"Phenomenal woman"

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's 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 step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
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 in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
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

Phenomenally.
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 of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

            --Maya Angelou


I read this poem in one of my literature classes last year and felt it would be wonderful to share. Lolita and gyaru fashion participants, and woman in general, receive a plethora of negative criticism from those around them and from themselves. "I'm not pretty enough", "My waist/bust is too huge/small", "You've too big", and "That style would look better on a lighter skin toned person" are some examples I've seen/heard when girls ask for critiques.

I feel that every lady is beautiful. By lady, I mean those girls that truly try to represent a fashion to its fullest. Much like the second line, "I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size", as a 6 foot tall, curvy, caramel-toned woman I fit none of the typical or desired traits of a lolita or himegyaru. However, I try my best to portray and honor the fashions I love. I am phenomenal because I display confidence, love how I look, and who I am.

Everyone has something that makes them phenomenal. Have you found your's?

image from: whatismykarma

2 comments:

spiralred said...

this is one of my favorite poems. Next week I'm auditioning for a modeling competition and I'm going to keep this in mind as confidence inspiration.

Lady Kristen said...

I'm glad you liked the poem. Best wishes on your modeling competition! I'll be rooting for you. I'm sure you'll do well. Are you modeling your own pieces?