To us at UGauGrrl, our Modern Muses embody our mission to inspire, empower other women and girls and make an impact in their singular way. Our latest Muse Ranya Rahim is perhaps one of the most quintessential examples of this. Currently a project manager with a tech company, she IS the “beauty, brains and brawn” behind our t-shirt that she wears so perfectly. She doesn’t just talk the talk, this girls WALKS.
Beauty: Her facial birthmark and hijab make her stand out and stand up for others who struggle with body image, encouraging them to be proud of who they are what they look like.
Brains: A college dropout who is now at Harvard Extension, she shows it’s never too late to continue your education and seek ways to cultivate your purpose.
Brawn: With the love and support of those around her as well as her own self-compassion, she is always seeking ways to live her best life.
Check out her awesome story below for a healthy dose of inspiration no matter where you are in life!
In Her Own Words
“I have somewhat of an influence in social media. I use that to advocate for equal rights, social justice, self-compassion, etc. Offline, I seek to have a balanced life. I devote time and energy to both career aspirations and community service. Chasing personal goals is one of the best ways to empower others: Show, not tell.”
“Chasing personal goals is one of the best ways to empower others: Show, not tell.“
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today? “My parents instilled in me both the desire to make a positive difference in this world as well as the confidence in my capability to do so. Today, my philosophy is this: I cannot do everything, but I can do what I can – and that makes a difference.”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face? “I was born with a facial birthmark. That helped me learn self-compassion and helped me to empower others who struggle with body image issues. “I was a college dropout and recently am going back to school through Harvard Extension. This has helped me to understand there are many ways to success and to never give up. “I started to wear hijab (Islamic headgear) on my own accord. While this can create certain preconceived notions in others, this helped me to be open-minded and respectful to diversity of beliefs and expressions. I was once a new immigrant who suffered loneliness and low confidence, and that journey has helped me to be more understanding of others’ struggles. “Self-compassion, big dreams, gratitude, faith, strong sense of community, and a never-give-up attitude have gotten me where I am today. My parents, brother, extended family, and a close circle of friends have always been my cheerleaders. Self-development books and speeches have left a profound effect, too.”
Who is your she-ro? “I have a few. One of them is my cousin, Umme Habiba, who first introduced me to the concept of feminism when it wasn’t as popular or even understood in 90s Bangladesh. She was a fierce advocate of equal rights and a student activist who was part of the group that successfully overturned a major university’s biased curfew laws for women’s dorms. She later became one of the few female judges in Bangladeshi family court, and now has her own law firm in Canada. She not only leads her life to the highest standards of honesty and dignity, but she also fights for others’ rights to do the same. Her example created a deep impact in my impressionable years, the effect of which still resonates in my words and works.”
What is your favorite quote? “A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” – Marianne Williamson
Learn more about Ranya: Facebook
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Location, 4) Relationship to you, 5) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!