Simply Shreya: an inspiration to young girls


Morgan Kong

Wingspan’s Shreya Jagan shares her personal take on issues and experiences in her weekly column Simply Shreya.

Today was a momentous day that will go down in history not only for women in society but for the entire country. 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in today as the President and Vice President of the United States respectively. And let me tell you, it feels like winning the lottery. Today holds a deeper meaning than just a swearing-in ceremony for me and many others. 

It means having a voice to support us. 

Us meaning me, my mom, my friends. 

Us meaning women, people of color. 

I mean, the first female as well as first Black and South Asian Vice President of the United States. This is the type of representation that we needed. 

As sad as it is, it’s not everyday you see a woman of color in a position of power. And seeing Kamala Harris as Vice President is an inspiration to young girls everywhere. 

It is always empowering for young impressionable minds to see someone like them on a bigger scale. To be able to relate to someone like them. It’s such an important part of building a young girl’s character. 

If we’re brought up with the mindset of “somebody like me couldn’t do something like that”, we’re diminishing our self worth, our abilities, our potential. But seeing someone like us, doing something like that speaks volumes. 

There’s this new and profound sense of confidence in the air now. This feeling that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. This realization that you can make a difference in society. And I’m so grateful that society now has such an influential role model to look up to.  

I’ve always been proud and thankful to be born a South Indian Tamilian (just as she is). But I can confidently say I’m so much more prouder now. 

I hope that every girl is able to find this pride instilled in her. 

And I wish that the next time a person of color is asked what their ethnicity is, they’re not embarrassed to answer. 

And aside from being provided with a monumental inspiration, people feel safe and accepted now. 

They feel like their ideas will be expressed. 

They feel like they will be heard. 

And I feel like I’ll be heard.