'Power' Star Naturi Naughton on Embracing the Powerful Woman Inside of You

Photo by Ira Black
In her first ESSENCE blog, the "Power" star shares why it's important to embrace, and celebrate, your power.

Ladies, please take a seat! Spread yourself across your couch, breathe slow, deep breaths and awaken your spirit. Now think of your mother, your grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, mentors, even yourself. Tears begin to flow when I think of the strong women that have enriched my life. I can’t imagine life without the loving tenderness of my mother, the wisdom of my grandmothers, the struggle of my great-grandmothers, and the listening spirit of my best girlfriends. 

Womanhood is such a complex existence. It’s full of love, sacrifice, perseverance, joy, and often overlooked excellence. But sometimes we (men & women) simplify womanhood into cliché themes. If a woman is attractive, suddenly there’s an assumption she’s hateful towards other attractive women. If a woman is sexual, she may risk being called a “ho”. If she’s assertive and strong-willed, suddenly she’s a “domineering bitch”. If a woman has standards, some may say she’s “old-fashioned”. But ladies, our actions can elevate the level of consciousness and create a new perspective. A perspective where society can embrace our profundity instead of citing that we are all the same. We’ve got deep layers and rich flavor that can ignite all five senses. 

When I think of a powerful woman, I hear her purposeful voice, I feel her comforting touch, I taste her homemade cornbread, I smell her floral presence, and I see the love of God in her eyes. My confidence as a young girl was lit afire whenever I heard the angelic voice of Whitney Houston, read the phenomenal words of Maya Angelou, witnessed the fierce talent of Angela Bassett, saw the regal poise of Ruby Dee, watched Phylicia Rashad gracefully dance across my TV screen or admired the beauty of Nia Long as I watched “Love Jones” for the umpteenth time! These women made me feel proud and I aspired to be just as great. Which poses a question for us all: What impact will you leave on your daughters, sisters or friends? Are you treating yourself like the precious gift that you are? Or dig deeper and ask, am I the harvest that my grandmother so religiously prayed for? 

It disturbs me when I see so many young women unaware of their priceless value. Why has it become mundane to see two girlfriends converse while thoughtlessly throwing out a “Yeah, bitch” here or an “Oh, no, bitch” there? I can’t help but wonder if today’s reality-TV, social-media obsessed culture, is saturating our minds and diluting our values. Arguably, these mediums seem to be persuading us to abandon our self-respect. There are so many pressures to be a replica of the popular mold, coupled with the systematic theme of valuing ourselves based on how we look and how men “look” at us. Frankly, if we don’t exhibit our own power, then men won’t recognize something they’ve never seen. Practice excellence in your speech, your posture, your appearance, and in your thoughts. You don’t have to compromise!

The powerful woman knows she is powerful and doesn’t have to prove it! She stands in her light and doesn’t shrink when it’s her moment, yet, she knows how to stand in the wings and watch her sister shine. That woman has intellect, class, and self-esteem. She has an alluring sway when she walks, is comfortable in her sexuality, and has a healthy ego yet a humble spirit. She’s fearless, determined and strategically fights to change the world. 

We spend a lot of time looking outside the window trying to find ourselves, when in reality, we’ve got a house full of gold. Dive into yourself, and you may discover that this powerful woman… is you! A beautifully designed, uniquely sculpted work of art. When you find your personal treasure, don’t be afraid to thrust it toward the sky with pride. The world will marvel while you shine. In awe of your luminescence, in awe of your essence… in awe of you!

Catch Naturi Naughton as Tasha on the Starz original, Power, returning for season 2 this Saturday at 9pm ET.

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