Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.

Over the past few week I have had the opportunity to hear some incredible women speak and watch women accomplish great things. Octavia Spencer came to IU not long ago. You may know her better as Minny Jackson from The Help or Dorothy Vaughan from Hidden Figures. One thing she was passionate about was bringing one another up, meaning helping one another out, supporting each other, and sharing your little victories. Personally I am all for this. And one way that I have been able to support my fellow women recently has been through the Maya Angelou inspired Phenomenal Woman campaign organized by entrepreneur, Meena Harris. This campaign raises money for seven organizations that do work for women’s rights by selling a simple gray t-shirt that features two words: phenomenal woman.

The campaign began with a humble goal of selling 500 t-shirts. And since the start of the campaign the the goal has been lapped over 14 times. The current count is at 7,257.

That sounds like a lot, yes. But take a minute to soak that in and realize what that means. Because so many t-shirts have been sold, $232,224 will be donated to charity and the campaign is not over yet. (Yes I am promoting this campaign right now, but how could you not when such good things are happening?) There is still 14 days left before the campaign ends and therefore still potential to make a positive impact.

Something that started off as a small nod to National Women’s Day (March 8th) has grown into so much more. One woman started a campaign and many others came to support not only the cause but also each other.

We should celebrate that.

People have amazing potential to do great things (women and men). This is just one example of someone advocating for their peers and others coming to support the cause.


If this perked your interest and are interested in buying a shirt, or would just like to find out more the link is listed below.


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.