Social media bombards us with images of "real women" - from reality stars, to movie stars, to models, to politicians, to news anchors, and the list goes on and on. But is that really who a "real" woman is? Most of the time these women have been groomed to fit a reality that is not what I see as "real" or even desirable. Who wants to live on lettuce leaves until they die, or constantly be camera ready in case someone takes your photo?
I see independence and autonomy as strengths, women who are able to stand on their own two feet, support themselves if the need arises, and still have enough left over to share with those they love. Being overly dependent on someone else leads to a need to be propped up - strong women can stand alone if they need to.
A real woman hasn't always had an easy life, she has weathered storms and trials, ups and downs, tough times and sad times, good times and bad times. She has had her rough edges knocked off, but not lost her sense of humour in the process. She has learned gratitude and grace through all that life has sent her way.
A "real" woman has nothing to prove, she is knows her own mind and she knows her own values. Compassion for others colours her view of the world, but she isn't a push over. She is fiercely loyal to those she knows and loves and would lay down her life for her family.
I plan on becoming more "real" every day and surrounding myself with other women who are honest and authentic. These women will all be different because they are true to themselves and to what they hold dear, but we will share a commonality of purpose and a desire to be the best possible examples of what this stage of life can be. I'm hoping to add more and more women to this circle because we enhance each other and as we share our stories we grow deeper and more gracious.