Today is an extremely important day in the Grande family, it's International Women's Day, a day when we celebrate the pioneering efforts of the incredible women who have paved a path for all of the women currently kicking ass and we also celebrate them, so basically my entire family.
Let's start with Nonna, Queen Nonna, The Dowager Countess, and true BOSS. I remember at 80 her looking at me and saying, "I'm 80 and I can say whatever the f#%* I want." So you can only imagine her in her 90s... just unfiltered perfection. And she's seen it all. Done it all. And has an opinion about it all, and never keeps it to herself. I believe I truly get my unapologetic attitude from her. This is who I am, this is how I feel, and if you don't like it, f#%* off... so thank you Nonna for paving the way for your daughters to thrive in industries completely dominated by men.
Aunt Judy, who we tragically lost to breast cancer 8 years ago but have never forgotten, became the first female president of the national press club, at a time when women were constantly being told to stay in their lane and were far from being the president of anything. Judy Grande never took no for an answer, her investigative journalism skills got her nominated for a Pulitzer and catapulted her to a place where not only was she equal to men, in a time when that was unheard of, but a place where she presided over them. I owe her my ability to look discrimination in the face and rise above it. She lived her life by Michelle Obama's "when they go low we go high", and if she were alive today I am sure she would have been standing next to her when she said it.
That brings me to my mother... wow... the strongest woman on the planet. CEO of 3 telecommunication companies that manufacture products for the Navy, Coast Guard and cruise ships. I'll never forget how she used to dress me up in a little suit and bring me to meetings with admirals and generals where she sat at the head of the table, with her 8 year old son next to her, and DOMINATED those board rooms. Again, this was at a time when very few women occupied positions of power, especially in the navy and the coast guard, so when she ran those meetings, she had to portray complete confidence, or they would tear her down, and she never faltered. So mommy, I thank you for raising me to be confident and believe in myself, because it is one of the greatest gifts anyone could ever be given, and thank you for loving me exactly how I am... as you were by your parents, cause that is why I am the beautiful confident person I am today and why I can shine so bright.
Finally, there is my sister, Ariana. I am tearing up as I write this because she truly is a trailblazer for women today... the path was started by Nonna, paved by Judy and Joan and now extended further then I could have possibly imagined by Ariana. Her song Dangerous Woman and her tour both tackle issues young women face everyday and her example and strength in this still unfair, unequal, and unbalanced world when it comes to gender, has inspired many women of all ages, to fight for their rights, to speak up rather then back down and to embrace themselves as women, who can do ANYTHING, and who can be sexy AF without asking for it... So to you Ariana I thank you for teaching me to use my voice during these dark times for good, and to inspire future generations to do the same. We have to speak out, or we may be silenced forever.
So thank you Grande women, for being fierce as f#%* I salute you! The world salutes you. And happy f#%*king international women's day. You all deserve awards for your contribution to the women's movement and for making me the well rounded confident man I am today.
I love you,