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 – Series Kickoff!

This is a start to an extensive and beautiful collaborative series about what WOMAN means, as the concept of female and woman is unique to each and every individual. We will be hearing from women and men from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes, all colors, all cultures and backgrounds. So read on, and stay tuned!

Self-Awareness is such a crucial part of self-care, and self-love, as we can only truly find our self worth and state of happiness once we look at ourselves. We must ask ourselves questions that force us to delve deeper and peel back the layers to find awareness of our true beings; self-awareness helps us understand why and how we are important to the world…. because we are ALL so important, and so incredibly worthy! Self-awareness can start with some simple questions….

Who am I?

What makes me happy?

What do I appreciate about myself?

What do others appreciate about me?

What do I appreciate about others?

How do I perceive myself?

How do I perceive others?

What truly makes me happy?

What truly makes me proud?

So much of my identity is being a woman. My Mom and Dad raised three strong, independent, driven and compassionate women, and with that came a sense of pride! Within this world of oppression, inequality, gender norms and media manipulation it can be difficult to maintain that sense of pride, as others constantly try to tear it down. Therefore, I find that self-awareness towards what makes me a proud woman, and self-compassion within my pride of what being a woman encompasses, is truly self-care at its purest form! I am woman; this is what WOMAN means to me.

To kick off this series, I chose to incorporate a poem called “Where I am From”

WHERE I’M FROM

I am from American Girl, Disney Princesses, Hopscotch at recess and swimming in the summer.

I am from the outer banks of the concrete jungle, from the cozy suburbs, a neighborhood filled with privilege, the bustle of trains and gusts of wind; from squelching summers and freezing winters.

I am from the dandelion blowing in the spring air, the daisy and seashell in the sweet southern sun.

I am from a Christmas Eve’s watching White Christmas with Bing Crosby and strong women from the Irenes, Gorey Girls and Edwards.

I am from the anxiety-ridden tears, eating disorders and unconditional love for animals.

From being an “old soul” and overly sensitive.

I am from Methodist practicing Irish Catholics, from the shame brought upon by converting.

I’m from La Grange, IL, Irish and Italian Catholics, deep-dish pizza and bowls of popcorn and ice cream

From the time Kathie pulled her hamstring while doing the champagne splits the millennium being rung in with innocent cheer, sparkling grape juice and silly string and

Tess, and Claire brushing their teeth to NSYNC every morning before school despite the seven year age gap.

I am from underneath the Christmas tree, on the beaches of South Carolina, the strong trust of my parents, the intense bond with my sisters, the struggle of becoming a woman, the results of being a dancer, the middle child, the sensitive one, and most importantly the love and truth of family.

I am healthy, I am beautiful, I am recovered, I am in love, I am happy, I am strong, I am a WOMAN.

-Jayne Mattingly

Check out the rest of the series here!

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

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