Did y’all know that web searches for the phrase “how to be a strong woman” reached an all time high this past December? I’ll admit it — I was one of those folks asking Google that very question one week when I was feeling particularly down about myself. I had been letting the opinions of others cloud my judgement — particularly those of a certain flame who was projecting his own insecurities onto me. Turned out that, like Dorothy Gale, I’d been wearing those magical shoes the entire time.
I am a strong woman — always have been. I’ve got the women who came before me to thank for that.
Women who raised entire families by themselves in a new country, surrounded by a strange language. I thank the ladies who gave and gave and gave of themselves, who built bigger dining room tables instead of taller fences when new neighbors joined their blocks. I thank the warriors who created change by getting out in the streets to start organizations and charities instead of just yelling at each other on the Internet. And, alright, okay, fair, the ‘net didn’t exist yet but, still, they DID stuff! I thank the powerhouses who continue to show me that I don’t need a man — or anyone else — to be successful. I thank the women who taught me that real strength is being honest and upfront with my truth, my feelings, and who I am. I thank the mentors who made sure I understood that even our worst enemy is human and that, usually, the best way to combat evil is with more love and gentleness — because it takes tremendous courage to remain soft in a hard, hard world.
I am proud of my strength. I used to not be. I thought it made me intimidating and unapproachable and for a few years I tried to squish my personality down to size. I was angry and miserable and built thick walls around myself to hide my true colors. It was lonely, never letting anyone get too close due to a stupid fear of my own power — a real life Elsa from Disney’s Frozen over here.
That Google search helped me realize how hard it is to deny who we really are and how much simpler living is when we allow ourselves to “let it go” and just be.
I am a strong woman — always have been. I’ve got the women who came before me to thank for that. But…
Not all women are.
Today, as the social media influencers and talking heads sing the praises of The Strong Woman, I want to recognize and celebrate ALL women — whatever kind of woman you are. Strong or not. Black or white. Cis or trans. Mothers or not. Queer or straight. Corporate executives or retail employees. Feminine or not. Rich or poor. Skinny or fat. Whatever!
Whoever you are — we are sisters and I love you. Recognizing the beauty and value in someone else doesn’t equal the absence of your own — real recognizes real, ya feel? When we come together and support each other we do amazing things and I hope International Women’s Day helps us remember that for years to come. Hell yes!
So here’s to all the women.
You’re incredible just the way you are.
[Author’s Note for the He-Man-Woman-Haters of the Internet Crying About Unfairness — International Men’s Day is November 19th. Now sit down, shut up, and let us have ours, damnit!]Like This Post!