From the Summer 2019 issue of The White People’s Quarterly
Being a woman used to mean something. We had a purpose; we were essential to the health and well-being of our communities and our societies at large. Unfortunately, this is no longer true for many modern women. We have abandoned our natural, God-given gifts and qualities, and replaced them with what we have been trained to believe is liberation and equality. While it is important to know what specifically caused the degradation and ruin of traditional gender roles, focusing on the things we cannot change will not help us repair ourselves or our communities. Instead, we women should shift our focus to the things we do have the power to change, and the first and most important step toward that goal involves reclaiming and embracing our femininity.
So, what exactly does it mean to be feminine? The technical definition of femininity is as follows: qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of women. On its face, this definition seems simple and straightforward, right? Well, for many of us, and especially for impressionable young girls, it can be tough to identify the natural qualities of women due to the often damaging and misleading information being sold to us by modern pop culture. Personally, when I think about this definition and what it is to be a woman, a few terms come to mind: nurturance, softness, compassion, empathy, modesty, beauty, and tenderness. These are the qualities that make us feminine women.
And now that we have a basic understanding of what it means to be feminine, how do we go about implementing this in our lives? How do we nurture and grow these qualities within ourselves until they feel natural to us again? Below, we will discuss several simple things that you as a woman can do to get on the path to becoming the woman you were meant to be.
Form healthy habits in your daily life
Ask yourself this question: can you truly care for those around you if you don’t care for yourself? Self-care is the most important part of your journey, and you must lead by example. Many of us live hectic lives with full schedules, so it’s easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. It’s even easier to justify not reading or educating ourselves because we’re tired and don’t feel like dedicating time to what we may think is non-essential. Breaking these bad habits and retraining your mind seems like a daunting task, but it isn’t, and once you get started these things will become second nature. Try planning out your day to include every activity, from meals to water consumption, exercise and dedicated reading time.
Cultivate and nurture meaningful relationships while distancing yourself from those that cause you heartache or stress
This is an essential step to becoming more feminine and living a healthy, wholesome life. It can be painful to let go of old friends and people that you’ve grown close to, but unhealthy relationships are a drain on you in many ways. Take time to evaluate your friendships. Ask yourself if there are people in your life that cause you stress or encourage poor behavior. Try to distance yourself from those people, and look for friends that are going to enhance and add value to your life. Your most meaningful relationships should be with your husband, your children, and your family. These relationships need to be nurtured and reinforced daily, and those people should receive most of your attention. You can improve these relationships by spending more time with them, adjusting your attitude toward them, and figuring out ways to help improve their quality of life
Be mindful of how you present yourself
This is the aspect of femininity that tends to get the most attention. Yes, being feminine is about more than just your outward appearance, but the way you present yourself does matter. There is a reason we perceive women from the fifties and earlier as being beautiful and feminine. No matter their social standing or budget, these women made looking nice a priority: they were clean (or at least as clean as they could be depending on the time period), and they dressed well. To improve your outward appearance and the feminine image you convey to others, re-stock your wardrobe with light colors that work well with your skin tone, and timeless, modest cuts of clothing.
Equally as important as your physical presentation, is your attitude. You should strive to be a calming presence to those around you, so pay close attention to the tone of your voice and the language you use when speaking. Choose your words wisely and remember—you are never fully dressed without a smile!
No matter how long you work at this there will be times where you lounge around your house in sweatpants or use the occasional swear word in a moment of frustration. None of us are perfect. The most anyone can ever ask is that you try your best to set realistic goals and reach them to the best of your ability. I guarantee that if you follow the steps above your loved ones will take notice and realize how lucky they are to have a beautiful, caring woman in their lives.