Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m just going to come out and say what’s on my mind today: why do we as women shy away from being just plain “girly” sometimes?
Before I proceed, let me clarify: this is directed toward those of us who actively enjoy being traditionally “feminine” along with the aspects that accompany this trait. If that’s not how you roll, then more power to you! But, this post is for my fellow femmes who don’t always embrace those qualities.
So, the inspiration for this post came from the fact that, for some reason, I’ve been listening to Janelle Monae’s “Pynk” on repeat lately (don’t get me wrong – I love this song). As I’ve listened, one line in particular keeps sticking out to me:
“Boy it’s cool if you’ve got blue; we’ve got the pink”.
And as I reflected on this line, I thought even more about the times that I haven’t embraced or appreciated my feminine traits. I thought about the times that I’ve eschewed my own “pink” tendencies as a way to appease others: to be the “chill” girl in social settings; to avoid being seen as a weaker player in the workplace; to seem more appealing to dates and accommodate their interests – and more.
So, what do I mean by this?
Well, let’s start with a scenario for the ladies reading this who have dated men/traditionally “masculine” people. When you think back on some of your first interactions with these prospective dates, do you recall at least one time where you conceded your own interests to try and seem more attractive?
For example: choosing an action or thriller movie when you really wanted to suggest a “chick flick” (*cough* romantic comedy); suggesting an activity that isn’t really of interest to you but would be appealing to your date; or investing more in their interests than they invest in yours.
I’m sure that some of these choices are based in simple politeness – and that’s great! But it becomes problematic when the supposedly “girly” activities are seen in a negative light that deters you from sharing them with a potential partner.
Another case of hiding one’s feminine qualities is one that women in the workforce are likely already aware of, as a result of books such as Lean In. Since sensitivity, emotional expression, etc. are considered very feminine traits; and feminine traits are generally seen as weaknesses in the workplace, this can send a problematic message to all parties involved.
Emotional intelligence and expression are actually traits that I consider to be very strong and admirable – not “weak”. Now obviously, you don’t want people breaking down in the boardroom…but company culture across all industries could probably benefit from a bit more compassion and open communication between team members. 🙂
The ultimate goal of saying all of this is to drive home the following point: if you happen to be a girly-girl, embrace that femininity!
Masculinity and femininity are both beautiful in their own distinct, crucial ways, and one shouldn’t be seen as better than the other. Don’t pretend to be “one of the boys” just to get them to think you’re cool. Don’t spend all your time familiarizing yourself with a guy’s interests just to seem more attractive, if he’s not doing just as much work. Don’t be afraid to express yourself in an authentic – but professional – way in the workplace.
Femininity is not a weakness, and true strength comes in all forms. It can be quiet or loud; subtle or obvious; feminine or masculine.
So, if being feminine (or whatever you want to call it) comes naturally to you and you genuinely enjoy being that way – embrace it! I can guarantee that you’ll be much happier in the long run.
What’s one of your favorite personality traits?