Happy International Woman’s Day! Woman’s history month is oh so important and something that every gender should recognize. Women are so important and so underestimated, so extremely underappreciated and undervalued in society. The hardest thing to be in society today is a woman, and what’s even harder is being a woman of color. I spent some time last month (Black History Month) speaking about the importance of being proud of where you come from and appreciating what makes me different. This month I’m going to celebrate what makes me similar to all women.
Women get all types of backlash for so many things. We can’t be too tall, or we’ll intimidate men. We can’t be too chubby, or we’ll never get married. We can’t be too smart, or we’ll scare away the potential husband. We can’t be assertive, or we’ll be considered too emotional. We can’t be too independent because men don’t like that. We can’t be too skinny, or someone will try to offer us food or think we have a disorder. There are so many stipulations to being us, and it can get so overwhelming at times. We are expected to be demure, girly creatures, and if you take a look at the spectrum of women, most of us are far from that. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but don’t shove us into a mold that meets “society” standards. Some of us want to be anything but.
From a very young age, most girls are groomed to be motherly and wife-material. As we get older and we don’t acquire the things that make us “valuable” in society, people frown down. Getting married and having children has been on my mind since I was in my late teens. I wanted to be graduated college, married, and have my first child by 21. I wanted to have my perfect life by 24 and be so happy with the person of my dreams. At 24, I had just graduated from college and had no clear sight of where my life was going. At almost 27, I still don’t! I scroll through my Facebook and I see a lot of high school acquaintances getting married and having children and for a while it made me very sad. Until one day I realized I’m rushing through life being envious of what other people have when it’s just not my time yet. I don’t have children and I’m not married. Still, I’m getting my master’s degree, I have a great job, a beautiful and supportive family, my bills are consistently paid on time, and I have a BOMB blog that gains new followers frequently. I’m valuable. I’m kinda awesome, and whenever God sees it fit, I’ll have the most amazing little family of my own, who will be just as impressive as me!
We, as women, also have to deal with body expectations as well. Plus-sized women are constantly being shamed by the public just for loving our bodies. The bodies that we have! If we aren’t a specific size, we’re considered duds. Honestly, I’ve seen so many videos and comments on pages and heard so many horror stories that I almost didn’t start my blog. As sensitive a person as I am, I knew that I couldn’t handle the possible negative comments. The thought of someone shaming my body just was very scary to me. But, I pushed through my fears and put myself out there so that someone else may see me and feel the same courage that I do on a daily/weekly basis. Ladies, it is okay to love your body OUT LOUD. Love your stretch marks, love your rolls, love your thighs, your arms, your face, and love them PROUDLY. Do not be ashamed of the body that God gave you. If you want to make changes, do it in a healthy way and don’t do it to get a man or please anyone else but yourself. Look at yourself on a daily basis and be proud of the woman you are and the woman you are becoming. Let’s show little girls that it is 100% okay to love your body no matter what!
There is always a sense of fear in women. You hear so many stories in the news about women being attacked because they said no to a man. Even more stories about young women who get abducted, sold into sex-trafficking, sold to men for marriage, and just so much more. It is hard to be a woman. No one understands that but another woman. Every time I get in my car, I check my back seats. Every time I’m home alone, I check my doors before going to my room. I got a doorbell-camera system for safety measures. I see a white van that I’ve never seen in my neighborhood before, and I get a little freaked out. I do not go out alone at night for safety reasons. I am always on high-alert, and unfortunately, I don’t think men have to go through that. We have to stay strong, ladies, and it is okay to defend yourselves with anything that makes you feel comfortable. Be constantly aware of your surroundings, if something or someone doesn’t feel right, get up and leave. Develop a system with your friends, tell them where you are going and check-in. If something is wrong use a codeword to notify them. We shouldn’t have to go through these measures, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I do not hate being a woman. In fact, I love it. We are all so different and beautiful, it is incredible to see. All women, from all walks of life, should be appreciated and celebrated. Women encouraging women is the most fantastic feeling, and I would like to thank every woman that has ever breathed life into me; my mother, especially. That is one strong lady, and I am beyond proud to be her daughter.