Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Women proves that women should love, celebrate, and respect themselves. This poem is one that every woman can relate to, and it is written in a tone that is completely understandable. Throughout each stanza Angelou promotes self-confidence. She talks about how a woman should feel and treat herself. Sometimes women often do not love and respect themselves as they should and make themselves feel less than they really are. Women are known for always putting others first and forgetting about themselves. However, in the poem, Angelou knows she is not perfect, but she is extremely confident and shows it in each stanza. Angelou uses wonderful symbolism, good tone, and great imagery while writing her poem.
Phenomenal Women by Maya Angelou was written from life experiences that I am sure a lot of women experience growing up. Angelou faced a repetitive discrimination growing up because she was a woman and an African American. He looks were never considered beautiful. Growing up she taught herself to appreciate what she was blessed with and built her self-love and confidence from that. She wrote this poem to allow other ladies who may have been through the same thing know how to overcome that feeling and know that you are a phenomenal woman no matter who you are or what others try to claim you to be.
Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Women proves that women should love themselves no matter what. In this poem, she strongly expresses that it does not matter what society says you should always have that inner love for yourself. To Angelou to be a phenomenal woman that consist of not allowing others to conform you into what they feel you should be or look like. Angelou confronts that in the first two lines of the poem by saying, Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size. Just from those two lines she is defining a phenomenal woman as a woman who is aware of her looks but loves them anyways. Women got to always have that inner love for yourself and not allow the pressure of the world to turn you into somebody you are not. You do not have to fit into the fashionable trends like others to be considered phenomenal, and you do not have to be the cute others define cute to be either. In the first stanza, she proves and expresses her self-love by charging at those stereotypes. In this stanza, she is pretty much saying that she does not have what is considered feminine traits, neither does she have the body, and/ or the cute face. However, her inner-confidence and love she has for herself makes her phenomenally beautiful.
In this poem, Angelou also proves that women should celebrate themselves. Even though Angelou does not fit the stereotypical body and/ or face society tries to make it, she still celebrates who she is as well as her looks. Throughout the poem, she describes her own beautiful looks and how she is not what people feel she should be but she celebrates who she is anyways. For example, in lines six through thirteen she says, 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. In the poem, you can tell that while writing this she was so full of positive accepting energy of her person. She is so open and honest when she is talking about her looks and comparing them to different things. In this poem to be able to celebrate yourself, you must be able to love who you are and what you have.
Lastly, Angelou proves that women should respect themselves. In the poem, Angelou reveals how much she loves who she is and she celebrates that. As a woman, it is extremely easy to not respect yourself when you do not love who you are. Angelou allows the reader to understand that she has flaws, but she is who she is and she respects that. By describing her outer beauty as well as inner beauty in different ways shows how much she loves and respects herself and she celebrates it. Respecting yourself is extremely important and if you do not respect you nobody will.
As a woman, it is extremely hard to fight through what society tries to define you as. For me growing up and being exposed to different types of women made accepting who I was easier. Realizing that every single person is different and unique in their own way made it extremely easy to become comfortable with myself inside and out. This poem is so powerful because Angelou uses what someone would consider ugly or not cute as her power tool. She allows the reader to know exactly what she has that is not considered the ideal feminine women, and celebrates those things about herself.
In conclusion, Angelou uses this poem as a guide along with great examples of how to be a phenomenal woman. You do not have to be what the world considers perfect to be phenomenal. Angelou pushes that a lot in the poem. Her message is to be a phenomenal woman you got to have that love for yourself. To be able to celebrate and have respect, you have to start with love and accepting who you are. Society should never change your mind to believe you are not beautiful or good enough. You should always love who you are, celebrate it, and respect it. Once you begin to do that you will feel complete and happy. Learning to love who you are, celebrating that person, and respecting it makes you a phenomenal woman.
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