12 Women Reveal The Most Rule-Breaking Thing They've Done This Year

Eden Lichterman

Sept. 21 marks Bustle's second annual Rule Breakers event honoring women and nonbinary people who tear down barriers and fight stigma in their everyday lives. As rules and double standards continue to dictate the environments in which women and nonbinary folks work, socialize, and practice self-care, Rule Breakers seeks to recognize the people who are fighting to challenge those norms. Along with its lineup of chart-topping musicians including Lizzo and Betty Who, this year's celebration at The LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park also featured other special celebrity guests like Busy Philipps and Stacey Abrams, who were honored earlier this summer in Bustle's Rule Breakers issue. These rule breakers may come from all different industries, but they have one major thing in common — they exemplify what it means to blaze your own path. But they weren't the only trailblazers at the event.

Amid all the musical performances and Instagrammable activities (including a glitter bar, roller disco, and a flower crown-making station, to name a few), festival-goers also got the opportunity to come together and meet a community of people who understand first-hand what it means to break the rules. To get a taste of the ways festival-goers break the mold, Bustle asked Rule Breakers attendees about the most rule-breaking thing they’ve done in 2019. From challenging norms at their jobs, to mentoring younger women with similar interests, to living their most authentic lives and prioritizing self-care, each of these women have broken down barriers in their lives (big and small), and have allowed themselves to find joy and positivity in a world that too often tries to tear women down.

Here are some of the ways attendees broke the rules in 2019, enriching their lives and their communities in the process.

Mary, 23, Tasia, 26, and Spenser, 23

From left to right: Mary, Tasia, and Spenser. Photo: Eden Lichterman

Mary: "I moved to New York."

Tasia: "I made art without fear."

Spenser: "I got a promotion."

Adrian, 25

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I run a women's skateboarding media outlet, so I've been teaching girls to skate all of 2019."

Tiffini, 30

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I negotiated a higher salary for my new job."

Melissa, 29

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I am an African American woman, and I am the breadwinner of my family."

Alison, 25

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I skipped work to watch the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team do their parade to support women's equality."

Charlotte, 24

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I published a book about mental health and recovery."

Harmony, 30

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"The most rule-breaking thing I've done is found a really great therapist who helps me nourish myself and everyday problem solve."

Ana Maria, 30

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I live as my most authentic self."

Kathryn, 27

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"Being a woman in STEM and supporting and mentoring other young women in STEM."

Miriam, 27

Photo: Eden Lichterman

"I deliberately dressed against my work's dress code."

Rule breaking doesn't have to be dramatic or scary to make an impact. Taking tiny steps — like choosing to prioritize self-care, or standing up for yourself at work — can go a long a way in bringing about positive change for both you and those around you. These Rule Breaker attendees prove it.