My take on this poem is that, a woman’s physical appearance shouldn’t determine her worth in society, but apparently it does and that’s the first thing that people notice. This speech is empowering and definitely resonates. We place more value on a woman’s beauty than on her personality, knowledge, wisdom, intellect, and choices. I hope this is enlightening and empowering for all of you (both men and woman) as it was for me. I love these two so much!!
Note: I feel that men aren’t judged as harshly in society and can get away with a lot (and they have). We women are more critical of ourselves and each other at times –but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. However, it’s up to all of us to change it , and to change the conditioning of this current patriarchal society. However, I can now see and feel it changing already.
We should place less scrutiny on a woman’s appearance to determine her worth so that way they can focus on the things that matter. Like her success in school, sports, activism, the arts, music, writing, medicine, engineering, ect. How kind or good natured she is to others or the good she does in the world. In a society that profits off of a woman’s insecurities, we would do ourselves well to try to retain our confidence and own our “flaws” and “mishaps” and instead try to transform them into something unique and beautiful about us. Nothing to be ashamed about or to try to cover up! Freckles and beauty marks are beautiful and unique only to you!
Be yourselves, the best version of yourselves at that. I will end with a quote from on of the greatest human rights activists and revolutionaries of all time: Nelson Mandela.
“You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously allow others to do the same.”
– Nelson Mandela (1994 Inaugural Speech)