What WOMAN Means To Me Series

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 7 – with Emily Dell

I met Emily while studying abroad in Florence, Italy my Junior year of college. Emily and I, along with five other fabulous women, were assigned to live with each other at random in a charming, quaint and tiny apartment above a Gelato shop (it was heavenly)! I was drawn to Emily right away, in that her vibrancy, unapologetic demeanor and confidence were contagious! It has now been over five years since we met, and Emily has continued on her own journey in California. Her presence with her friends and family has always stayed strong, and she is truly a unique soul in every way! I am honored to have had Emily author this post on her personal depiction of womanhood! I hope you enjoy!

#GirlBossLife! What WOMAN Means To Me Series

What WOMAN means to me; living a life of grace. Grace with others, but more importantly grace with yourself. I always tell my girlfriends not to be self-conscious.

I tell them how beautiful they are and who really cares about the love handles anyway?! Well, I need to be listening to my own advice. Too many times I catch myself hating my body, wishing I were thinner or just wishing I were different all together. What kill me are the rolls. Rolls rolls rolls rolls rolls. I obsesse over how many I have, how big they are or just the fact that I have them.

Body Love! What WOMAN Means To Me Series

Part of being a woman means having grace with yourself. It’s easier said than done, but once I was able to let that body image ridden anxiety go, I accepted my body for what it was and what it is. I accepted it for what it looks like, moves and how the “hips just don’t lie.” I still have my moments, even my days or weeks! However, learning to have grace with myself helped me to love myself, which in return enabled me to give and love others.

There are too many factors in life that weigh us down. Women get called names, we are constantly being labeled, “cat called” on the street, and made lesser than the opposite sex. It seems as though we are simply singled out just for being a woman.

However, this creates an opportunity for women to shine. We must handle these situations with grace. Forgive and forget. Move on and grow. Pick ourselves up. Grind. Learn from the ones who burn us and let that scar be a beautiful lesson. It’s not the fall that matters; it’s how you get back up. It’s hard to not let the constant negativity weigh us down; in fact it’s seemingly very easy. There are many people in this world that allow the negativity to encompass all that they are. We as women must be different from the crowd. We must remain buoyant.

What WOMAN Means To Me Series

We are tough. We are strong. We are smart. We are sassy. We are kind. We are beautiful. We are life givers. Every woman on her own is beautiful, but when women come together we create a beautiful, ass kicking squad.

– Emily Dell

Check out the rest of the series here!

What WOMAN Means to Me Series Kick off 

What WOMAN Means to pt. 2- with Asia Vianna Mack

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 3 – with Gissell Reyes

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 4 – with Claire Mattingly

What WOMAN Means To Me pt. 5 – with Becca Schutlz

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 6- with Ireana Nathan

Female Empowerment!

What WOMAN Means To Me pt. 6 – with Ireana Nathan

Who is just LOVING this series?! It is truly turning into a safe space for ALL women to illustrate what WOMAN means to them! I first met Ireana at an event for fellow creatives and bloggers here in Charleston, SC, although i had secretly been a fan of her blog  XoXo, I. Joelle for some time! Ireana is a Life and Style blogger, and I highly recommend heading over to her blog, and following her on social media, as she is truly so much fun, and an inspiration in so many ways!

Make sure to head on over to Ireana's blog and follow her @xoxoijoelle
Make sure to head on over to Ireana’s blog and follow her @xoxoijoelle

Ireana is everything that she embodies within her writing, photos, social media, branding, and blog, in that her voice truly rings through! She is vibrant, genuine, intelligent, hysterical, and beautiful in every way! I feel privileged to have Ireana guest author on this blog, and I hope you all enjoy her depiction of womanhood!

Ireana visited Cannonborough Collective, a new boutique in Charleston, SC owned by our nearest and dearest!
Ireana visited Cannonborough Collective, a new boutique in Charleston, SC owned by our nearest and dearest!

I’m going to be honest with you it took me a while to answer that question. When Jayne at RecoveryLoveAndCare reached out to me with this prompt I thought I had it all figured it out. I tried thinking about what so and so would say but then I remembered that everyone has their own definition of “What Being a Woman Means” to me.

My definition of being a woman means that I am strong enough to beat all the odds against me. I don’t have to live up to societies definition of being a woman. I’m comfortable being myself regardless of what I see on tv or on social media. Which is one the mission behind my blog.

As a woman, I know my value doesn’t lie in the hands of anyone else. It took me a long time to figure that out but it’s crystal clear now. I know that I have a purpose on this Earth every day that I wake up. Any pain struggles that I have endured is my story to share because someone out there may need some encouragement.

As a woman, I think we should define our own selves and not depend someone else to do it for us. For too long I depended on what others had to say about me I couldn’t hear my own voice. Remember to be a voice and not an echo! Your voice and opinion does matter and don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Pure rock star!
Jaw dropping, that confidence, and that jumpsuit!

Being a woman means that I can be Ireana J Nathan unapologetically and fearlessly! Every chance I get I want to grow and flourish into the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Remember that no matter your skin color your size or whatever that you matter. Don’t allow anyone to define who you are. It’s up to you to make that choice!!!

