How 7 Women Take Up Space In Their Everyday Lives

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
All too often, women are made to feel like they're supposed to shrink away or be quiet. That's why those seemingly small ways we make room for our entire selves (literally and figuratively) are actually invaluable. Maybe we boldly share our identity with others, maybe we speak and laugh as loudly as we wish, or maybe we demand a bathing suit that actually fits.
Whatever it is that you do every day to find the space that you need, know that you're not alone. We asked R29 readers how they make themselves known in the world. No two responses were alike, but one thing was consistent among the women we heard from: There's no need to apologize for taking up a little space. Read on to hear from our readers and share you own experiences in the comments.
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I'm very loud about being a lesbian.

"I'm very loud about being a lesbian, because I'm proud of myself and my identity."

-Isabella, 17
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I let myself feel and show emotions.

"I let myself voice my opinions as loud as I want. I let myself own up the space I deserve, whether it's physical space on public transportation or metaphorical space at work, school, or in social environments. And, more importantly, I let myself feel and show emotions, whether they're good, bad, or irrational."

-Jade, 21
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I walk around naked.

"I walk around naked in my apartment. Hate the constriction of clothes and love the way my body looks in the mirror!"

-Hillary, 25
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I talk too loud.

"I talk too loud, in restaurants, meetings — all of it. And I laugh too loudly, too. I love it."

-Morgan, 23
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I never move out of the way.

"I never move out of the way when crossing paths with a man on the sidewalk. If he wants to walk into me, then walk into me he shall! But, usually, they move off to the side at the last minute."

-Marika, 27
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I play a mixed, full contact sport.

"I play a mixed, full contact sport, where I can tackle men and show them that, yes, women are strong."

-Oriana, 21
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I talk to my body every day

"I wear my bikini to the pool, and I put my shoulders back when I do. I ask my friends, 'Did you bring your bikini with you?' I speak up for people who are marginalized. I teach children to have spiritual muscles to empower them against bullies. I don't let bullshit go by unaddressed. I talk to my body every day and tell her that I love her. She rocks!"

-Jacqueline, 46
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Related Video: How To Love Your Body & Be Confident

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