You are a woman. You are bones and blood running through strong veins. You are muscles and eyes that see beyond the realm of your own body. You are a heart that beats thickly, passionately, fiercely for those you love and care for.
You are grace and wisdom, toughness and tenderness, power and delicacy wrapped in skin and soul.
You are a woman.
And you should be proud.
You should be proud of the steps made before you, from the words pressed to the page by others just like you—words of hope and promise, and paths carved by determination and resilience.
You should be proud of the way others have carried themselves, how they have fought, how they never gave up, just so you could laugh with abandon and let the sun kiss your skin.
You should be proud of the colors, the nationalities, the races, the differences all binding us together. The way we can be so physically different, but all with strong hearts and beautiful souls. All fighting for and chasing after the things and people we love.
You should be proud of the ways we’ve grown. How we’ve learned to accept one another. How we’ve begun to see that skin is not meant to separate. How we’ve started to stand for each other rather than against, and notice the ways we can be better for one another. How we can love beyond our walls.
You should be proud of our voices, the way we are relentless for rights. The way we have decided to become loud instead of meek, bold instead of passive.
You should be proud of your laugh, your smile, your stance, your heart. You should be proud of who you are and where you’ve been, the lessons you’ve learned and the path you’re still wandering down.
You should be proud of your skin and hair, your legs and mind, your sexual identity, your independence, your gender, your thoughts and your dreams – all the things that make you, you.
You should be proud of what you’ve overcome, and the sisters you’ve made along your journey. We are all stumbling through, all fighting forward, all trying to make sense of the bodies and souls we’ve found safety in.
We are all learning how to be stronger, how to love, how to become who we are destined to be in a world that doesn’t always know how to care for us in return.
But we are women. And we should be proud.
Of each step forward. Of each moment of bliss. Of each setback, teaching us to push even harder. Of every chance we’ve been given to show the world that we can and we will.
So raise your voice. Open your mouth. Turn your lips to a smile and tilt your face to the sun. You are a woman – beautiful and complex and resilient and ever-changing. You do not need to hide. You do not need to be ashamed. You do not need to question your purpose or your place on this earth.
You are a woman, a gift, a force to be reckoned with.
And you should be proud of who you are, and will become.