What does being a woman mean to me?
If I’m honest, I could list a whole bunch of things being a woman means to me, but I don’t think I have a single definition I could make. Being a woman is something so complex, but such complexity comes from also just being a human being. I don’t think I give myself credit for being able to do the “normal” things a human can, because thinking about it now we really are fascinating creatures. And I just happen to be born a female one. Forgive me if I start rambling, I guess I’m just typing and seeing what thoughts come out. Hopefully you’ll be able to make some sense of them, and hopefully so will I!
I must admit in the past, and even in the present, I have blamed some of the darkness that I face on being a woman- as though my gender debilitates me in some, or a lot, of ways. Right now as I type I’m feeling fairly calm and comfortable in my own skin, so I feel I can give a fairer explanation on what being a woman means to me. However, I in no way intend to make generalisations about what its like being a woman, this is just my own story- or aspects of it, at least.
I hope I can reach out and relate to some of you reading this . Though I have blamed my gender for many of my struggles in life, I have also attributed much of my happiness to it too. And since this post is dedicated to women everywhere, I want to celebrate the happiness that I do feel for this gender.
Why do I love being a woman?
Superficially, there are quite a few aspects. I know some may say that my wearing makeup and dressing in certain clothes are due to society’s standards, but I don’t feel I need to wear make-up, I just enjoy experimenting with colour to enhance my face. In my darkest moments, I have used such products to cover myself up and hide, however when I’m feeling comfortable with myself, I feel I can use something as little as makeup to treat myself. I use my face as a canvas and experiment, as I do with pen and paper. I do it to have fun, but I love the freedom of being able to wear a fresh unmasked face and appreciate my features as they are.
I have nothing against a man wearing makeup, anyone can enjoy anything they want to, and hopefully they do it to truly enjoy themselves rather than feel they need to hide. However, since something like the use of makeup is usually attributed to women, I thought I’d start with something lighthearted such as this. My current attitude to makeup, which I hope will always stay with me, is “you don’t need it, you enjoy it. It’s not for anyone, it’s just for you.”
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be”. This is the attitude I hope to develop, strengthen and maintain in other, larger aspects of my womanly life. I know that some may judge me, perhaps for the way I choose to dress, behave, or even just because of my gender. I know this hurts me deeply, but this is why I choose to surround myself with loving people who appreciate all aspects of me: my womanhood, my personality, and all others. I know that if I was a man, those who love me now wouldn’t love me any less. I love to celebrate being a woman with my girl friends, but also my male friends.
I respect those around me, not just because of their gender or only another reason, but because of their entire being. There is no room for being loved despite being a woman, as this is not genuine complete appreciation and respect for a human. I’ve been learning to respect myself as a woman, and that means all aspects of womanhood.
What challenges have I faced as a woman?
One of the hardest “challenges” so to speak that I’ve had to face as a women are the conflicts and stresses about my body, specifically my body image and self esteem. I know that the way I see myself, as an eating disordered person, is not always respectful or kind towards myself. I try not to blame myself for these past and present feelings towards myself, I know they do not come from a healthy place and they wouldn’t be there if I was happier and more stable. However, I am working on improving my self-esteem, and my appreciation of my womanly body.
I know it’ll take time, but one day I hope to be in a place where I am able to both respect and even love my body- both for its femininity and its incredible functions. If I think about it, my body- as with all humans- is as fascinating in its complexity as being human is. Again, I’m not presuming to know what it feels like for all humans to be human and for what its like for all women to be women- I hope however that those reading this can take a moment to appreciate the things that out bodies can do. Speaking as a human but also as a woman, I find it amazing that I am able to perform such functions as growing offspring inside me, carrying and nurturing it, and eventually giving birth. If I sound hippie-esque in my celebration of womanhood, well, at least I’m having fun in doing so!
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful”. In terms of my body image, of course I struggle with facing my flaws and imperfections on my body- but I know this is due to the distortions of my mind’s eye. As a bisexual woman, I look at both the female and male anatomy- and I mean this in general, I am not referring to the airbrushed images of anatomical “perfection” we are exposed to every day. Looking at the women around me, from my close girl friends to the lady across the street, I can safely say women are pretty f**king beautiful! And the way I look at my girl friends, when they are feeling confident to when they feel insecure, I can safely say I see both their sexiness and beauty, but more importantly at their beauty as a whole- their aesthetics and personality combined.
And though I don’t always see it myself, I know that this admiration goes both ways, and that they see and admire me in the same way. To be honest, I can only really hope that one day we are all able to look at ourselves with the same respect and admiration that those close to us view us with. Some may say I speak with complete idealism- I choose to look at it as hope.
Just being a woman…
I don’t know if what I’ve written makes any sense, but I promise those reading that I typed these words with as much honesty and feeling as I could. I try to maintain the same truthfulness in my every day life, as a woman and as a human. I don’t presume to be any sort of expert on “being a woman”, the anatomical side of it or the emotional, however I do have only my own experience- just being a woman- to go on, and I think that’s the only thing I need.