huge part of our lives are dedicated to giving women a voice. Diana expressed how important her father has been throughout her life in general, as well as how supportive he is of her brand applauding women. She went on to say that she wouldn't be the woman she is today without her dad's knowledge, guidance and dedication as a father. I wanted to be sure to include this in today's article because great men raise amazing women and I Am Woman, as well as Applauding Women are not here to knock men. Diana was telling me how when she first started her brand, as she began telling the men in her life they were wary of supporting at first because of the misconception of her starting a man hating brand. However, she went on to say that after fully explaining she was only interested in empowering women, without diminishing men she gained all of their support. There is so much miscommunication in our world where women preach feminism and men understand it as they are perceived as horrible. While there are some men who could use some growing, good men do exist and they are welcome. Overall, women should be able to encourage women and still appreciate men without feeling as though they are contradicting themselves.
Social media can make starting and running a business seem fun, easy and constantly exciting, however it is rarely highlighted that running a small business is very hard in many aspects. Diana specifically struggled with believing her business and promoting it to others. She expressed how it took the unwavering support from her friends and family to help her become more comfortable in sharing her brand with others. For those of you with unconventional dreams, plans and aspirations, don't let society's view of what you should be doing affect the way you believe in yourself. The fear of how you will be perceived will only continue to hold you back. Diana agreed that once you begin to really believe in yourself and what you're doing, great things will begin to pour in.
To start wrapping things up, Diana gives a huge shout out to her parents, her sister, and her girl friends for showing tons of support over the years! Her greatest female inspiration goes to Issa Rae, her mom and her sister because each of them have different qualities she respects and tries to implement into her life daily.
To me it was so important to have share Diana’s story and her outlook on feminism because it gives another perspective of the world in terms of how things are seen in the eyes of a young, black woman. Everyone's story here on I Am Woman shares an equal importance because it helps all to see things through different lenses. I love being able to share you guys' lives, please continue to send nominations my way so that we can continue to shine light on all the darkness in the world.
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