‘Cause I’m a woman
Hi, Phenomenal Woman.
You’re amazing. You’re wonder woman. Beautiful, inside and out. Strong.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Is that what you see when you look in the mirror? And is that what you see when you look beyond the mirror, back into your own windows to your soul?
Do you see a Phenomenal Woman?
Or do you see someone who doesn’t measure up, who doesn’t look so put together, so confident? Someone who could stand to shed a few pounds, change something about her hair, or jazz up her wardrobe a bit?
Has the world gotten to her? Has she stopped loving the skin she’s in?
Well, who told those voices in that head that they can speak? And who told those voices that their words have merit, or the final say?
Taryn Brumfitt, the creator of a documentary, “Embrace,” about body loathing and shaming, says that 91% of women hate their bodies. She traveled the world talking to experts, women in the streets, and famous personalities about the alarming body-image issues seen in people of all body types. And not just in women. Men have these issues, too.
Her advocacy for people of all body types and shapes started in 2013. Then, Taryn posted before-and-after photos of herself on Facebook. Before her third child was born, she had been working out regularly and competing as a body builder. But after? Well, she says, she was a “jelly-belly mess.”
She wanted a healthy self-image and healthy body. She wanted to learn to embrace and love her body just as it was. And she didn’t want to model an obsession with weight loss to her children.
When Taryn posted her before-and-after photo on Facebook, she was called “disgusting” for “letting herself go.” But others saw a woman of internal and external strength, and Taryn persevered. “This body of mine, it’s not an ornament,” she says. “It’s a vehicle.”
People associate being thin with being healthy, and being obese with being unhealthy. But that’s not necessarily the case. Some people with high levels of fat actually can be in good physical shape. And others, Dr. Mark Hyman MD says, have “Skinny Fat Syndrome.”
With all this talk about body image, and with all of the images in magazines, on television, and on social media, Taryn estimates that 70% of girls are dissatisfied with their bodies. Even though many of those images likely are polished and altered.
So how can you measure up to something that’s not even real?
God Created You, a Phenomenal Woman
Here’s what’s real.
You. Phenomenal woman. A gift. Just as you are when you look in the mirror. You.
Look at those eyes. What have they seen in all these years?
Look at that mouth. What words most recently came from it that buoyed someone else’s spirit?
Look at those hands. In what ways have they moved this week to serve others?
Feel that pulse. Miraculous.
Hi, Phenomenal woman. I see you.
“Phenomenal Woman,” by Maya Angelou
I started this piece with the end of the poem, “Phenomenal Woman.” But here’s how it begins, and you can listen to Maya Angelou recite all of it at this link. (It’s worth the 2 minutes to hear her voice!)
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.
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
After listening to Angelou’s recitation, take a minute and write down as many examples of what you do that make you uniquely you. What do you do to take care of your body? And what do you give to your world? What amazing things does your miraculous body – as it is right now – enable you to do? If you’d like to share, comment below or in my free Facebook group, I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for joining me for Step 4 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read what the series is all about here and catch up on past posts. If you don’t want to miss a thing, subscribe to get each one in your inbox.