To start off, we want to thank the women mentioned in Proudly Woman for their brave and vulnerable efforts to contribute to this Open Diary.
The meaning of Womanhood can be defined by various experiences and perceptions. Just as our pride and value alter with societal pressures and misconceptions of what it means to be Proudly Woman. Many find themselves conflicted with the variety of interpretations and expectations that come with the territory.
Being a woman goes beyond biology and linguistic limitations. Womanhood is often defined by culture, background, religion, success, morals and values. For many of us, being a woman goes beyond what meets the eye. Being a woman is a great honour, and with great honour comes great responsibility – as the age-old saying goes.
As a tribute to the diversity and authenticity of inspirational women, this article will explore the different perspectives and shapes of Womanhood. We salute and honour not just the Namibian Women but our sisters across the globe. Being a Woman is magical and unique and deserves to be celebrated.
We are Women
Savour and process the perceptions and perspectives of Womanhood that this article explores. I encourage you to read with an open mind and a grateful heart. After all, we wouldn’t wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for women.
Perfectly Imperfect – C. Smit
To me, being a woman means being strong and independent. It means being vulnerable and embracing my perfectly imperfect self. Being a Woman means being a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I am proud to be a woman because I can be powerful and vulnerable simultaneously. I am proud to be a woman because the women who came before me laid the foundation for me to build a future for those who will come after me.
“”Proudly woman”” means confidence, contentment and peace of mind, all within my own skin. It means that I embrace every flaw and scar, knowing that it has shaped me into the Woman I am today. A Proud woman celebrates and appreciates all women.
A Woman Being – B. Kasch
I love being a woman because I can feel like a woman. Allowing myself to feel and accept my female body’s broad spectrum of emotions connects me to my true Woman being.
The moment I started enjoying my Womanhood by honouring my cycle, shamelessly dancing and enjoying my body, my life changed. Our bodies are blessings, not curses. Beliefs based on the latter keep us from experiencing our happiest life.
I love being a woman and being naturally connected to the rhythm of the earth and the universe. Isn’t that amazing?
I aim to raise awareness of feminine embodiment and encourage women to be open to experiencing their true nature.
As a woman, I highly value my intuition, gradually strengthening as I embody more of my true Womanhood. I love experiencing the profoundly transformative chaos, constant change, impulsive actions, instinctive decision-making, unapologetic dancing, irresistible magnetism, silly playfulness, sensitivity, love, mysticism and expansion of being a woman.
Oh Woman, what are you brave,
Surrendering to your earthly nature.
Where there is no need to behave,
You initiate, love, dance and nurture.
Woman – T. Lowe
Being a woman means
Carrying the confidence of all women who have come before me.
Being a woman means
Having a universal understanding to support and protect the women around me.
Being Woman means
I respect and take pride in how I present myself to future women ahead of me.
I am proudly Woman
With softness as my strength.
I am proudly Woman
Inspired by her sisters’ successes.
We are women
Inherently beautiful in all ways, always.
Women – V. v Heerden
As cliché as it may sound, I am who I am because of Ouma Ronnie, Ouma Maria Magdalena, mamma Ronel, friends, mothers of friends who have adopted me into their families, women that I work with, women who I order my coffee from or buy my favourite book from.
I don’t think any woman is who she is without the love, support, coffee, tea or wine breaks and heartfelt sessions with her sisters. I am proud of the women in my life and I am proud of the woman I am because of the women in my life.
Being a woman to me is looking at your glorious thighs one day, despising the cellulite and stretch marks. Still, the next day, you realise that your thighs are strong and have carried you this far. They are the reason you can go on walks with friends. The cellulite is there because of the beautiful genes your mother passed on that she also received from her mother.
Each bump serves as a reminder of all the delicious cakes, cookies and meals you have shared with friends and loved ones.
Being a woman means loathing my natural curly hair and wishing I had straight hair. Until I discovered women who envy my curly hair. Finding a hairdresser in my 20s who gets my curly hair truly helped me embrace and celebrate it.
It’s memories like singing in the car, at the top of your lungs, to your favourite song. It is feeling like a boss lady with red lips. It is feeling like you belong in a Jane Eyer novel when you have a flowing dress on.
It is baking your favourite cake to celebrate those around you. It is drinking from your favourite cup. It is making mistakes and living your life.
Being a woman is also seeing your grandmother wither away before you, getting thinner and thinner because of the chemo, realising that we all have to face the Man upstairs one day.
It makes you realise that nothing in life is certain except for death. That life is too short to break each other down. It makes you grateful for the time you have and will still have. It makes you want to take life by the high heels and just live it!
It makes me proud to be a woman with friends who wish her nothing but the best. We can challenge each other to grow and become better versions of ourselves. It makes me proud that I can bake my ouma’s famous appeltert. With one taste, it can transport me to so many fond memories.
