What is there to say about Rosie the Riveter? She is my everything. My favorite painting by my favorite artist, Norman Rockwell; my favorite story about World War II; my favorite underdog; my favorite source of inspiration. My first Grace & Grit box. She lays the groundwork for the other boxes. She walks first and the other Grace & Grit ladies fall in line behind her.
It was a no-brainer to make her my first box. To have her try everything out first. My first venture into this business … this passion.
She is the epitome of overcoming doubt, of rising above the fray and owning herself. She belongs to herself. She represents 300,000 women who entered the workforce to do one thing and one thing only – build airplanes to win a war. But she represents so much more to females everywhere. She was heroic. She was strong, determined, jack of all trades, and – in my eyes – she will always be a hero. She put doubt aside and, in the process, learned a skill that set her apart from her former self.
But ... her journey brings up a lot of questions.
How much doubt filled her head as she entered the factory that first day? What trepidations did she experience the first time she held a Riveter in her hands? What intimidating thoughts raced through her mind the first time she waited for the inspector to look over the plane she just built? And how many fears and emotions fueled her head and heart, do you think, the first time the plane was rolled away to go fight in a war?
She broke the female stereotype. She reversed it, flipped it, put lipstick and a bandana on it and presented it in a machine that left the world behind as it soared above Earth, through the clouds, over the ocean.
Every girl can identify with Rosie. Every girl knows the sting of self-doubt, the grace she must have to realize it will not define her, and the grit it takes to put the doubt at bay.
Every girl has the potential to soar. Every girl has the right to define herself on her own terms, to love herself, to own herself.
To every woman who was a Rosie, knows a Rosie, wants to be a Rosie – you are my inspiration. Keep building yourself up, keep fighting through the doubt and always keep flying.