You are a Phenomenal Woman

If you want to own the fact that you are a PHENOMENAL woman, keep reading. If you are unsure, still keep reading. Sometimes we all need a little cheesy inspiration. And now more than ever, it’s crucial for a college woman to own their amazingness. 

Throughout my college experience, I’ve heard college women around me making worrying comments about their bodies. The idea of the “freshman 15” is a frightening concept for many women that have struggled with weight and body acceptance their entire life. The cultural effect of weight-loss lifestyles have shaped beauty standards in America, and this severely affects the confidence of young women in their own bodies. Beyond lack of body love, I’ve seen a huge lack of confidence and noticed an increase in self-doubt within myself and women all around me. Why are we questioning how phenomenal we are?

Personally, I have struggled to own my love for myself. My own experiences make me wish that all of us could own our confidence and self-adoration as the gifts they are. It’s a well-known phenomenon that women in our society are ingrained with the idea that they are not enough. As a woman who has spent the past 19 years plagued with insecurity, body issues, and constant comparison to others, I know exactly how heavy a weight it is, to feel less than. It’s so easy to spend large chunks of our lives believing we are unworthy, unattractive, and unsuccessful. These “uns” contribute to another un: unhappiness.  

Women constantly question their own greatness. As college women, it can feel incredibly hard to overcome the barriers imprisoning us in insecurity and lack of self-love. We see women we think are prettier, more successful, more skinny, more muscular, more tan, more toned. No matter how much you can claim to stay beyond these comparisons, we have all fallen prey to them at one time or another. I have fallen prey to them and every woman I know has too. 

 

So, this affects us all. How do we move beyond it? Oprah Winfrey, the role model of my life, told me a piece of the answer.

The key to overcoming these self-deprecating hardships is to own our truth. Oprah Winfrey, a champion of self-improvement, said in one of her recent Super Soul Sunday Podcasts, “You can’t sit around waiting on somebody else to fix your struggles, to make it okay. You are the one who's in the driver seat, you are the master of whatever is going to happen to you, and whatever is going to happen to you, when you’re following the path of Truth, you can trust that you will be strong enough to stand in it.” We must start believing in ourselves and stop comparing our lives to those around us.

 Following our truth is the path to owning our greatness, our marvelousness, our complete beauty and utter magic. My mother inspired me to read the poem below, and it was a good decision for me to listen to her. If you feel bad about yourself, own that truth and work towards healing that part of your soul. If you feel like you love yourself, nourish that muscle and continue to own how amazing you are. Wherever you are in your self-love journey, you can benefit from using this exercise:

 

Let’s own how awesome we are:

You are a phenomenal woman, and you must speak that phrase into being. The manifesto below was written by Maya Angelou, a famous poet and close friend of Oprah. If you are tired of questioning your worth, if you are sick of comparing yourself to every other woman, if you are tired of feeling bad about yourself, read this mantra every day and speak it into being. For the past two weeks, I have read this poem every single day. Sometimes, I read it 3 times a day. I read it even if I don’t believe it. I read it even if I’m stressed and sad. I read it because I must remind myself that I am a phenomenal woman and no one can take that away from me because that is my truth. I cannot explain how much of difference it has made in my life. When I start to question my worth, I tap into the words in this poem. I hung it on the wall in my dorm to remind myself of my real truth, because what better place to remind yourself you’re enough than the wall of your room? I highly recommend you do the same. If you want some pretty versions of the poem to hang up, look here.

 

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

Phenomenally.

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

Phenomenally.

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

Phenomenally.

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 for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

-Maya Angelou

 

A poem seems like simply words. But say this every day in the mirror, and you will see these words become your living truth.