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Strong is Not a 4-Letter Word

Misty Copeland - strong and beautiful.
Misty Copeland - strong and beautiful.
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The Conversation

There has been a long-running conversation revolving around how females of all ages are perceived or regarded. The tone has changed recently, but the back and forth spreads across the ages with the feminist movement of the seventies (burn your bra!), back further to women’s rights in the 1800s, etc.

What is typically thrown out there to ponder is the example that if a male executive is “strong-willed” or “bossy”, that’s just his personality and he’s considered a good leader. But if a female executive is the same, she is considered *itchy.

Some recent campaigns, maybe covering the last 5 or so years, are more specifically aimed at teaching our young girls to be proud of themselves, to be strong and stand up for themselves, to see themselves in a positive light. And for us, even, as adult women, to see ourselves in a more positive light.


The Dove campaigns are good ones. The “Real Beauty Sketches” is one about how women see themselves vs how others see them. Then there’s the Always ad #LikeAGirl, about doing things “like a girl”, both of which are inspiring and a little bit convicting. I also think of Mo’ne, the 13-year-old little league pitcher. If I could throw like that girl, I would be super happy!

And very recently, the ad by Under Armour that’s gone viral and, frankly, gives me chills every time I watch it, showing Misty Copeland in ballerina beast mode - feminine AND strong.


Whether you are male or female, there is a difference between being strong and being an obnoxious bully. It is the individual’s responsibility to be sure they behave appropriately.

Historically, society has dictated that the man is the head of the household, but when there is no man present that doesn’t work. And what happens then, the house just goes to pieces? No. The woman becomes the leader. And women are quite capable, as seen even further back in time, when women were assigned as leaders, like Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, who was appointed as a judge.

Now in those times, these judges were not appointed by people, but by God Himself, who imparted different abilities on the ones He chose, male or female. If God chose a woman to lead, why do some feel they are in any position to argue with that? I don’t know, but some do.

As single moms, we are the leaders of our households. We are the HOH (if you watch Big Brother) in our households. Do we feel guilty when we are strong for our kids or to them? Sometimes, but we need to be strong. It is our duty to set the boundaries and show the consequences for breaking - or following - those boundaries. I heard something on the radio the other morning that really resonated with me. The speaker said: “If it’s wrong, fight it; if it’s right, fight for it.” How awesome is that, and to how many situations does that apply?

All of them. Every single one. And by doing that, we teach that.

We are the leaders, we are the role models, we are responsible for growing our children - our sons AND our daughters - to become productive contributors to, and members of, society. It’s okay to be strong. Just do it. Someone will thank you in the future. I thank you right now.

What do you think? Has anyone ever complained about you being too "strong" (besides your kids)?

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