You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman7 January, 2016
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I hope you have ALL seen the magnificent Ms Aretha Franklin's performance of Carole King's hit (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. The Kennedy Center Honors recognizing Ms King's artistic achievements gave us an absolutely stunning performance, a collaboration of genius, these two women combining forces to create a profoundly inspiring moment. I am so deeply moved, watching this performance. Find it here, and find your own magificent womanhood reflected!

Since this performance, I am moved to adopt the concept, A Natural Woman, as more appropriate, more accurate and more inspiring than the Uncommon Woman concept I have so far been using to embed my PCOS work. By Uncommon Woman I have meant to declare and defend our inherent uniqueness, that is, to defend against the diagnostic labels that cannot accurately or usefully describe us. A Natural Woman is a phrase and a concept that more positively and in fact more accurately describes each and every one of us. Despite the limited thinking and un-natural categorization convenient to reductionist medical science, we are each in fact , a unique and natural, that is normal version of what adult human females can be. All humans have strengths and vulnerabilities; all humans have conditions that need attention and care for optimal well being. We are each somewhere on the continuum of what humans can be.

Conveniently, I get to make a presentation of this concept to my colleagues at a continuing education conference coming up in a few weeks. In a TED talk-like format, I will be describing to the physician audience how we have mistaken 'different' for 'abnormal'. I will be sharing with my colleagues my analysis of anthroplogical, psychological and social research that supports my understanding of high androgen women with PCOS as normal human females living in an abnormal physical environment. I am going to ask them to change their minds about how they see and subsequently how they interact with their patients who have been labeled with PCOS. How we see ourselves is shaped by how others perceive us; we give professionals an enormous amount of power to define our version of what is normal. Professionals are human first, and their world-view colors their perceptions and decisions and affects the way they ask research questions, and how they interpret the data they collect. Care needs to be taken in asessing the value of data that may be unconsciously biased. We are always working to do a better job with what we spend our time doing, including being alert to our personal biases.

This audience of primarily naturopathic physicians will not be resistant to this concept, but you can help me help them make this crucial, foundational shift in their thinking, by sharing a photo of your natural, this-is-what-a-woman-looks like self! I would like to project on a screen behind me as I speak, the images of as many high-androgen women with PCOS as I can collect. In my imagination your beautiful faces will scroll by as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman plays very quietly in the background. Anyone who donates their photo can have a copy of the presentation when it's complete. If you are willing to share, please attach your photo to an email and send to me at I will need to have your photo by January 28th in order to include it in the show.

Here's the photo I'll use of me and fabulous daughter Tassia, a couple happy, healthy naturally high androgen women having a walk on a winter day.We're looking forward to adding YOUR smiling face to the cast of extraordinary characters we are! Shine on, beautiful diamonds, and share your natural light!