Phenomenal Woman, That’s Me

Written by Angela Atkinson

Maya Angelou

I think that as we attempt to make changes physically, we also need to be focusing on the inside. We need to decide that we ARE worth it, and do whatever is necessary to help us learn to accept ourselves for who we are, for what we want to become. We need to learn to love ourselves. This is something I’ve worked hard to instill in my three children, and I think my boys are well on their way.


I feel a different sort of connection with my daughter, who is also on her way, than I do with my boys. Not any stronger, or more significant, but different.


I’ve always read to my kids, even as little babies, and during a discussion with my daughter, I read her this poem I’ve always loved, by Maya Angelou. I found the poem in a book of Ms. Angelou’s poetry that I bought on a women’s retreat several years ago, and it’s since been my very favorite one. I think that most women can relate to it, I am dedicating this particular blog to the women in my life.


I want to teach her how amazing and special she is, and I don’t want her to ever doubt it. I realize that is a lofty goal, and I also realize that it’s something I won’t always have control over. But I will tell you this: somehow, through all the years of self-doubt I had, I always knew that I didn’t have to put up with certain things in relationships–no man has ever hit me, I’ve never tolerated cheating, and I certainly wouldn’t put up with my husband hurting my kids.


I always knew that I deserved to be treated a certain way, even if I allowed myself to be treated otherwise briefly. I have to credit my parents with instilling some level of self confidence in me, and some level of understanding that I am worth more than I gave myself credit for in the past. I am re-learning that now, and I want to be sure to instill this in my daughter, as well as my sons.


Ladies, we have to realize how amazing we are. I know, I know it sounds like I’m just blowing sunshine up your butts (lol, that’s a term my dad used when I was a kid), but the truth is, we as women are truly unique and beautiful. I challenge you all to make a point to find something beautiful about yourselves today, and to look at the people and things around you, and notice their beauty. You will be surprised how this can change our attitudes.


I want to share the poem with you all, and I hope that you read it and REALLY feel it. It has always made me feel, well, phenomenal. I hope it does the same for you! Share it with your mother, your daughter, or any other woman you think needs to recognize how amazing she really is. And while you’re at it, recognize the same thing about yourself.


by Maya Angelou


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a model’s fashion 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 steps
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 for my care.


‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.





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