They don't care what they "should" do.
If you've ever been around a truly confident woman who's comfortable in her own skin, passionate about life, and living on her own terms, you know the allure of the self-contained, independent female.
Like a bright, gorgeous fire, those around her cannot help but be mesmerized by her light, and many often find themselves gathering around her for warmth and comfort. But try and contain her and watch out — you'll get burned.
Today, we're celebrating the women who change the energy of the room upon entry and the world itself — one life decision at a time.
1. They speak up.
And not just for themselves. These women believe in justice and when they bear witness to unwarranted attacks, nasty comments or ignorant comments — look out! You're going to hear about it.
2. They aren't afraid to be provocative.
It's not about causing unnecessary commotions, but shaking up the proverbial snow globe to keep people thinking and situations progressing. These are the women who will challenge conventional wisdom with pleasure, step up and remind you that a woman's right to choose ANYTHING for herself is none of your damned business, and unapologetically fight for the underdog.
3. They're ageless.
There are young spirits, old souls, and bodies that are bashed at twenty, and then there are women who are downright gorgeous at eighty (hello, Carmen D'Orafice). These women refuse to be limited or pushed by the number of times the earth has rotated in their lifetimes.
4. They don't care what they "should do".
Whether it's getting married, having a baby, dressing a certain way, or any of the dozens of other "rules" society tries to place on them, these women make a daily decision to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it.
5. They believe in themselves.
These women take a good look at their history and all they've overcome, and are proud of their growth. They know they can take care of themselves, come what may. If they feel they cannot, they do what they need to do in order to acquire the skills and support they need to feel safe.
6. They make a conscious effort to fear less.
No one walks around with a Gladiator-style confidence 24/7, but these women take a good look at their fears. If it's not a serious threat with real consequences (like a dark alley on a late night), they push themselves to step forward and give it a go.
That could mean pushing themselves to book a trip alone, signing up for a public speaking class, or leaving a relationship in the face of having to start completely over. By doing this, they not only experience something new, but also build their confidence through tangible examples of their own courage.
7. They respect themselves.
These women don't giggle when someone disrespects them, nor do they dumb themselves down to appease anyone. Instead, they stay true to their values and draw a line in the sand each and every time. If that means a relationship ends or a situation changes, so be it.
8. They celebrate other women.
Save the jealous catfights and hateful comments for bad Lifetime movies. Instead of hating, these women celebrate, encourage, challenge and inspire women, while looking to build the confidence of those around them, instead of building themselves up by putting others down.
9. They don't make "feminist" demands.
They know that feminism isn't about being better than men, against men or any one type of woman. They believe in the rights of both genders, and all people, to live a life that feels most authentic, real and valid to them — with or without lipstick.
10. They're committed to their best lives.
Fearless, fiery and feisty women aren't here to exist in a groundhog day existence. Instead, they live a curious, vibrant and layered life that allows their ninety-five-year-old selves to look back with a flaming sense of pride, and a mysterious grin that can only be had by those who dare to grab what stands before them.
Brenda Della Casa is the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey, A Huffington Post Blogger and the Founder of BDC Life In Style. She is usually found in the gym hitting the speed bag to Eminem, having a wine-down with friends or writing with her beloved Chihuahua, Tony Che Montana, by her side. She is a strong believer in the beauty and power of a #BadassWoman Twitter: @BrendaDellaCasa Instagram: @BrendaDellaCasa Facebook: BrendaDellaCasa