Strength Has No Gender™: My Story

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What's YOUR story? Share it here. Women are coming together through the Strength Has No Gender™ initiative from Brawny® at Walmart. #StrengthHasNoGender #ad

I’ll never forget the looks on their faces when they opened the door to me.


They were timid. They were hiding behind the door, calling out, “Who is it?” “It’s me – your pizza delivery girl!” I said cheerfully. I was 19 and barely 104 pounds. My hair was in a bouncy ponytail, and my uniform polo shirt was slightly baggy on me, with my cargo khaki pants. I was as un-intimidating as they come, or at least that’s what they thought about me.

What's YOUR story? Share it here. Women are coming together through the Strength Has No Gender™ initiative from Brawny® at Walmart. #StrengthHasNoGender #ad

The door widened and they looked relived. “We weren’t allowed to open the door because we thought you’d be an old man!” The little girls exclaimed. Their mother came to the door to pay me and said, “.. Tammy?” It turns out she knew me because my mom taught her children art. I could see her whole mind wrapping around the fact that I was a pizza GIRL, and I also happened to be someone she knew. I grew accustomed to the looks of surprise on people’s faces. No one expects a pizza girl!

In truth, I could wield four pizzas, three baskets of wings, and two liters of soda like no one’s business.

I come from a line of strong women, and I’m raising a future strong woman.

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Scarlet wears her “Girls Rule” shirt all the time, but as she explains to her little brother, “Boys rule too, but enough people say that!” My mother’s mother – my Nana – was considered a rebel for her time, because she worked, married later than the norm, and worked/traveled! Her daughter – my mom – raised five kids after the sudden death of my father. She built her own business, an art school, and is now the “cool Nana” to six grandchildren, and I’m certain there will be more in her future.

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My story is still unfolding, but I think more about how it’s unfolding now that I have two littles watching me. When they were younger, I served on the Board of Directors for MotherWoman – a local, spreading organization devoted to postpartum support and empowering women. These days I’m a working mom of two – with a photography business and a social media business.

My job takes me to some strange places – like climbing a rickety church ladder in platform shoes:

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Getting here was a journey, and I imagine my journey is young. I always aimed to make something of myself and to learn a good work ethic, but I never did it in what I called “normal” or straightforward ways. My first job once involved caring for several kids, with the baby strapped “safely” into a swing, when an adult bear wandered into the yard! I was 17. Then, it was pizza delivery in an almost all-male workforce. They looked up in surprise when I started, though they were expecting me.

After pizza delivery, I did school photography. A lot of the young women were photo assistants or groomers for the children, but I went in and tackled being a class photographer. I had to carry hundreds of pounds of equipment daily, at 5:00am call times, and I may have ruined my left knee for life. I’m still glad I did it. I won’t say it was without challenge, but it was all part of the path I took to get to where I am now. After a 4-5 year stint in corporate America and temping, I took up heavy lifting at another 5:00am shift in a grocery store. That was followed by Innkeeping a 20 room urban bed & breakfast.

Never a dull moment. Never really an easy moment.

Everything always led me back here to blogging and photography. Now I’m a double business owner. If you had told me I would be a writer AND photographer ten years ago, I’d be so relieved and I’d snap my fingers and say, “YES! There really is nothing else in the long run, is there?” However, if you told me I’d be a double business owner, I’d look at you like you were crazy. I still feel surprised because I thought it would be my husband. I didn’t know I’d learn about self-control, hiring and firing, balance, and being a full-time working mom to two children – with extra efforts to exercise, eat well, be around the kids full time, keep on top of chores, etc. I’m the default parent AND I work full time. I can’t imagine another way, though.

What's YOUR story? Share it here. Women are coming together through the Strength Has No Gender™ initiative from Brawny® at Walmart. #StrengthHasNoGender #ad

While we all still love Eric Solie, the original Brawny® man, they’re showing that girls are here to stay by having him step aside to give spotlight to strong, resilient women. Brawny is celebrating women who have inspired us to STAY GIANT®.

It’s Women’s History Month!

(I tried to dress like her, and we are both getting snowed on!)

Why Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus? They offer more sheets on every roll (vs. national leading brand comparable roll and sheet size) and they help you clean up whatever life throws down! This amazing The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign is highlighting the inspirational stories of everyday women in cities across America. These women have been breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries, and they have been empowering others. This is about breaking gender stereotypes, and not just about physical strength! Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day. Did you celebrate?

So head to Walmart to pick up a pack of Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus.

Do you have a story to tell? I’d love to hear it in the comments!

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

Strength Has No Gender™: My Story — 37 Comments

    • You’d make a great Brawny model too! Red flannel shirts are a New England thing, right? Right. Well, Alaska too but I bought a warm blue one there.

  1. In the several years that I have known you, you have inspired me so much. You tackle every challenge with gusto and work to figure out a solution. The coolest. I love seeing how your journey has played out and can’t wait to see more of it!

    • Oh my, thank you!! I work so hard! And I think I struggle but lately, I’ve actually been seeing changes in page views and whatnot. And I needed that for so long. Engagement befuddles me, even though it’s the one thing I work the hardest at!

  2. Aw, you definitely are one strong woman to me and loved hearing a bit more of your story here today. Definitely felt empowered and strong in my life from a few events, including childbirth and even from blogging and designing from home. So, thanks for the reminder, as well here, today, too 🙂

  3. Aw, you definitely are one strong woman to me and loved hearing a bit more of your story here today. Definitely felt empowered and strong in my life from a few events, including childbirth and even from blogging and designing from home. So, thanks for the reminder, as well here, today, too 🙂

  4. I remember you sharing you sold pizzas, but I’ve never seen you with your pizza uniform. You look so cute! I love that Brawny chose to include women for a presentation on the packaging now. I never thought my life would be where it is now, but I’m so thankful and look forward to future chapters as well!

  5. Can I even begin to tell you how much I love this campaign??? #womanpower I can just see you delivering that pizza and turning heads. You are a trailblazer, Tamera. Made me begin to think about ways in which I was a “first” at many things… things I hadn’t given much thought to in the past. Thanks for sharing this! May it remind many women of our strength and resiliency.

    • Ah, thanks! It’s an awesome campaign. I LOVED being a pizza girl. I’ve even thought about it in adulthood, but the wear and tear on the car and not knowing the area I live in well enough.. I delivered in the town I grew up in, so there was a comfort and trust there.

  6. You definitely come from a line of strong women, and I can already tell you are raising a super strong daughter! I really admire everything you have done, and having watched it grow and flourish over the past few years <3

    • And I can tell that with you! I still get warm in my heart when I think about how I spent time with Eve, and you spent time with my two. Since then (August), I’m much less afraid of rides, so the five of us will be able to rock some soon. Really soon, right??

  7. Great story!!! Never saw a pizza girl before. I’ve never seen myself as physically strong, though I have worked very hard to get stronger. I guess I should have sought a pizza delivery job as a teenager 🙂

    I do have grit though. Life gives everybody some of the slices. Hardly anyone has the whole pizza, lol

  8. Oh my gosh that snow picture! It was 90 here today. I hear it is supposed to cool down or I might be heading your way. Yep, strong ladies change the world. Love when you share your stories like this 🙂

    • That snow was just two weeks ago! And then we had some last week too. Joyous joy. AND, it’s supposed to be 80 next week. That’s why my kids are sick… oy.

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