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Authors Posts by Shelby Pressley

Shelby Pressley

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Shelby Pressley is a native and resident of Cincinnati, OH and the creator of Shelby Speaks. She holds a degree in Business Administration and has an expansive background in Human Resources and Education Management. It was while working as a Corporate Recruiter, she realized that her true calling and skill sets were more aligned in Education. However, not just traditional education, but specifically learning targeted to girls and young women of color, helping them realize their true potential. Shelby created Shelby Speaks in 2018, which promotes healthy self-imagery and positive self-awareness in young girls and women. Shelby says, “I’ve always been a fan and supporter of Cincy Chic, but found that the voices of black girls and women were missing for the publication and I wanted the opportunity to add a perspective that if oftentimes silenced.” She holds workshops and one on one consolation with girls ages 12-16. “I believe all girls and women were born with an internal dopeness that they possess, but due circumstances outside of their control, it’s not always nurtured. I want to create a roadmap for them that not only solidifies how amazing they are, but gives them the opportunity to take up space as adult women!”

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We're celebrating moms everywhere! Click to hear from our newest columnist and her perspective on Mother's Day!

This year, Mother’s Day falls on May 9th and after the tumultuous and chaotic past year we’ve had, a day to celebrate and love the ones we cherish the most is something I think many of us are looking forward to! Many would find it interesting to know that the history of Mother’s Day wasn’t even founded by a mother. A woman named Anna Jarvis crusaded for a day to honor all Mom’s after the passing of her own. It wasn’t until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that Mother’s Day would be an official holiday every second Sunday in the month of May. 

For many women young and old alike, this day is a representation of beautiful bouquets of flowers, heartfelt greeting cards and bodacious brunches filled with hugs and lots of laughter. However for some, this second Sunday in May isn’t a festive day. In fact, for many women it’s a day they tread and avoid like a plague. You may ask yourself, “Why would someone not like a day that celebrates their own mother?” Well, the simple, yet very complex answer to that is this day doesn’t always hold the same happiness for the masses. 

Women whose mothers may be deceased, those who have experienced miscarriages or the loss of a child or those who cannot conceive, this annual day can be a reminder of what was lost and is missed the most. A study in 2017 interviewed women who shared their own personal experiences and how Mother’s Day can be both emotionally and psychologically difficult, especially for young girls and women who are estranged from their own mothers. 

Each year, social media timelines are flooded with Happy Mother’s Day hashtags and selfies with women most revered, but what happens when that isn’t a reality for you? Just like a child who doesn’t feel like they fit in, it can be an isolating feeling when you don’t have the same experience with your mother as others do. It can feel like a yearly wound that is being reopened and hard to heal back up. 

So, what does this all mean? Well, it means that as women we have to be cognizant and remain compassionate for those who do not have a mother to celebrate or who may be grieving that they aren’t a mother. It’s simple to give a Happy Mother’s Day shout-out in passing, but it’s important to remember that simple and gracious phrase doesn’t hold the same weight for everyone. It’s important that we celebrate the single, without children, widowed and motherless women as they are the ones who need it the most. 

Reminisce and reach out to those women in your life who’ve been a mother figure to you. How have those women filled the void of “Mom?” What knowledge did these women bestow on you? How has their presence in your life affected you? Ask yourself these questions and pay homage to ALL women that matter to you this year. The gift of birth isn’t the only thing that qualifies you as a Mom. If you’ve ever given life and love through advice, mentored youth, prepared a meal for a sick friend or been there for someone in their darkest hour – you my dear are a MOTHER and we celebrate the love and light that is you.

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