Alright, hunties, you don’t need an internet quiz to tell you about your womanhood, now do you? You already know your body and what it’s about!
Let’s be honest – there’s no set of questions or scales that truly measure how “feminine” you are! You are the only determinant of your femininity and that’s the way it should be. How you present yourself and what you call yourself are your personal business, and we aren’t here to try and change that!
However, femininity is a socially constructed concept, so it’s useful to learn about it and understand what’s going on around you.
Why, you may ask?
It’s important so that you can recognize your fellow hunties! We are truly an interconnected world, and we need to support and lift each other up in times of need. 2020 has been an extremely chaotic and trying year, and women need other women to both survive and thrive.
What Makes You A “Lady?”
People have been arguing for centuries about how much of womanhood is how you’re born versus how you’re raised, but most people agree that a big part of being a lady is what you’re taught. So, how do you show that you’re a lady?
Let’s start with what socially constructed means. It’s different from being female because both males and females can show feminine characteristics. It means that what makes you a woman is a combination of rules and traits you learned, growing up, from female relatives, friends, and role models. It also means that the ways you show you’re a woman likely differ from those of a woman from another region or culture.
In fact, it even differs over time.
The word womanhood was first used in the late 1300s, after Europe suffered the Black Plague. At the time, so many people were lost to the plague that new opportunities opened up for women in society, and everyone had to rethink their ideas about what made women different from men!
Does Feminine Mean Female?
Just because you’re feminine doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a female. Plenty of traits like gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, and humility are commonly associated with femininity and are displayed in men every day.
On the flip side, there are plenty of women who don’t show these traits, and that doesn’t make them any less feminine.
Everyone behaves according to their personality and upbringing, with a mixture of masculine and feminine traits. That’s because all of these traits are essentially just human characteristics that make us, well, us! A characteristic is only designated feminine or masculine based on a specific culture or religion and the guidelines they set.
Lots of scientists and hobbyists have set up tests and quizzes to measure an individual’s masculine and feminine traits. There are two particularly famous scientific tests for measuring femininity and masculinity: The Bem Sex-Role Inventory and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, both published in the 1970s.
Despite the changing times, those tests are still used today, and many other tests have been modeled after them. Most quizzes are relatively harmless and just for fun, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter whether a trait is deemed masculine or feminine; it’s still ultimately a human trait.
How Does A Lady Dress?
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice of the United States, demonstrated her femininity in a predominantly male dominated field by wearing a lacy collar above her judge robes. In many Muslim cultures, women cover their hair with a veil. Some women enjoy wearing breezy dresses, and others show off their curves with shorts and tank tops.
Traditionally, you might think of pink as a feminine color. New mothers are often quick to dress their babies in blue or pink to signify the sex, since all babies look seem to look alike. Only 100 years ago, blue was associated with little girls as a softer color and pink was for boys because it’s vibrant and lively.
Crazy, right? It just goes to show how much society has control over what is thought of as feminine or masculine!
In the 1500s in France, high heels were just for men, whereas, nowadays, they are usually reserved for feminine shoes. Ancient Egypt loved seeing perfume, makeup, jewelry, and dresses on both men and women. Ancient Persian clothing was also for all genders, though the women often added headscarves to the normal outfit.
In modern times, we can see women all over the world express themselves in vastly different ways. We’ve seen fashion run the gamut all throughout history.
Usually, when products are labeled feminine, they are considered luxury items and cost more than the “male” version of the same product!
Take razors for example. Have you ever compared the prices between razors marketed towards men and women? Women’s razors are a lot more expensive. Why is that? Well, anything called a feminine hygiene product may be slapped with what’s known as the “pink tax,” which makes customers pay more because the product is made for women. Even necessary items like pads and tampons can be difficult for low-income women to afford because of their high costs.
You may be thinking: What? How is that fair? And hunties, you’re right! It isn’t always fair. Many states in the U.S. are starting to move towards getting rid of the “pink tax,” but we still have a long way to go.
What Does A Lady Look Like?
Western cultures currently advocate for feminine beauty to consist of a very thin woman with no body hair and long, straight, flowing locks. But hunties, we’ve all seen how damaging these expectations can be on young women. Eating disorders, racism, and other harmful ideas have been blamed on these standards of beauty and the pressure to conform.
Instead of being so focused on outer beauty, there has been a movement lately to focus more on inner beauty.
That’s everything from spending quarantine working out and building those muscles, to learning or practicing new skills, to pampering yourself with a V-tox as a refreshing treat for your Vibe.
You can be anything you want to be! Being covered in flour from baking endless loaves of sourdough bread, having dirt under your fingernails from teaching yourself some home reno skills like a pro, and flexing your biceps after a hard workout are all great ways to look like a lady these days!
That’s not to say that women who focus on outer beauty aren’t doing their part!
We need women to find what makes them look the way they want, and to find healthier, safer ways to look and feel beautiful and feminine. Diversity and inclusivity go a long way towards establishing new standards of beauty that every woman can not only aspire to, but also achieve.
Only recently have makeup companies started marketing products towards women with darker skin or creating hair products for ladies with kinky locks. Whether or not a woman wants to use the beauty products is her own choice but having the option goes a long way towards building that beautiful confidence and exploring your femininity.
What Does A Lady Do?
Hunties, you do you!
Whatever kind of woman you are or how feminine you feel, you’re three times a lady.
How you look, how you dress, and how you behave are all up to you.
Whatever you do, it’s feminine because you’re feminine! Pursuing a career, having children, getting married, running a marathon, it’s all feminine! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mother, a wife, a post-menopausal corporate guru, a self-employed entrepreneur, or none of the above. You know the worth of your own womanhood, and you should be proud of it!
Want our final thoughts? Most of all, we believe a lady takes care of both herself and other women. After all, if we don’t look out for one another, hunties, who will?
So, show your love and femininity to all the lovely ladies in your life, now and always!