A strong woman is confident and self-sufficient, not independent. Because a strong woman does not write dependency off as a weakness. Being able to take care of herself does not mean she doesn’t want or sometimes need the help and support of others.
A strong woman knows what she wants and more importantly, a strong woman knows how much she wants. She’s a juggler with an acute sense of each individual weight of the burdens, responsibilities and dreams she juggles. This does not, by any stretch of the imagination, make making decisions about what stays and what goes in her life easier, but it makes them, and more importantly, she makes them.
A strong woman knows herself intimately and allows herself to feel intensely. She is honest with herself whether that means speaking up for herself in the office or going through a box of tissues while watching a chick flick.
A strong woman takes womanhood and makes it her own. From tight-fitting dresses to oversized t-shirts, from cramps to birth control, and from manicures to bras, she commands it, packages it all up and wraps it up her own way. That’s her womanhood you’re staring at, and I bet she knows.
And ultimately a strong woman knows she’s a woman in that she is aware of where she stands in the workplace, in the family and in society. It’s not that she necessarily accepts it but, it is an intimate knowledge she carries with her.
Emily Lin is an undergraduate student at Georgetown University studying Comparative Literature, Chinese and Linguistics. Emily can’t ask for much but if she had three wishes, she would use them on a beach house, traveling the world and a coffee shop bookstore. She occasionally has an online shopping problem and would one day love to speak and write in at least four languages.
If you had asked me this in my early twenties, I would’ve told you a strong woman is someone who has her shit together, period. You don’t know her backstory or how she got to the point she’s at today, but there’s something about how she carries herself and you applaud her for it; you just immediately label her as strong. But asking me today at 27, I believe a strong woman is someone who can tell you about that backstory and has no shame in sharing her experiences. There’s something commendable about a woman who, despite what life’s thrown at her, remains humble and expresses gratitude for the situation that could’ve broken her.
Strong women overcome. Strong women are molded from some of the most traumatizing situations and have mentally “started from the bottom”, but have somehow managed to push past it all. They have no problem telling those stories and expressing those journeys with others. And not all strong women “appear on point”; some of the strongest women I know rock sweatpants and tees on a regular basis because to them, it’s more than the external, but it’s about what’s happening upstairs in her head. You can’t “win if you ain’t right within” and what makes a woman strong is the work that has transpired inside.
Erica is the writer behind Everything EnJ, her personal blog that spotlights defining life lessons & chronicles a-ha moments in her twenties. A mom of two who absolutely drive her up the wall, Erica is strong enough to admit sometimes, she isn’t a strong woman herself. Find her daily rants with splashes of inspiration at @KaeNdKamsMom.
Although chiseled biceps, quads and washboard-like abs often bring joy to onlookers, that’s not the only kind of strength that’s admirable. What about the quiet might that manifests in feminine form? A strong woman is a looker, one who will captivate you with every stride, switch and step. Lowering her chin for no one but the person she strives to lift up. Finding no reason to acknowledge or entertain comparisons because she knows her worth and will make sure you know it too. Making sure she doesn’t need any help, but not being afraid to accept an extended hand. Providing for herself and others even when she doesn’t want to, because things still have to get taken care off.
Interacting with people with less than sweet tendencies, yet finding the good in them and only emitting love. Falling for no excuse created to hold back her own potential. Commanding a room with a stern voice and discipline when she needs to, but seeing no ill in letting tears fall when emotions pile up. Wanting the women around her to rise and excel in the same way she’s trying to, actively cheering them on instead of tearing them down. Finding the strength to forgive without dwelling no matter how much she’s been wronged. Backing away from no challenge. Knowing she is beautiful inside and out, and laughing at those who dare oppose.
A strong woman in every sense of the word. What can be more beautiful than that?
Morgan Ariel Pitts
What makes a strong woman is her confidence. Compliments don’t make her, and criticism certainly doesn’t break her. She thinks by herself, for herself. She takes everything in stride – acknowledging her emotions, but not letting them consume her. She doesn’t care what others think or say about her, for she knows who she is and whose she is. She lives for herself, makes her own decisions, and takes responsibility instead of victimization. She knows she’s beautiful because she says so and no one else. She gracefully wins and never loses, rather learns. She respects all but tolerates disrespect from none. She celebrates others because she’s aware that shining light on one another does not dim her own. She is (s)ubstantial, (t)asteful, (r)esilient, (o)pen-minded, (n)oble, and (g)rateful.
