I’ve read quite a few articles that define what being a woman, or better yet, a “lady” is. Generally, when I hear the word “lady,” I’m already gagging, but I’ll try to keep things under control for this post. See, the problem is that whenever I read these articles, there’s always the underlying message that we, as women, should have culinary skills, made-up faces, and submissive personalities. Ladies of the new millennium, I call bullshit. I don’t think my womanhood is defined by finding the perfect, form-fitting suit or by knowing how to cook brunch like a 1950s housewife. I can’t relate to these definitions of my gender and I’m beginning to realize that I don’t have to. So today, I want to share some of my own thoughts on how to be a woman in 2014 and hopefully for many, many years after that.
- Acknowledge that your body is a vessel for something much more important than your body. Women are constantly being judged, nagged, and berated for the skin that covers them, but we are so much more than a pair of perky breasts, thin thighs or elongated eyelashes. Don’t let the media or anyone in your life make you feel like your healthy body needs to be altered in order to be acceptable. Your body is merely a ship that carries your gorgeous, bigger-than-words-can-describe spirit. There is no magazine cover large enough to fit the enormity of the beauty you carry within yourself.
- Be what and who you want. You are not ahead or behind. There is only you on your own road. Does writing this post mean I’m against women who want to be housewives? Heck no! I think that you, and only you, should be able to choose what you want to be — whether that’s a stay-at-home-mom, company executive, or something in between, it’s all you sista and I support whatever you choose.
- Friends with wedding rings or babies have no bearing on your own worth or success. Does it seem like everyone you know is either engaged or pregnant? I feel that. But I also feel that the joy and milestones of my friends are irrelevant to my own success as a human being. I also know that those things will probably exist in my own life, if and when they’re meant to. Have faith in your unique path and be proud of your milestones, even when your Facebook Newsfeed tries to make you feel otherwise.
- Be open-minded and accepting. Gender is often a spectrum, not a tale of two extremes. Be mindful that the term, “woman,” should not only be reserved for people with lady parts. If a transgender person identifies as being a woman, then acknowledge that they are. If you happen to know someone who is transgender, use the pronoun (“he” or “she”) that they prefer. Ladies never refer to another human being as “it.”
- Be kind. Give the world a piece of your mind — the sincerest, kindest, and most loving piece you can muster up. On the other hand, being cruel will make you no less of a woman, it will just make you a cruel person and I wouldn’t want that for you no matter what gender you identify as.
- Be conscious. Lastly, be mindful of yourself and your world. Don’t let others define your reality for you — be conscious of the dialogue you embrace and choose to accept. Everyday, you either define or let others define for you what being a woman means. Have the courage to create your own definition and love both the human being you already are and the one you are becoming.
These rules are formed from my own opinions, so I can’t say that they will fit your own definitions of womanhood — and they don’t have to. Bottom line — I think you’re great. Really great. And from me to you, I kind of want you to know that (and I hope you already do). What rules of womanhood do you live by?
Amber, of Mr. Thomas and Me, is the perfect lady to share with this post. She hosts one of my favorite things in Blogland (that I really need to jump on board with!) called The “Say Yes” Project, designed to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and do the things that scare you. I also enjoyed this post about the importance of her body art. Speaking of bodies, this post about what skinny feels like is soul-shaking and oh-so relatable. Seriously, Amber has such a personable and caring way with her words. I love the way she writes. She’s even doing a neat series right now called the “12 Days of Blogging” to help you get into the Christmas spirit! Go check her out. She really is a gem of a person. 🙂