Feature

The Colorado Woman

Colorado has the most confident, intelligent, thoughtful, inspiring, dedicated, joyful, influential, resilient, adventurous, independent, gutsy, innovative, groundbreaking women in America. Meet them.

December 2013

We are wordsmiths. Yet tasked with putting together a cohesive description of what it means to be a Colorado woman proved exceedingly difficult. So, we finally went with a list of what we think are apt adjectives. Unlike women in other regions of the country who still cart around age-old stereotypes—Southern belles are all manners and makeup with an overwrought sense of historical significance, while women from the Northeast pair biting wit and a healthy dose of provincialism with their tailored black pants and stilettos—the 2,628,487 women who call themselves Coloradans do not fit snugly into a one-size-fits-all label. 

Don’t get us wrong; those of us who choose to live in the thin air have some things in common. We believe wearing godsent, cheek-lifting yoga pants to places other than the studio—like Whole Foods, lunch dates, and occasionally the office—is perfectly acceptable so long as we do, in fact, attempt downward dog that day. Because feeling like Bambi on ice is not as cute as Disney portrayed it, we have collectively decided that Danskos and flat-heeled boots qualify as sexy. We also have an unspoken agreement that ChapStick and a swab of mascara count as “done up.” But these are just the superficial ties that bind, and we are not a particularly superficial bunch. Instead, whether we were born here or moved here, over time we assume personality traits and profound beliefs that—without oversimplifying things—seem derived from living in an immense landscape that demands resourcefulness, competency, independence, and an inextinguishable spirit. 

To wit: Colorado women know no good comes from caring too much about what others think or say—or about what they do with their own lives. Colorado women understand that a long run or a bike ride is cheaper and often just as effective as therapy. They don’t need men to shovel snow or build fires or drive slick mountain roads or carry their ski gear, but they do need their partners to want to do those things anyway. Colorado women love their kids, but, by and large, they are not cooers or goochie-goochie-gooers. They want their children to be healthy (organic produce, check!), active (two-year-olds can so ride the lift), and self-reliant (you know where the fridge is, young man). Colorado women do not sit in the corner and let others (ahem…the guys) make all the decisions. They don’t want anyone, however, to mistake that fortitude for a lack of compassion, desire, or concern. Colorado women bring all of those things to the table as well. Call it self-assurance, or irrepressibility, or whatever word suits you. We just call it life in the West. This is how we live it.

Table of Contents

Meet Roxane White, Chief of Staff for the Governor's Office

Where Do Colorado Women Look for Inspiration?

A Historical Timeline of Colorado Women

Geo-Paychecks: The Wage Gap in Colorado

Her Honor: Two Colorado Supreme Court Justices Speak on Women's Issues

An Open Letter to the Women of Colorado

How to Kick Ass in a Man's World

Sugar & Spice: Why I Don't Want to Raise a Daughter to be Everything Nice

The Day in the Life of a New Mom

State of Play: Women in Extreme Sports

Dana Crawford's Universe

In the Line of Fire: When the Gun Control Debate Turned Nasty

5280.com Exclusive: The 5280 Round-Table

5280.com Exclusive: Health Issues to be Aware of in Every Decade

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