You’re a woman, baby

I want to write a post that I needed to hear.

I want to write a post that you need to understand.

I want to tell you something that you need to teach your daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.

I want you to get this into your head because it’s never going to change.

You are a woman. And if you’re not one yet, then you’re well on your way there.

When I was younger, my mom and my cousin, who I call sister, were the women in my lives. They were who I had to ask questions and watch and learn things from. Sure there were a few other women in my life here and there, but still, to this day, they are my women.

  1. You need a group of women

Find your circle and hold them close. You should be the only girl in the group, and the rest should be women. All of your girlfriends should have their own group of women. You can share, but you two must not be in the same group. You are on your own journey, and girlfriend #1 is on her own journey. Go through them side by side, but not entwined together.

Growing up, I felt like I didn’t have many friends. Not to be confused with lack of social skills, because I have those and use them well, but I didn’t have a group of girls. That’s important too. Find a group who you can go through things together but remember that you can do things alone too.

Going through things alone is just as important as the times with the group.

But growing up, I was taught by my women to not take shit from anyone. This is an important quality of being a woman.

2. Understand that you set the boundaries

You are allowed to say what feels good and what doesn’t.

You need to understand that you have a voice and you need to use it. Use it when you can, because if you don’t, people will overlook you.

People will think small of you. Let them, and then prove them wrong.

I grew up quite Portuguese. This means that my family members… are not very skinny. This means that I grew up, seeing, right in front of me, strong, large, beautiful bodies.

This means that I also grew up with, and still have, one of these bodies.

You have one too, you know.

And if you’re not a women yet, don’t forget this.

3. Your body will change.

Growing up, my friends were tiny. As a dancer, my friends were tiny. I had a really hard time sharing clothes with them because of this. On top of the ever changing fashion standards, I would always be needing to buy more clothes to keep up with my changing body. Puberty, for one, is to applaud for this. Along with puberty, the life of a competitive dancer means one thing: costumes. And with costumes comes measurements. So, as I saw my clothes change for the larger and the ends of the measuring tape get farther apart, I began to wonder why my friends didn’t have the same battle.

Why could they fit into hand-me-down costumes and I couldn’t? Why could they keep the same clothes from the past few years and I couldn’t?

4. New clothes are for the better.

There is absolutely no need to keep the same clothes from high school. There is no reason to get upset when your clothes don’t fit anymore, other than if it was your favourite pair of jeans. Growing out of your old clothes is normal and natural and I wish someone would have told me that.

I’m 21, and I’m still growing out of my clothes.

I’m 21 and I’m growing into my woman body.

The body of a woman is a temple. We are this way to create children. That doesn’t mean you need to have children, because if you don’t want to then you don’t have to. Simple as that. But no matter your choice on children, you have a body that will build one for you. You have a body that is wide and strong and creative.

I think that this world needs to be more supportive for girls, because women have support. The girls need to understand and learn that you are not going to look the same as you are when you’re 16, 17, or 18. Comparing yourself to photographs from a year ago and seeing how “skinny” you were, only makes it harder.

It only makes it more toxic.

It’s a part of life. You’re telling me that you want to look like an 18 year old? You’re telling me that you want to go straight down from the waist to the knees for the rest of your life?

The natural shape of your body is stunning and powerful. You don’t need to look like the supermodels or Kim Kardashian. You need to look like yourself.

I don’t want this to be a post only about body image, because I could go on forever about it. But it’s so important that it should be. But this is about you and you’re journey to becoming a woman. Hell, even if you’re already a “woman”, you can still become more of one.

Surround yourself with your group. Buy new clothes that fit you and feel good. Stop looking at your old photos and wanting to turn back the clock.

Your hips are wide because you are a woman.

You will compare yourself to others because you are a woman.

But because you are a woman,

you are already winning.

You are winning in the game you are playing by yourself, because in this game, no one can beat you.

Because if you didn’t already know,

you’re a woman, baby.

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