What comes to mind when you see the words “strong woman”?
Maybe you imagine lady bosses or femme fatales. Or girls who know how to rock tattoos, motorcycles, and big muscles.
But all of these have nothing to do with being strong.
To get a clearer picture of feminine strength, I’ll give you 9 signs of a strong woman who embraces her power and femininity.
1) She doesn’t try to be “stronger” than men
She has no interest in proving to anyone how women are smarter, richer, and more successful than men.
If anything, she doesn’t see trying to show men “their place” as a sign of strength at all. She sees it as a sign of insecurity and weakness.
Sure, she might hate that the world is simply unfair and biased against women. And sure, she might be well aware of just how deep the bigotry goes and resents it.
But she knows better than to take it out on the men in her life. She understands that the problem lies on the societal, systematic level and that she isn’t helping at all when she tears down individuals simply because they’re men.
She sees everyone as equal—regardless of gender— and judges people based on their own individual merits.
2) She isn’t ashamed of her “girly” traits
Many of us have this idea that strong women hate being soft and “girly”, that they must be tough and rough somehow to be seen as strong.
But a genuinely strong woman doesn’t believe this, and happily embraces their soft, cute, and feminine side.
If she enjoys wearing pink shoes or frilly skirts, then she’d wear them. If she enjoys watching sappy rom-coms with her friends, then she’ll be open about it instead of hiding it away like some kind of guilty pleasure.
So what if she’s girly anyways? She loves it!
Thinking like being soft and girly is “weak” is simply giving in and playing along with the idea that women are weak and men are strong.
It’s all bollocks anyways—strong women realize that things like “manly” and “girly” are just labels arbitrarily put on things to force us all into boxes… and they refuse to be boxed.
3) She’s comfortable in her own skin
We all have insecurities, and strong women are no exception. What separates them from us is that they have simply learned to own their insecurities and love themselves.
A strong woman embraces herself in full regardless of how others might talk about the way she looks or acts.
For example, while she might not necessarily flaunt her acne, she’s not going to hide under five layers of makeup or avoid going outside because of it.
And if she has a squeaky voice, a flabby belly, or crooked teeth… well, she simply won’t mind them. They’re just part of what makes her who she is.
So what if other people have a lot of cruel things about her acne or the sound of her voice? They’re not perfect, either.
4) She doesn’t look down on other women
There are women who act like they’re the best kind of woman around, and that everyone else is below her.
These women, incidentally, are the ones who are most consumed by insecurities.
They have all these ideas about what an ideal woman should be like and then judge others according to their standards, like sneering at someone and saying that they’re a “fossil from the 50s” or that they’ll become a “miserable childless crone” for example.
A genuinely strong woman who embraces her power and femininity won’t do this—ever! Instead she will understand that womanhood means different things for different people.
For some, fulfillment lies in staying at home with kids, and for others it’s about being an independent and childfree CEO.
And feminism is about us having the freedom to choose the path that suits us the best, rather than be forced to follow a specified ideal path of what a “modern, independent woman” should look like.
5) She turns her “weak” traits into superpowers
Society likes to belittle women and frame them as the “weaker” sex.
They pay little heed to what women say, and then say that they’re “emotional” when they get frustrated. They say they’re “too timid” or “too insecure” on one hand and “too assertive” and “too self-assured” on the other.
A strong woman knows that all of those so-called weaknesses are not weaknesses at all. The only reason there’s even an issue in the first place is because they’re women. On men they’d be absolutely seen as strengths.
And that’s precisely how she’ll treat them—as strengths.
She’ll prove that her meticulous attention to detail isn’t annoying, but actually really useful for the company she’s working in.
She’ll prove that what people have been regarding as her being “timid” and “spineless” is just her knowing how to actually negotiate with people.
And in doing so, she proves the lie in all of these stereotypes people have of womanhood.
6) She’s doesn’t use her gender to gain an advantage
A strong woman might lament the handicap that her gender brings, but she isn’t going to try to find ways to exploit her gender to get what she wants either.
She would take opportunities that are being given to her fairly, like job opportunities and grants that specially target women. It’s about damn time that society tries to make things a bit more balanced and fair, after all.
But she isn’t going to flirt with her boss in hopes that she gets a promotion, or use society’s bias against women to guilt-trip her colleagues into giving her opportunities.
She’s not going to say things like “Oh please, the only reason you didn’t assign this to me is because I’m a woman!” to get what she wants because she wants to play fair.
Besides, if she actually did suspect some kind of unfair biases in play, she’d just gather evidence and bring it up to HR.
7) She believes she’s born with a purpose
A strong woman believes that she’s here on this Earth for a purpose.
Some people who’d say she’s delusional…or that she’s dreaming too big. Some would even roll their eyes and say she’s “too ambitious”.
Depending on how you see the world, you might even agree with them.
But regardless, she refuses to let that hold her down. If life itself is void of meaning, then she will give HER life meaning.
Perhaps that meaning lies in giving people joy.
Perhaps that meaning is in challenging all of the systems holding women down.
Perhaps it’s writing the best novel ever made.
Big or small, self-assigned or found, the strong woman knows her life’s work and finds strength in that fact.
8) She wants to be a good example to other women
Perhaps the crowning achievement of being a strong woman is in being a good example to other women, and that’s precisely why she tries to pursue precisely that.
In being so unapologetically herself, in being confident, understanding, and persevering she turns herself into an ideal role model. She’s well aware of this, and for that reason, she tries to become the best version of herself.
It’s only then that it would be right for her to go on the way she does.
And so she strives to become the best role model she could ever be—to be someone that she herself would have looked up to and loved.
9) She’s as real as she gets
Power isn’t all about being at the top and doing grand things. Power can also be tender, soft, and quiet.
A true feminist believes that real power is embracing oneself fully.
This is how we set ourselves free and reclaim the sense of power and personal agency that’s been taken from us by a society that seeks to put us in a box and tell us to act “like a woman should”.
You see, there’s a bit of the masculine and feminine in both of us.
So if she likes to listen to death metal, she certainly would—not to show she’s a “cool girl” because she doesn’t have a “girly” taste, but because she truly likes the genre.
And if she likes to wear high heels and fur, she would too because why the hell not?
Strong women accept this, and accept it in whole because it’s only with all of us in one piece that we can even claim to be complete.
The world is unfair towards women. No matter what they do, it’s like they can simply never win the approval of the people around them.
Some of us think that to be strong, we need to abandon our femininity and become masculine to compensate.
But that’s a thing only insecure women do. Truly strong and confident people are as femme or masculine as they truly are deep inside without any shame whatsoever.
Femininity isn’t weak or ineffectual, despite popular belief. This is one of the things strong women have learned over the years, is the reason why they’re so proud of themselves.
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