Being a woman wasn’t always a good thing to me. 
I associated femininity with weakness for a long time. 
No one seemed to hurt men.
In my youth, men hurt women.
So I believed women, were weak. 
I blamed gender on the inability to defend.
Instead of seeing the truth…back then. 
Somehow in my teens I came to the conclusion I was wrong
Femininity wasn’t weak
I just couldn’t afford to be feminine
My curves weren’t a weapon or a blessing
My sexuality wasn’t power
It was a curse.
My large breasts
Small waist 
High and bubble shaped behind
Brought me all the wrong attention
So I hid them in
Baggy jeans, sweatsuits, and bubble coats
Wisconsin lent itself well to being a tomboy
Too cold to be “girly” most of the year. 
 I was blessed to be welcomed into a foster family of women
Strong Women
Beautiful Women
Intelligent Women
Feminine Women
Their curves were an asset
Theirs…still not mine
I didn’t know it then 
God used them
They helped the healing begin
I saw in them 
Femininity and Strength
Intelligence and Vulnerability
They challenged my theory
They still do…
NO they don’t
They’ve defied it.
God used these women to dismantle it.
I’m glad they did. 
For years I’ve been closet prissy.
Moments of girliness peeked through from time to time
But I’d squelch them and threaten anyone who saw my soft heart
Couldn’t have them ruining my “brody or hardcore ” reputation
But I don’t want it anymore…
No one can ever convince me
Being the woman God created me to be
The woman who
likes to wear heels,
 the way my body looks in dresses,
 being held, cuddling, flirting,
affection, being complemented, treated tender,
and wants to express femininity
is weak. 

She’s been fighting to be free for over 25 years.
She’s the strongest part of me.
The truest part of me …  
I’ve kept her hidden because …
I was afraid someone else would hurt her …AGAIN
And even though I tried to hide her
Her heart was still bruised
Life has still affected her
Because…she is me.
No point in hiding her 
 I am aware of and always have known my worth
I tried to protect it by hiding it
But you shouldn’t bury treasure in the dirt.
So I won’t anymore.
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 Shawneda – Bold Inspiration