“Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History.”
– Laurel Ulrich
Something about this quote has always bothered me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think the reason it has always rubbed me the wrong way is because I am a well-behaved woman. I don’t think that it is necessary to break rules or misbehave in order to make history. While at Boston University I was able to reflect on what is meant by Ulrich’s statement. Maybe it isn’t necessarily about breaking rules? Maybe it is more about having courage…
I must admit that I was a bit nervous about the weather I would encounter when I arrived in Boston. Luckily, except when I first arrived, I was blessed with excellent weather during my visit. I loved experiencing the urban campus of BU because I was able to put my city girl skills to use when riding the “T” and bus to and from campus. I even received compliments on my ability to balance in high heels on a very crowded bus ride! Mom, you would have been proud.
Throughout my visit I had the opportunity to meet with officers and other chapter members to learn about life at BU. I was impressed with their professionalism and poise throughout my interactions with them. I especially enjoyed attending a chapter photo shoot because I got to see how well the chapter interacted with one another. We were blessed with a beautiful day and a fantastic photographer to capture the sisterhood the ladies of Delta, Boston University, have with one another. Some of my favorite experiences were eating a meal with various big and little sisters. It made me so happy to see how close they are to one another. They fed off of one another’s energy and stories. They made me feel as though I had been longtime friends with them even though I had only been in town for a short few days.
One of the highlights of my trip was a personal day in Boston. I decided that it was time to go shopping since I was getting a bit sick of the same seven outfits I have been wearing for the past few months. To my delight, the chapter president offered to take me to the famous shopping street Newbury Street and then to Harvard Square for more sightseeing and dinner!
On our shopping trip we encountered a store named after a woman who has made fashion history because she isn’t afraid to be “misbehave” in her designs – Betsey Johnson. Betsey Johnson has been one of my favorite designers ever since my mom bought me a pair of leopard print Betsey Johnson earrings when I was in high school. I admire the way she isn’t afraid to go against fashion norms by mixing and matching crazy colors and prints. BJ designs use vibrant colors to highlight a woman’s beauty by drawing attention to her best features. I love that her designs make women stand out and take up space.
Many people are surprised when I tell them that I am a BJ fan because my personal style is very different than the style her clothes reflect. I think the loudness in her patterns and colors is part of her appeal. Betsey makes me step outside of my fashion comfort zone and challenge myself to mix and match until I find a mix that is different and more exciting than my normal style. After reflecting on Ulrich’s quote, I have begun to reconcile what she may have meant. Instead of taking “well-behaved” literally, maybe she meant that the only way to make history is to step outside what has become the norm within a given society. We have to be willing to take a leap of faith to be different in order to improve. When I was at Delta I saw that the chapter members wanted to be the best they could possibly be as a chapter and were willing to take that leap of faith in order to make history. Their perseverance to be the best they could possibly be is something I really admire.
Ladies of Delta, thank you for all you taught me during my visit to BU. I will truly take the laughs and memories with me along my travels.