The theme was "Women Empowering Women" and quite frankly, they nailed it. I walked into a room of 400 boisterous, incredibly successful, proud USC alumni, yet if you hadn't looked close enough, you might have confused it with a sorority conference. Something interesting about women is it doesn't matter our age, you get a room full of us and good luck quieting us down.
In fact, it took three, "Ladies may I please have your attention" on the microphone and borderline shouting to quiet the room before I could properly introduce our lovely co-chairs, but before you knew it every woman was eagerly awaiting the prestigious speakers and fascinating panel.
Now, I could go into great detail about how incredible the speakers were, how their poignant messages resonated with me, or how inspired I was by all that they have accomplished; but more inspiring was the room full of Bellists - women who remembered that we are in fact on the same team.
Rarely do you have a room of over 400 chicks, successful in their own right, powerful, gorgeous, accomplished and not threatened by one another. There was a completely different vibe in the room, not one of catty eye-rolling, judgmental stare downs or gossipy banter. It was a room full of passionate, confident women creatively working on how we could collaborate to accomplish even more together.
Similar to the pride we take at I AM THAT GIRL, we admittedly have several different lenses by which we view this world, but we have one, single vision - to positively and significantly impact this world. And it's having such a lofty goal, one bigger than ourselves that our egos are forced to bow to and a sanctuary from our pride that forces us to work together in order to even fathom accomplishing it.
At the end of the day, the first-ever, USC Women's Conference was an over-the-top success. Yet it whetted my appetite for what women are truly capable of when put in the right room, under the right circumstances. If we are going to be the change this world needs, if we are going to single-handedly impact an entire generation of women, if we are going to have the audacity to pursue our outrageous dreams, our success hinges on one thing. Like Frodo protecting the ring, the Karate Kid learning patience, Ocean's Eleven pulling off their outrageous scam, or the Slumdog never giving up on his love: every mission, every story, every fight has a key ingredient that makes the impossible, possible.
Bellism is reminding women we're on the same team, learning to work together and being each other's biggest fans while also redefining our society's unattainable definition of beauty. Our mission is a daunting one that flirts with the impossible, baits obstacles, taunts challenge and yet we have our secret weapon that will make this journey triumphant, and well worth every step.
Women Empowering Women. Learn it, love it, live by it.
Images courtesy of Tfm.usc.edu, Alumni.usc.edu