This week we’ve had mothers day and international women’s day. It seemed only fitting that I would write a related piece on one of the most inspiring women I know.
What does it mean to be a woman? An impossible question. A question with no real answer. There is no definition of what it means to be a woman. Sure we have stereotypes and gender norms of what we think a women ought to be but, in reality a woman is whatever she makes herself to be. There is no right or wrong way to be women.
Yesterday the 8th of March marked the international women’s day 2016. As the official website says:
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. www.internationalwomensday.com
It is a day we across the world celebrate amazing women who have achieved great things and are bringing us just one step closer to equality. When I see the word woman. I see strength and might. I think of a badass and beauty. I think of soul and something so unique that it has been intriguing the world since time began. But mostly importantly I think of my mother. What better occasion than for me to celebrate the woman who has taught me an immeasurable amount of life lesson and has given me the tools I needed to shape me into the woman I am today.
One thing I am super grateful of is that my mum taught me to accept my flaws and to embrace myself just the way I am which, is what makes me perfect and unique. After all there would be no point in God creating two of me. Right?
My big lips, my afro hair and broad nose were all perfect in her eyes. Now granted when I was younger I didn’t really appreciate all this wisdom being bestowed upon me. I thought she was just been an over bearing strict mother. I wasn’t allowed to really wear makeup, relax my hair and weaves were out of the question. However, there was a method behind the madness and it was to force me to accept my natural features. So when I was old enough to make a conscious decision about how I looked I could do it with the mind-set that no matter what I have on or how I do my hair. I will always be beautiful. My mum also gave me the freedom to self-express and to be happy in the choices I make. I was able to find myself and make my own decisions on what type of women I wanted to be.
Another rule in my house that was enforced was, that I was never allowed to talk bad about myself. I would get in trouble when I would say things like ‘’oh I’m just bad a spelling” or “I can’t do that!” I always thought, again, that my mother was just being over dramatic. I mean I was just bad at spelling. But really she didn’t like me enforcing any negative perspective about myself. Unknowingly to me I was installed with the idea that I can do all that I put my mind to. It is something similar to the power of positivity. My mother (and I) really do believe that if you speak things out into the universe they come to pass. Negative thoughts equate to negative actions.
My mum taught me that strength comes in all shapes and sizes. I was taught that there is no shame in showing your emotions and just being yourself. Furthermore, (and mostly importantly) opinions of others don’t define you and you should never let them. That I should never hesitate to be the loudest in the room and speak my thoughts.
And for that I will be eternally grateful.