Morgan Ariel Pitts is a 23-year-old freelance blogger and stylist, as well as founder and creative director of #BlackGirlsWhoBlog. DC born and MD (hey, PG County) bred, she loves all things “Vogue,” Hello Kitty, and Beyoncé.
A strong woman doesn’t always get the credit for being a strong woman. Her actions are mostly ordinary and usual, but sometimes they require the bravery that gets no notice. She walks home at night. She walks home at night, checking the streets behind her. She says no. She says
no again, politely. She says no firmly. She does not blame herself for everything. She fights. She sometimes says nothing. She tells the truth. She admits fear. She speaks. She listens. She tells her story. She listens to her heels clack on the pavement. She walks through a group of men without headphones on. She keeps walking. She stares straight ahead. She goes, always goes, always goes.
A strong woman ignites the fire she harbors and is entitled to, in each step of her walk, mostly by walking home at night, mostly by herself.
Alida is the author of the book “Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse,” out in bookstores now. Her next book, out in 2015, is a comic memoir about being a feminist.
GG Renee Hill
She’s strong because she doesn’t want to walk through life like she’s asleep. She wants to feel everything. The joy. The pain. The wins and the losses. She wants to fall and see herself recover. She wants to jump and see herself grow wings.
A strong woman lives her truth and exploits her strengths, weaknesses, preferences and idiosyncrasies to her advantage. She knows when to cry and lick her wounds and when to get up and get back in the game. She’s a woman of character and spirit, wary of giving her power away. She is not waiting to be rescued.
She’s strong because at some point, she got sick of feeling bad and decided to feel good. She doesn’t undervalue her gifts and she believes her opinion counts. She has learned how to appreciate what she has, dust if off and make it sparkle. She is not afraid to be different and express herself in her own way. A strong woman will ultimately inspire you or at least give you pause – because it is her most fundamental intention to do so.
GG is an independent author, a life coach, a feeler and an overthinker. She writes for the crazy beautiful complex free creative inspired love drunk woman who relishes her quiet time and believes in miracles. Blog // Twitter // Instagram
I had my dream job. I worked for an organization that is shifting cultural norms and impacting social change. I met with incredible women who had risen above abuse and exploitation to become wildly inspirational leaders. I was challenged, motivated, and filled with passion. Then, I quit.
Let me explain.
That life-changing decision meant saying goodbye to a role and social issue that I had so deeply thrown myself into and ferociously defended for the previous two years. I stayed till 8pm on my last day and locked up the office with tears in my eyes.
It took strength to leave.
It’s taking strength to trust in my path, even more strength to forgive myself for the uncertainty and the need to explore something different, and the most strength to realize I leapt at the wrong opportunity.
Every day is an internal battle to not consider that need to explore as a personal weakness, but to instead recognize it as a brave gift that only I could have given myself.
I must focus on remembering that I haven’t lost that passion or the connections I have with the fierce and graceful women I was so lucky to meet.
Most of all, as I work to become a stronger woman, I work to be easier on myself, to trust in the prospects that lie ahead, and as a very wise man once said, to “enjoy it.”
I think a lot of times people think that a strong woman is a woman who has gone through extremes, such as an abusive relationship, rape, or even coming from a broken home. Incorrect. Simply experiencing does not make one strong.
The common response I received when telling people in the past that I had been raped was, “I’m so sorry, you’re so strong.” But there was nothing strong about it. Yes, I was still around, yes something terrible had happened to me but I was wallowing and reliving it, making very little efforts to pick myself up. I couldn’t call myself strong until I learned to push through the mental anguish, own the experience, and use it in ways to empower myself and others. So in short: What makes a woman strong is how she deals with life’s bullshit.
A strong woman spins her failures into lessons for success. She doesn’t play victim, she assumes the role of the protagonist and creates her own happy ending. Don’t get me wrong, the strong woman has her weak moments. But what makes her strong is the fact that she still continues to paint herself a beautiful future made up of the vibrant colors provided from these exact weak moments and negative experiences.
Yetti, of yettisays.com, provides the average twenty-something-year old with their daily dose of uncensored truth sometimes served with a side of wit, sarcasm, and a few curse words.
What do YOU think makes a strong woman? Let’s keep this going in the comments.
Tyece and all of the strong women who contributed to this post