I’m so tired of all the “strong woman memes!” As if I really need something else to compare myself to. It’s like some marketing jerk genius said you know what—women are starting to slack off let’s give them another un-achievable objective. Please. Stop telling me about these fairytale women who don’t chase men, never let people mistreat them, always smell of lavender in their lady regions and if they get knocked down they jump up even more fearless! Stop telling me that strong women don’t have problems or worse that they are better because of them. It’s almost as bad a selling that Barbie lie or making me believe in romantic comedies. Your memes are not my life!
I know plenty of strong women, personally, and none of them sound like the memes I read. Strong women get pissed. We don’t smile anyway. We don’t turn the other cheek and keep it pushing. We are not superwoman! We are petty and buy wine by the case and sometimes when we try to meditate we end up staring into space for 20 minutes. Whatever—check that off the list as a win because it might be the only thing I accomplish today!
I am upset. Upset and annoyed that people are pushing this “strength is flawless” idea. It isn’t. You will not wake up like this. Strength is literal. It takes time and requires heavy lifting. Strong women are battered and bruised. They have stretch marks and broken nails. It is not that she didn’t cry last night, she just watched some kick ass video on YouTube and color corrected the hell out of those under eye circles. Seriously. Lemonade was so popular because Beyonce, the vision of perfection herself, looked like I did halfway through my last break up—and she still kept Blu Ivy’s baby hairs intact.
All I’m saying is strength is not measured in bounce-backs, not how many you’ve had or how many you’ve avoided. Strength is a lot more intricate than that. Stop selling me some diluted version of reality that leaves out all the struggle and gore. Don’t tell me about the woman who never sheds a tear. Tell me about the one who barely makes it to the bathroom before they start to fall. That is strength. Don’t tell me about the woman who people never knew was hurting. Tell me about the one who held her woes beneath her tongue every moment of the day terrified a scream might escape. Tell me about the woman who feels pain, but knows she does not have the time to be distracted by it because bills have to be paid and her kids have to be fed. Tell me about the woman who sits in the car for an extra 10 minutes before work because she’s just not ready to go inside.
Stop telling me what strength looks like from the outside. Just give me the space, time, and freedom to experience what being a little less strong feels like.