I am a woman. I am strong.
Say it with me, I am a woman and I am strong.
I am a strong woman because I am unapologetically, fiercely and wholeheartedly myself.
I like what I like, regardless of the gender we’ve attached to it.
I am not afraid to voice my love for video games, or game with the bros and be critisized for not doing female things.
I am not afraid to play house or with barbies and be considered "girly" for doing so.
I can run around with boys and not worry about being criticized for it.
I’m not afraid to love football, even though I know people will assume it’s to impress a guy.
I am not afraid to take a shop class because it's only for strong guys, I can be just as successful as any guy.
I am not afraid to take a home ec class that is sexualized towards my own gender. I am strong enough to know that the kitchen is not where I "belong."
I am not afraid to prove the stereotype that girls are bad at math wrong.
I am not afraid to love Barbie or makeup, even though you’ll typecast me as a “girly girl,” consider me frail and weak for liking something society has deemed “feminine.”
I am not afraid to wear makeup, even though you will call me fake.
I am not afraid to not wear makeup, because I know my own worth and beauty and do not need someone else validation.
Being a strong woman means I ask for what I believe I deserve, even though I’ll be called selfish and impatient.
It means fighting for the right to exercise a basic freedom, while male counterparts chastise me for it.
It means standing up for what I believe is right, no matter who decides to judge or shame me for it.
It means wearing a short skirt and a low-cut top because I feel beautiful in both, knowing full well I’ll be slut-shamed for it.
It means wearing a conservative turtleneck and slacks, even though people will call me a prude and a goodie-goodie.
It means I have the right to choose whether or not I want to drink, not just because some guy buys me a drink without my permission expecting me to drink it.
It means refusing to apologize for having a voice and using it, even though I know I’ll be called cold or cruel or even a bitch.
It means speaking up about the sexual assault I’ve survived, even though I know there will be people who won’t believe me or tell me that it's my fault.
It means choosing to put myself through an examination, even though rape kits are backlogged and convictions are few and far between.
It means speaking on the behalf of other women who are too afraid to come forward about their assaults because I am strong enough to not be afraid of the shame that society will throw at me.
Being a strong woman means loving myself when the rest of society says I’m too big or too skinny or too dark or too tall or too short or too much or too little.
It means accepting others no matter how different they may come across, because inside, we are all the same.
It means owning my sexuality and using it when I see fit, how I see fit and because I see fit, despite knowing people will judge me for it.
It means refusing to list the reasons why I don’t want children at all, because what happens in and around my uterus is no one else’s business but my own.
Being a strong woman means deciding not to get married, even though I know my friends and family won’t understand why.
It means deciding to get married and proudly immersing myself in tradition because I shouldn’t change what I want in order to somehow prove that I am independent or self-sufficient.
It means not apologizing for having needs and voicing them, even though I know I’ll be viewed as clingy or emotional or annoyingly dependent.
It means not being afraid to love because some man already broke my heart.
It means I am comfortable in my own skin.
Being a strong woman means I am no longer looking for validation from a society that will constantly tell me to be something else.
It means defining my own strength, instead of adhering to a set of standards society has decided women must follow in order to be considered strong.
Being a strong woman means I love who I am and I am not afraid to admit that to others.
Being a strong woman means…
I am no longer a girl who thinks she needs to go against the grain in order to be strong...
I can say that yes, because I have the courage to just be me, I am finally, unapologetically strong.
I am a woman.
I am strong.