Phenomenal Woman

Topics: Maya Angelou, Body shape, Woman Pages: 3 (958 words) Published: August 11, 2008
“Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou is an inspiring poem that relates to women of all ages and races. It’s powerful message of loving one’s body and self is much needed in today’s society. Women today are being bombarded with the ideas that they should be perfect. The media plays a major role on how women perceive themselves, and these unrealistic views on beauty and thinness are causing self-destructing behaviors that are harmful to all women. The only way to fix this epidemic is to teach women how to have a positive body image and learn to love the body they have. “Phenomenal Woman” is a poem that all women need to read over and over again because it embraces such a strong message of Maya Angelou being proud of who she is.

The media has an effect on how society views reality. A disturbing effect of this “reality” is that media images of female beauty are unattainable for all but a very small group of women. This causes major self esteem issues for women who cannot attain the idea of perfect female beauty. Another disturbing effect is that television and movies constantly reinforce the importance of a thin body as a measure of a women’s worth. The barrage of messages about thinness and beauty tell women that they are always in need of adjustment and that the female body is an object to perfected. The overwhelming presence of media images of painfully thin women mean that real women’s bodies have become invisible in the mass media. The real tragedy is that many women internalize these stereotypes and judge themselves by the beauty industry’s standards. Women learn to compare themselves to other women, and to compete with them for make attention. Women need to realize that these images are not “real” women. This focus on beauty and desirability effectively makes real women self-destruct. In Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Women”, she is proud of herself and the way she is. “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies./ I’m not cute or built to suit a...
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