What is a Strong Woman?
We're living in an exciting moment in history where women are being encouraged more than ever to follow their ambitions, to think bigger, to strive, to learn and grow.
There is a lot of discourse (verbal and visual) in the community about the archetype of the "strong woman". Strength is a value that is dear to me and that I love to explore in my artwork.
Today I want to, in my own words, describe some of the characteristics that make a strong woman in my eyes, and relate those beliefs back to the work I've been making this year.
A strong woman loves her body
Strong women accept and love their bodies. It takes mental strength to ignore the mass media which routinely objectifies women, brings us down, and tries to tell us what is beautiful and valuable. A strong woman is shameless about her body, and accepts its nature. Its shape, color, size, curves and lines, hairs, moles and scars, and cycles.
A strong woman takes risks and welcomes a challenge
A strong woman isn't afraid of taking a risk. Whether it's learning a new skill, traveling to a foreign land, or taking on a challenging project with many unknowns, a woman with strength will proceed into unknown territory with faith and courage. She enjoys the process of problem solving, and improving her problem solving abilities.
A strong woman is vulnerable
A strong woman has done the hard work of understanding her feelings, she is self-aware. She shares her feelings openly with the people in her life so that she can build meaningful and intimate relationships.
A strong woman is sensual
A strong woman knows herself sexually. She has taken the time to explore her body and her preferences. She is constantly learning more about her body. In a relationship, she makes sure to voice her sexual desires and preferences to her partner, and she asks that her partner to do the same in return. She gets her needs met, because her sexual needs are important.
A strong woman is loving and kind
A strong woman is loving and kind to all that she encounters. She is compassionate; she goes through life with an open heart.
A strong woman has endurance
Life is tough, and will inevitably present us with challenges. A strong woman perseveres, despite set backs, rejections, and heartbreak. She endures blow after blow, only growing more resilient with time.
A strong woman knows her worth
She has dug deep and knows where her gifts and strengths lay. She has worked hard at nurturing and developing those gifts so that she can offer her fruits to the world, and she knows the value of her fruits.
A strong woman loves to learn
Knowledge is power, and a strong woman knows that. She's reading books, taking classes, and trying to learn from every interaction in her day-to-day. She knows that skill and education will empower her to be financially independent and socially successful.
A strong woman is free
A strong woman holds freedom high on her list of values, and does her best to create a life where she has the freedom to make decisions. She is financially independent and thus has the freedom to choose what is best for her.
As I continue to grow as both a woman and artist, I am certain that my understanding of what makes a strong woman will evolve and change. I'm excited to be a woman, and to be living in this moment in history.
What do you think makes a strong woman?