#MAKEITHAPPENAparna Shewakramani, Breakout Netflix Star & Author
Since Season 1, a lot had changed and it was a direct reflection of the action I had taken to build a life I love for myself. From quitting my job as a ten-year career attorney to moving across the country to NYC to gathering the courage to write my own memoir, I’m proud of the changes I made to align my life with my values and passions.
I could write a whole other book to answer this question! But in short, I believe the gendered roles we assign to young children carry over into adulthood. We praise young girls for being maternal, sweet, playing "nicely" with their dolls the same way we praise young boys for being courageous, brave and bold. So evaluating women through that prism of likeability becomes a perpetual cycle.
Unfortunately, I see it equally in both places - it just looks different. In the workplace, we force tired tropes onto confident, driven, assertive women. They're the boss you don't want to work for. The angry woman who doesn't have a fulfilling personal life. The wretch who likes to make others as miserable as herself. We all continue to hear those stereotypes about women in powerful positions. That has to change.
And in dating, the trope morphs into thinking that an ambitious, direct and successful woman needs to "soften" for a man to love her. But the truth of it is, all women are deserving of love. All women are nuanced, complex and three-dimensional in their needs for fulfillment.
What three pieces of advice would you give an “unlikeable” woman?
1. Take up space! You heard me. Speak up in the room. Place yourself at the head of the table. And yes, wear powerful clothes that express your true self.
2. Say no. That’s right. Setting boundaries is the best way to be unlikeable. And frankly, I’m proud of my boundary-setting skills. Not comfortable with a situation? Exit. Is someone’s energy draining you? Cut ties. If it’s not possible to make a clean break, start small…but definitely still start.
3. Reclaim your narrative. Don’t let anyone else dictate who you are, what you’re capable of or what you’re going to achieve. You are the only writer of your story.
I would tell them to keep an open mind and use the matchmaker as one tool in their tool kit. I would not rely on that one person to find you your partner but instead, set your expectations to use the matchmaker as one avenue to potentially meet someone.
It boils down to actively listening. Really, truly listen to the person you’re setting up—to their needs, wants and values. Meet them where they are, and then start a conversation about where they might need to reframe their partnership goals. Perhaps they're focused too much on a specific physical trait or, alternatively, not being specific enough about what truly would work for them. It's a constant dialogue and a good matchmaker knows it!
That's easy! When I'm being fully and authentically myself.