Last year I really dived deep into feminism. I read a lot of literature, listened to some amazing podcasts, and discovered inspiring bloggers. What interested me was the progression feminism has taken. So many of the strong, smart women I was loving had similar styles. They wore what they wanted (even pink), they liked taking time for themselves, they worked in a creative field, and many of them wrote/spoke about beauty and fashion. This revelation that you can be incredibly feminine and intelligent, successful, and empowered was a common thread throughout the year. I kept learning it over and over as I heard people like Louise O’Neill, Emma Gannon, Estée Lalonde, and Rosalind Jana talking about it. Roxanne Gay even talked about it in Bad Feminist.
I don’t know why this seemed so life changing to me. But Emma Gannon would constantly bring it up on her podcast. (Can you tell how much I love her? I’ve mentioned her in at least 5 or 6 blog posts). As a writer, she felt like she had to have a certain image, aka not really care about her image. If you wanted to be taken seriously, you needed to be nonchalant about your appearance; your brain was more important. I have felt this same pressure as a creative type. In college when I was constantly producing work, I never (or very, very rarely) wore makeup. I would throw on whatever clothes were clean (and what was weather appropriate). My appearance was my last concern, or at least I felt that I had to make it look like it was my last concern.
That said, I recently looked back at some of my journals from college. I was constantly tired, I had headaches all the time, and I was Stressed with a capital S. Part of it was from college itself and the stress that comes with it. But I truly think if I spent less time thinking about what was expected of me and just did what I wanted to do, I think I would have been in a much better place.
So, where am I now? In the past year, I’ve learned more about feminism, but I’ve also learned more about myself and my personal style. I don’t like it all, but I do like some design components that are considered “feminine.” I love the delicate nature of lace. I love using clothing to accentuate the curves of the female body. And I never thought I would say this, but there are some shades of pink I’m kind of into.
This year I decided I was going to embrace my feminine nature more. I used to think it was bad to be a “girly girl,” but I’ve shifted my thinking. Surprise Madison, you are kind of a “girly girl.” You like baths, flowy skirts, painted nails (even though they never last), candles, lipstick, baking, dancing, and even more, wonderful things. Instead of trying to be something I’m not, or hiding things I like because I don’t want to be judged, I’m going to express my femininity. I’m going to wear red lipstick boldly. I’m going to keep my smelly, seasonal bath products in the shower, even when a friend stays over. And what I find the crème de la crème, I’m going to start wearing cute bras and underwear. Dare I say, I’m even going to wear some matching lingerie.
I’m not trying to be risqué here. I’m not wearing cute lingerie for other people. I want to wear it for myself. I spend so much time in a sports bra, and while they are incredibly comfortable, I don’t feel particularly feminine when I wear them. I wear them solely for support and concealment. But when I’m off the mat, I want to show up for myself. I want to let my body know I love and care for it, and appreciate everything it does for me. And if that means wearing a lacy bra, then I’m going to damn well wear a lacy bra!
Why lingerie? It’s an incredibly simple way I can embrace my feminine side. It’s something I chose to wear every day. And with styles like the ones featured in these photos by Wacoal and Victoria’s Secret, how can I not?
There are plenty of other ways I’m going to express my femininity too. Most importantly, I’m just going to continue diving deeper into who I am and be that 100%.
What are your favorite ways to get in touch with your feminine side? Let me know in the comments!