I’m a bit of a ‘new year – new you’ addict. One area I love focusing on is style. And Instagram, despite its fake and contorted reality, showcases our style and how we represent ourselves throughout the years. I scrolled and scrolled, created a mood board – realised what I aspired to didn’t show. My desire to dress like feminine women was masked by visions of what it means to look sexy.
Who are feminine women? I cannot quite articulate modern names. In our blossoming gender-neutral society, femininity is difficult to describe. We assume a woman who wears blouses, dresses – a ‘girly girl’ character. By definition, femininity means “the quality of being female”. While I’m a confused feminist and want more equality, I also love being a woman and enjoy the typical traits associated.
Dainty lace and silky tops; chic hats, ballet flats and polished nails. I love the images of Sophia Loren wearing a waist cinching belt with a flowing dress, and those clichéd Parisienne women adorning high heels with a black maxi dress and cardigan. Feminine women dressing is rarely seen in Hollywood. Sexy women are feisty, power blazer and catsuit strong.
Masculine sex appeal
For modern women to look sexy in film, they have to posess masculine toughness. That, or very miniscule clothing. My favourite article to have recently read, on health.com, discusses how women’s sexual power is dominated by their opposite gender. Throughout history, sexual women are considered a threat to men. As the piece explains, “History and theology are full of tales of women whose sexual power caused the downfall of nations and peoples.”
We have numerous words to shame women – slut, whore, hoe and tart. Females struggle with empowering themselves sexually, because our bodies are seen as beneficial to flaunt, for the attention and admiration of men. We hide ourselves due to those negative, ‘shaming’ words linked to us, and then when we do get the chance to express our sexual power, it’s done in an unfeminine fashion.
Feminine women can go out wearing frills, and still have intelligence, ambition, drive and authority equal to their male-counterparts. To me, femininity is about acceptance and embracing all sides of being a woman. Though I found myself lost in style, choosing to display skin and edgy garments, I’m realising currently, how I want my appearance articulated.
Feminine women portrayal
Society portrays feminine style as unsexy, because we retain the thought that femininity is soft, delicate, not opinionated, and weaker than masculinity. Perhaps the 50’s housewife persona has shaped this view. I believe it’s important that every woman decides how she wishes to dress, whether with skirt or trousers. However, for feminine women who want to embrace traditional aspects of femininity, they should be able to do so without becoming unsexy or anti-feminist.
My wardrobe plans are to look more classically put together, chic and sophisticated, as well as feminine. Not to say I will spend the next twelve months in flower patterns and tights, but I aim to show another side of me that I have concealed. It reminds me back in school when girls were afraid to confess to appreciating pink. We went to Tammy Girl and sourced tracksuits, blue vest tops and puffer jackets.
What are your views on society’s portrayal of feminine women? Would you class yourself girly?