Discussion Of The Poem 'Phenomenal Woman' By Maya Angelou

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The poem 'Phenomenal Woman' begins with directly addressing the stereotypes that are placed on women in society. This is done when Angelou states what she feels a woman's qualities are supposed to be by saying. 'I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size' which shows the reader that while she might be aware of the pressures and expectations that are placed on women, she is not willing to conform to these; an idea that comes from the fact that the first stanza is based around her successes despite being different from what some would call the "ideal woman". This is a way of presenting sexism in the poem because it shows that women are fully aware of the standards that are placed upon them and while this particular part in the poem can be seen as referring to successes, it also raises awareness to the fact that some may still be oppressed due to not adhering to these expectations.…show more content…
Instead, Angelou talks about another quality she has that many may not be seen as a desirable characteristic in a woman as it almost a way of asserting dominance but which allows her to get what she wants without having to withstand being held as a doormat for those who may be thought of as superior to her; this quality is confidence. Her confidence is portrayed in this poem through the ways she describes herself, 'The span of my hips' infers to the reader that she is aware she is not 'built to suit a fashion model's size' but that she is happy with her body and knows that she can still be sexy without being the way others may want her to be. In a way, she describes herself as though she is an expression of womanliness and what she deems to be acceptable rather than feeling the need to change herself to fit others' ideas of what a woman should
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