I have always loved the idea of getting ready at a vanity. A couple months ago I decided to dedicate a corner of our bedroom to this girlish wish. I covered an old industrial cart with a big square of vintage linen, hung up a round vintage mirror, and organized all my makeup in vintage mugs, baskets, and bowls.
The sight of this little dressing table in our bedroom makes me so happy and makes me feel very feminine. And then I started thinking... What are some of the things we do as women that make us feel feminine?
If we look to the golden age of Hollywood, there are so many examples on how to be feminine. You know, before I go further into this, I really have to point out how much I dislike that femininity is sometimes seen as weakness. Or being meek. Or submissive.
I truly believe a woman can be a lady and be equally a bad ass. You don't need to spew cuss words like a sailor to prove you're tough or know how to navigate your life. So how does today's modern woman cultivate femininity?
One of my favorite feminine role models is Audrey Hepburn. There was a woman who had style, grace, charm, character, integrity, warmth, and was absolutely feminine.
For modern feminine women, we lack examples of women like Audrey Hepburn. I mean thankfully there's the lovely Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge. But, can you think of anyone in modern day that even holds a candle to the feminine icons of yesteryear? I can't unfortunately.
Think of the times you felt very feminine. I always feel feminine when I wear a vintage dress or a vintage inspired dress. Or when I wear soft colors or fabrics that drape gently against me. I also feel feminine when I'm around my girlfriends and we're doing something very girlie like chatting about our lives over tea and French cookies and Belgian chocolates.
I feel very feminine when I'm around flowers or walking around a garden especially when I get to share my love for flowers with my husband and teach him things I know about a certain rose variety or wildflower variations.
Now that I really think about it, there are so many ways to cultivate being more feminine. I've recently started sitting at my vanity at night and brushing my hair. It seems so old fashioned, but I really love this little ritual. Also, I've been wearing earrings everyday. While that may not be a mark of femininity, it makes me feel more feminine.
That is the other thing to take into consideration as well. What makes me feel more feminine might not make you feel feminine. Maybe it makes you feel silly or too girly or uncomfortable.
More Ideas for Cultivating Femininity in a Modern World...
- Send an old fashioned letter or postcard to someone, spritz a bit of your perfume on the envelope if it's going to a beau... sure it's cheesy, but it's fun!
- Keep your nails neat and trim and the nail shape to a soft oval, it's so flattering and elongates your fingers (my mother told me this years and years ago and it always stuck with me)
- Schedule a weekly tea/coffee date with a friend. It's so important to have real face-to-face time with people in our tech focused world.
- Learn how to receive compliments and be gracious with them. I still struggle with receiving compliments as I feel a bit put on the spot, but if you dismiss someone's compliment, in a way you're dismissing that person. Be genuine in your response and say "Thank you."
- Thank a man for his chivalry. I know, I know! We are strong women, we can open doors for ourselves and pull out our own chairs and order our own food! But, if a man offers to do so, thank him and allow him to practice chivalry. Simple as that.
- Buy some new makeup or beauty product. I've recently embraced wearing lipstick. I remember a couple weeks ago after lunch with my husband and my mother-in-law I pulled out my lipstick to reapply it just as she did. And there was this lightbulb that went off in my head. Like "Oh, this is what ladies do!" It's silly, I know, but it made me feel very womanly.
- Have fresh flowers in your home, in multiple rooms. Flowers are really so lovely and bring so much joy, don't you think? I have little floral arrangements throughout our house of flowers I've picked off the side of the road or flowers from our hikes. Make it a tradition to purchase yourself flowers from the farmer's market every week. A little treat just for you.
- Teach yourself a new language. I don't know why this makes me feel more feminine. Maybe it's because I am teaching myself French and French is such a feminine language.
All right, that's all I can think of for now. Perhaps I will do a part two of this post someday!