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More To Love teaches plus size women how to learn body-acceptance and end dieting for good. 

A phenomenal woman, Maya Angelou

Rachel Estapa

My mother called me into the TV room when I was 8 years old.

“Rachel, come watch.”

There I saw a beautiful woman, strong, confident, her bravery and wisdom was apparent even before I heard a word from her mouth. Talking with Oprah, they were discussing the healing nature of our deepest pain – that the soul is cleaned through struggle and that to rise up from strife is an act of love.

I was only 8, but her words reverberated with me from then on. I read her poems in the quiet of my bedroom. I recited lines to myself when I needed them most. 

She was Maya Angelou, one of my early icons whom I believed was magical. And human. And a phenomenal woman.

Just like me. 

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
by Maya Angelou

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 
Phenomenally. 
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 of my waist, 
And the joy in my feet. 
I'm a woman 
Phenomenally. 
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 
Phenomenally. 
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 of my care, 
'Cause I'm a woman 
Phenomenally. 
Phenomenal woman, 
That's me.