The moment I realised that I am a woman

Becoming a woman is complicated. Not only is it a physical transformation, but a holistic one. It’s about voicing your opinion, standing up for what you believe in, handling difficult situations and still standing strong.

Defining ourselves as women is something we need to do privately and in our own time. Each girl transitions in her own way, according to her circumstances. And it’s those life decisions and your unique situation that make you a woman.

So as we celebrate Women’s Month, we asked our readers and staff this simple question: When did you realise you were a woman? Here are some responses…

When I started recognising myself
“At 21, I still feel like starry-eyed Carrie taking on the big city in The Carrie Diaries sometimes. But I suppose the start of recognising myself as a woman began when I started being who I am, unapologetically.

As for the exact moment, it was about two years ago when I realised I should buy Woolworths clothing because I was worthy of quality fabrics!”

wellness, woman, women's day, women's month, empow

Image: Chanté, 21, Intern at Women24

When I realised my priorities had changed
“I think the moment I realised I was a woman was when I started looking at younger girls and felt different. Their mannerisms and the way they dressed were me five years ago. They were so impressionable and I looked at them and thought: ‘Oh, remember when I cared about that or how my only concern was passing a Business exam.’ I felt much more… mature I guess, but it also made me feel like I have my priorities in check. It made me confident enough to say, ‘Hey, I’m a woman’ (cue Whitney Houston’s I’m Every Woman)!”

wellness, women, women's month, women's day, empow

Image: Lynn, 20, intern at Women24

When I realised my mom was part of me  
“The impact of losing my mother changed my life and how I saw the world. I will never get over the loss – it is an everlasting, lingering pain I will just have to learn to live with. But through it all, I have great memories I will forever hold dear. My mom’s wisdom, strength and love will continue to grow in me, as part of her lives in me. And so, this is when I realised I was a woman: strong, independent, kind, humble, loved and blessed – just like my mom.”

wellness, women, women's day, empowerment

Image: Nadine, 23, admin and data clerk at Sheriff Mitchell’s Plain South

When I turned 40 and finally felt comfortable with myself
“When I was a toddler my mom treated and dressed my twin and sister and me like little princesses. I simply adored that, but as I grew up I was not always confident, especially in my teen years. During puberty, I questioned whether I really wanted to be female. At the age of 40 I finally realised I was all woman. I am now in my 50s and I see myself as a courageous and bold woman and I encourage others to do the same.”

wellness, woman, women's day, women's month, empow

Image: Vivienne, 53, receptionist at Knowles Husain Lindsey Attorneys

When I helped a young girl understand her body
“The moment I realised I was a woman was the first time a teenager asked me to help explain menstruation: why they get cramps, and what should they do and not do during menstruation. When I realised I had the ability to answer these questions for younger people, I realised I was an independent woman.”

wellnes, woman, women's day, empowerment

Image: Stacey, 24, student

When I became the head of the family at 15
“My mom passed away and it became my responsibility to do almost everything she did on a daily basis. I was the only one at home to cook, feed the dog, make the beds and clean up. After all this, I still had to find time to do my schoolwork. It was tough, but it make me realise I was a strong, independent woman, even though I was so young. Today I have a high tolerance for pain and fatigue as a result of what I went through.”

wellness, women's day, women's month, empowerment,

Image: Jade, 22, Intern at Food24

When I started to challenge the world
“My journey towards becoming a woman started in my first year at university. A lot of what I thought I knew about the world was challenged and I began to think critically of the kind of woman I wanted to be. I’m blessed to have such strong, inspiring women in my family who have helped guide me on this journey. It’s been an exciting (and sometimes scary) ride so far – and it’s not over just yet!”

wellnes, woman, women's day, empowerment

Image: Tamara, 27, SA Lifestyle Blogger.

When I let go of my long hair
“I guess for me becoming a woman was the moment after I’d had all my hair cut off – I saw it all floating to the ground and just felt joyous about it. We often think long hair means beauty, but my hair is so short now and I feel beautiful. I ran my hands through what was left on my head. I looked in the mirror and felt a surge of euphoria. ‘I feel like a woman,’ I thought. ‘I’ve embraced myself.’’”

wellness, women, women's month, woman, empowerment

Image: Lauren, 23, student

All Images: Supplied

Share with us your story on the moment you realised that you are a woman and you could win a voucher worth great products from Sh’zen. Email us.

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What part of your lifestyle are you most conscious about when it comes to sustainability and ethical consumption?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Clothing and accessories
13% - 39 votes
Skincare products and makeup
16% - 47 votes
Food and home
71% - 215 votes