We live in a society where gender roles are defined by centuries of sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy. We are so accustomed to thinking that men do things and women do things that we don’t even notice it anymore. This influences our perception of femininity and womanhood as one thing—and it often isn’t a good thing. That’s why we need to rewrite what femininity is. But how? And more importantly, why should you even care?
Well, for starters, your happiness depends on it. You can define your own feminine identity through looking at things differently — from choosing to acquire period underwears to practicing self-care rituals. While everyone has their preferences when it comes to living their femininity, these five ideas will get you started in defining yours!
When you think of femininity, what do you imagine? Flowers? Pink things? A warm summer breeze in a floral field? Those are all beautiful things that could make up your feminine identity. But what if you don’t love flowers and pink things or sunny weather as much as everyone else does? Then why do they need to be part of your femininity definition if they make you feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled? Instead, try putting together a list of everything you love.
If there’s anything that pops into your head when thinking about women’s empowerment and female friendship — whether it be rage against patriarchy, fashion sense for days, dance parties with friends — write it down! There’s no right way to be feminine — we just need something that makes us happy. And whenever possible, choose those ideas over whatever society dictates we should like.
This will help separate yourself from people who insist that their idea of femininity is yours as well. Find yourself, not someone else’s version of how you should act because of their patriarchal belief system.
I mean, sure … aren’t we all girls at heart? But can you harness your inner girl without feeling like you’re compromising your femininity identity in some way? Yes! You just need to figure out what it means for you. Here’s where the personal definition comes into play — while society might say that being feminine means marrying a man, having babies, and submissively staying at home waiting for him while he works nine-to-five, that doesn’t necessarily have to be part of your definition.
If you want to define yourself as an intellectual badass who runs her own business or a mother with her own style aesthetic or something else along those lines, go for it! And then jump back in our previous point and find everything that encompasses these qualities of yours. What do you love? How do they make you feel when engaging with them?
Sure, part of being feminine might be having a body that society deems as attractive. However, our idea of femininity needs to go beyond just how we look. Loving your body is so much more than how much you weigh or what you look like — it’s about loving yourself for everything that makes you unique and special.
Remember when I said everyone has their preferences? That goes double when defining your own femininity identity. So, if you don’t feel comfortable going by societal definitions of beauty, then don’t. If maintaining a certain weight makes you feel good because it gets rid of health problems, then do it!
The best part about being feminine isn’t just finding yourself — it’s spending time with others. Be it family, friends, significant others, or professional acquaintances, having people in your life who love you is an integral part of feeling happy and fulfilled. Try going out with your girlfriends or taking a weekend trip with your family.
Even getting coffee with a co-worker counts! Take some time each day to enjoy your loved ones’ company; nurture those important relationships, no matter how busy you may be. If anything else makes up your definition of femininity, they’ll be there when all else fails — so don’t let that define you as well!
One last thing that may make up your definition of femininity is ritual. Not necessarily religious rituals, but even still, there’s something magical about taking a little time out of each day to reflect on what matters most. Maybe it’s looking at photos of loved ones or taking a bubble bath before bed — whatever makes you feel relaxed and happy, do it!
Just like spending time with friends and loving your body, these small moments can be just as important as everything else in our lives. We’re all constantly busy going from place to place and engaging in different activities; making room for self-love doesn’t mean you have to spend more hours doing things — it just means finding ways to take care of yourself.
So, there you have it, ladies! My top five ideas for better living your femininity. Of course, these are just my suggestions — figure out what works best for you and run with it! I’d love to hear from you all as well; leave me a comment letting me know how your own definition of femininity has helped you be happy! What little rituals do you use? How does harnessing your inner girl make a difference in how feminine or unfeminine you feel?