Are We Too Obsessed With Women Having 'It All?'

 Photo credit:  The Every Girl

Photo credit: The Every Girl

by Tasha Levi

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a fascinating social experiment about women sponsored by Lean Cuisine. Early on, I was asked to complete a survey about what the ideal life looked like to me – income, family, travel – and true to who I am, I wanted it all!

Later, I was asked to come in and meet with a social psychologist to further discuss the experiment. I was joined by my sister, Jennifer, and friend, Kayon. They led us into a little boutique marked "It All." I didn't know what was going on, but the cameras were rolling.

Emily Balcetis, a social psychologist, TED speaker, and Associate Professor at New York University, introduced herself and explained that we were going on a shopping spree. Cameras surrounded us, and microphones hovered just over our heads as I hung on every word Emily said, hoping the merchandise on the shelves were somehow real and very expensive.

They weren't.

But, the entire experience was eye-opening.

The participants walked within the walls of "It All," selecting the "ideal life" off the shelves, and adding it to our baskets.

According to their final results, 89% of us made more ambitious choices when surrounded and supported by key women in our lives. What's even more incredible, 77% made those choices in the areas we said mattered most in the earlier survey.

“We’re pushing each other to try to take on more, especially in those areas that we’ve articulated as being really key to what we think is our ideal life,” Emily said of the study results. 

I learned a lot about myself, and I left the experience asking why I wanted half the things I wanted. Why is the conventional idea of success so alluring, as much as it can be anxiety-provoking? What sort of sacrifices will I have to make in order to have "it all?" 

How can I better position myself to reach these goals?

When the campaign launched on social media with the hashtag #ItAll, it sparked a lot of debate about gender roles, diet culture, and what it really means to empower women. 

Check out this clip to learn more about the experiment.

Check out some of the reaction below and by searching #ItAll on Twitter. 

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Comment below to tell us your thoughts on the campaign and what "having it all" means to you.

Yolande MorrisComment