From clitoris piercings and topless Thursday parties, to donning Wonder Woman underwear … when we asked women what made them feel strong and beautiful, the inspiring (and sometimes mind-blowing!) responses started pouring in.
At 28 years old, following a horrible breakup and finding out my body was infertile, I felt about as far from beautiful as a person could. My body had betrayed me, and so had my heart. I was done. I hated to even look in the mirror.
That was when I decided something had to change. I couldn’t go through life feeling that way about myself. So, I started training for a triathlon and a half marathon — determined to remember how strong my body could be. I signed up for a boudoir photo session — determined to remember how beautiful I could be. And I went through a series of one-night stands — determined to be touched and desired, without the fear of heartbreak.
Over the course of one year, I worked hard to feel fierce and beautiful. Some of what I attempted worked, and some of it served as a series of lessons I needed to learn. But all of it was part of the bigger picture — learning to love myself again.
I was thinking about it recently, and it got me wondering what other women have done when they’ve needed that same change of perspective. So, I took the question to social media: What have you done to feel fierce and beautiful?
What happened next was a pretty perfect example of why I love the internet. The answers came flowing in, too many for me to be able to share. Here are a few of our (inspiring) favorites.
My roommate and I started hosting “Topless Thursdays” a few years ago. We spend an evening drinking and hanging out topless with our friends. It's not about nudity, but instead about creating a space where you don't need to impress anyone with your body. When we first began, no one wanted to join us, but now we have people begging us to host! — Rae I.
Secretly: I got a breast augmentation. Very few people actually know. Although, I'm sure many suspect. It has been 3 years now and it has been nothing short of the best investment I have made. I don't flaunt them at all but they have given me a sense of femininity that I never knew. — Ashley S.
I love to lock my bathroom door, turn the music up super loud and shower, do my hair, make up, etc. while singing like I'm Adele. I can confirm that I'm not like Adele, but I often feel like her. — Rebekah A.
I got a piercing done when I turned 31. I was the girl who had no tattoos or piercings other than her ears. Then I decided: “Clitoris it's your turn.” Freedom. Most people would never pick me as the one with such a piercing. My 6 year old daughter thinks it's the norm. — Sonia J.
I wear superhero underwear on days that I need to be awesome at work — meetings, presentations. I have Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman. They were all purchased at Target in the Ladies/Women's department. No, I'm not wearing children's underwear! — Jaimie R.
Are you feeling inspired yet? As these women show us, sometimes being beautiful means doing something bold. But it can be as simple as buying some beautiful new lingerie, getting that tattoo you’ve been dreaming about, or signing up for a boxing class. Whatever you decide, it will be our little secret.
Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. A single mother by choice, after a serendipitous series of events led to the adoption of her daughter. Leah is also author of the book Single Infertile Female and has written extensively on the topics of infertility, adoption and parenting. You can connect with Leah via Facebook, her website, and twitter.