Phenomenal Woman

women_psI was in my cousins wedding this past weekend, and so spent the whole day engaged in girly things like make up and fancy dresses and hair and champagne. And in spending the day around women from all different walks of life, it became apparent that we as a gender are very hard on ourselves.

As women, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. Not in a conceited or arrogant way, but let’s admit, sometime it’s hard to be a girl. We get mocked for our emotions, laughed at for our vulnerability. We constantly question our worth and beauty – comparing ourselves to others who are asking themselves the same questions. We think, if only I lost those 10lbs, or had longer hair, or bigger eyes, then I’d be happy. But would we?

Let’s admit to ourselves this one thing; we are beautiful creatures. We create and nurture, we care and love with abandon, we defend and attack those we love with ferocity. I think we need to allow ourselves a little room to breathe. To be. To enjoy who we are and what we are. And so, in that vein, enjoy this beautiful poem by Maya Angelou about a phenomenal woman.

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

– Maya Angelou

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