I can't help but feed off of Ireana's confidence and pride!
I can’t help but feed off of Ireana’s confidence and pride! Photography by Aneris Photography

-Ireana J Nathan

Check out the rest of the series here!

What WOMAN Means to Me Series Kick off 

What WOMAN Means to pt. 2- with 

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 3 – with 

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 4 – with 

What WOMAN Means To Me pt. 5 – with Becca Schutlz

What WOMAN Means to me pt. 7 – with Emily Dell 

What WOMAN Means To Me – Pt. 4 with Claire Mattingly

It’s that time again! I am so anxious for everyone to read this post, not just because it was authored by my sister, but also because Claire is a strong, empowering and amazing person. Claire is my younger sister, and she is truly what I hope to be like when I “grow up!” Enjoy!

To me, WOMAN does not refer to a single individual, nor simply myself, but a powerful patchwork, a sisterhood. This sisterhood is comprised of women who care for, listen to, and protect each other. My mom, my sisters, my friends, my guardians.

I am undoubtedly proud to be a woman, but society weighs on me because of it. I am constantly made aware of the lower position my gender affords me. I’m told, “you’re not like other girls, you’re cool,” and I’m expected to react to this attack on my sisterhood as if it’s a gift. I’m told, “don’t get so emotional,” when I’m simply expressing passion. I’m told, “not everything’s about feminism,” when I try to address blatant misogyny.

I’m told. I’m told. I’m told.

I don’t wish to tackle the patriarchy in this moment, but instead to honor the sisterhood. Because the best way to combat the above intrusions is to support each other as women. So often, we’re tempted to put one another down. It’s an impulse that stems from the societal teaching early on that other girls, and later, other women, are your competition. Competition for love, success, and happiness. As if it’s a zero-sum game. I reject that. We all need to reject that.

Women are my strength and inspiration. In my 21 years, I have seen how powerful we are together: The compassion, smarts, and joy we produce when we are in sync is, to put it lightly, kick ass. I want to take more time to nurture and appreciate that bond. I want to make a daily effort to hear each other, to defend each other, and to respect myself just as much. I hope you do too.

So to me, I will reiterate, woman means family.

-Claire Mattingly

Check out the rest of the series here!

What WOMAN Means to Me Series Kick off 

What WOMAN Means to pt. 2- with Asia Vianna Mack

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 3 – with Gissell Reyes

What WOMAN Means To Me pt. 5 – with Becca Schutlz

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 6- with Ireana Nathan

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 7 – with Emily Dell

What WOMAN Means To Me Series – Pt. 3 With Gissell Reyes

Gissell Reyes is another dear friend of mine, fellow woman warrior, future colleague and fellow sister! I am overwhelmed by her beautiful depiction of WOMAN….go ahead and indulge yourself in this amazing illustration of What WOMAN means to Gissell….

Defining your womanhood is unique to yourself. This is one woman’s perspective on what it means to be a woman. Using this word to define the manner in which we keep our relationships with your loved ones and friends, what you give of yourself to those relationships, and how you maintain your balance with both.

Being a WOMAN in today’s society means many things but these definitions belong to society.

 

My definition is my own, just as your definition is wholly your own. When I think of my womanhood, I think of the relationships I maintain and my role in these relationships. Beyond my biology, I am a woman because I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a partner to my boyfriend. All of these relationships have a specific meaning that makes it unique to my idea of a woman.

I am a daughter, different than a son because women are closer to their families. Traditionally, we stay closer to home even as we build our own separate families. There is a saying about this: a son is a son until he gains a wife but a daughter is a daughter all her life.

I am a sister. I am loyal and protective and the keeper of memories. Sisterhood comes from a bond that is soul deep. It is formed through the sharing of adventures and of secrets and of life. To be a sister means to give of yourself for the betterment and wellbeing of your sister. You share your soul with your sister. While your children are your heart walking in the world outside your body, your sister is a piece of you doing the same thing. This is the same for people you chose to share a sisterhood with, your close friends that sub in when you don’t have a sister or are apart from them.

I am a partner. To be a girlfriend or a partner or a wife as a woman means you share yourself with another person. It means that you take care of the other person with compassion and support. To be a woman in a relationship you walk a fine line. You give of yourself without losing yourself. It takes balance and self-awareness to be a woman in a healthy, thriving relationship.

In reality, it takes balance to be a woman in general. In today’s society, women are told how to look, how to act, how to feel, it is more important than ever to find balance and be confident in your own identity. For me, what woman means to me goes beyond the superficial. It is, at its core, about how I maintain my relationships, about what I put into them. It becomes a part of the identity I create for myself. The goals I have and the achievements I accomplish are defining characteristics of the kind of person, the kind of human being I want to be. But what I put into my relationships is what woman means woman.

-Gissell Reyes

For the rest of the series check it out here!

What WOMAN Means to Me- Series Kick Off!

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 2 – with Asia Vianna Mack

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 4 – with Claire Mattingly

What WOMAN Means To Me pt. 5 – with Becca Schutlz

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 6- with Ireana Nathan

What WOMAN Means to Me pt. 7 – with Emily Dell