phenomenal woman

The reason behind my blog name

The Women's March on Washington (and a bunch of other places) is today. 

It's got me feelin' all fuzzy about being female. It's pretty awesome to see all these women coming together. 

The past few weeks I've been writing about things you focus on instead of weight loss. 

Behind this work of intuitive eating is a greater cause: lifting women up. 

I feel strongly that women are held back by worrying about weight. When I started Phenomenal Jane, it was because I wanted women to be stronger. I wanted women to feel good enough already. 

Unencumbered by concerns about beauty, we could change the world. 

One time in middle school, I read Maya Angelou's poem Phenomenal Woman. I liked it so much, I kept a copy hanging up on my wall. It still is hanging up on the wall in my childhood bedroom. 

I hope one day that every woman feels as confident as Angelou did when she wrote this poem. Every woman. Even the plain janes could be Phenomenal Janes.  

by Maya Angelou


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
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 of my waist, 
And the joy in my feet. 
I'm a woman
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
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 of my care, 
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman, 
That's me.



from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.



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