It makes me proud to be a woman because of all these women.
Proud in Every Season – M. v Deventer
Spring comes full of fire
Young and in love with the world
You dance fast, and your
music and dreams kaleidoscope into bright colours
of becoming someone
and you fear that you will not make it
Proud young Woman
A moment passes, and Summer arrives with
Many titles like wife, mother, chef, teacher
And kisses can fix everything
But you struggle to juggle
Between career and what else
You know you are someone
but the fear remains
Am I making it?
A whisper and Autumn arrives
The house becomes empty
You miss the crazy, the running
and falling over toys.
Bedtime stories alone and no more hide-and-seek in trees
Yes, you are proudly career-driven
And still trying to make it
Winter comes with calmness and settling
Skipping hand in hand with grey hair and
Lifelines showing everywhere
Love is now giggles and cuddles
Little hands dragging you into the rain
Running through puddles.
Life is on repeat of being a wife, Ouma, chef, teacher
And kisses can still fix everything.
Your career is only what makes everything else possible
Dreams are being with those you love
And ”making it” is a bite of chocolate melting in your mouth.
Beauty of Womanhood – L. v Jaarsveld
In the radiant beauty of Womanhood, being a woman to me is an embodiment of strength, resilience, and limitless possibilities.
It celebrates the nurturing spirit that weaves communities together and the unyielding determination that propels us forward.
I take pride in my innate ability to overcome challenges and inspire positive change. “”Proudly Woman”” encapsulates the profound sense of self-assurance, recognizing the beauty in our diversity and our collective power.
In a world brimming with unique stories and experiences, my insights contribute to this global narrative, illustrating the multifaceted nature of Womanhood.
Together, we form an extraordinary mosaic, painting the world with the vibrant hues of empowerment, compassion, and boundless potential.
Yes, being a woman in today’s society means having the opportunity to be anything you want! Women have more options than ever; we can pursue our careers, become entrepreneurs, and participate in social and political activities.
However, being a woman in today’s society also means facing many challenges and difficulties. Women should be able to express themselves and their identity as a woman freely. Still, they must also be aware of the obstacles they face to succeed.
Beautifully Chaotic – S. Schneider
My road to Womanhood has definitely been a challenging one. I have battled with versions of Womanhood and which to fit into. Either be “”ladylike”” and pious, be brave and fearless, be strong, be gentle, be kind, be sexy, be quiet, be loud – you name it.
The contradiction of the expectations of women has driven me wild. Until I came to believe that being a woman was enough! Why be anything else when I can be unapologetically, proudly and chaotically Woman.
Being true to myself means adapting my Womanhood as I see fit. I can be hood, boss lady, messy, loud, sophisticated, passionate and oh so sensitive. I always thought there wasn’t a place in this world for me to be all that. Now, I am carving my place.
I am becoming me every day. I am becoming a woman. Bold, opinionated, sensitive, loving, creative and most definitely chaotic – Beautifully ugly at times. My mind is vibrant, dark, creative, and dull – a walking paradox.
But I am me, I am She, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Defining the mysteries of a woman – M. Meyer
What is a Woman? An age-old question. According to the dictionary, it is “”an adult female human being””. How boring? To me, a woman is so much more…
A woman is a beacon of strength, resilience, hope, compassion, and grace woven into a breathtaking tapestry. Not one Woman is the same as the next. Each presents a different story with wondrous curves and colours. It is as if the world is our showroom, and the elements illuminate our tenacity and spirit.
Truth be told, we all have scars that cause us to unravel occasionally. As we bear these scars, they are testament of our ability to endure, heal and emerge once more, with a few added threads. Some brighter, others darker than before, but all contributing to the contrast of what we are. Creating each Woman in its own beautiful perfection.
Within the millions of threads, you will find a never-ending list. Passions, dreams, motherhood, partnership, career, friends, dancing, singing, painting. Each thread is entwined with an emotional connection, a priceless memory. Forever forming. Layer upon layer.
As the years go by, colours fade with wrinkles and grey hairs. The tapestry continues to cultivate new patterns. Still increasing in value. Eventually leaving lasting lessons for generations to come.
Women have a natural ability to nurture. We are bearers of life. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way. We are warriors. Always putting our hearts on display. We uplift and empower the feeble. We provide continued support to those around us. Always touching lives. We are women. We are proud. For we are a work of art.
The Diversity of Womanhood
Evidently, being a woman can mean many things to different people.
Women deserve to be celebrated and appreciated in all authenticity, shapes and sizes. I say to you, my dear lady, we have fought too hard; we are too highly valued and favoured to be diminished, minimised, altered, compared and taken for granted.
Embrace each other – every loss, every victory, every flaw, every asset. We are women and united; we are unstoppable.
Thank you. Thank you for being true to your Womanhood, true to yourself and accurate to your sisters. We are women; we learn from those before us, and the future depends on us.