How to be Unapologetically Feminine
In the day and age of social media, the definition of femininity has been thrown on the chopping block. Women are feeling the heat as they battle ever changing standards on their appearance. Through political activism on topics such as equal rights, abortion laws, and racial inequality, women have stood at the forefront of movements on either side of the argument only to face the same criticisms for having a voice.
As women, we, as a whole, hold the responsibility to not fold under societal pressures. While difficult at times, it’s important to remember that others do not define our femininity. Our appearances, confidence, and opinions are uniquely our own and deserve to be acknowledged, not diminished.
The definition of femininity may be blurred for some, but with the help of fellow sisters, we can determine how to be unapologetically feminine by following their empowering paths.
Let your voice be heard.
It’s been ingrained in our brains for generations that if we have nothing nice to say then don’t say it at all. While the root of that statement has good intentions, it has caused many of us to silently simmer in our thoughts during everyday conversations due to the impending misconception that if you’re a woman and have a voice, you’re rude. What is important to remember is that our voices deserve to be heard. Your thoughts and opinions deserve to be acknowledged. Not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say, and that’s perfectly fine, but that shouldn’t be a reason we stay quiet.
Our strong opinions are not a threat to those around us, but an uplifting and exciting new perspective that we have to offer. As the News du Jour podcast and Sugarfree Media says, we are ‘sugarfree’ because around here, women don’t need to be sweet. They don’t need to pour sugar all over it. They don’t have to smile all the time, they can just be real. Whatever that is.
The most recent, iconic, public display of women letting their voices be heard is Kamala Harris at the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate. As current Vice President Harris and former Vice President Pence debated their stance on multiple political topics, Vice President Harris did not take her male opponent’s dismissive nature lightly. “I’m speaking,” Vice President Harris repeated as former Vice President Pence continued to talk over her. With poise and grace, Vice President Harris stood her ground as any woman should feel comfortable doing. Whether it be as a business meeting, political event, or in casual conversation, every woman should be letting their voice be heard, even if we have to remind those around us that we have the right to share our opinions.
Take initiative and be uniquely you.
Don’t be afraid to define yourself and tap into things that make you tick. The most beautiful part about being a woman is not your appearance, but the ability to determine who you want to be and how people see you. It’s something that only you, yourself, can define. Who you are is not something decided by likes on your Instagram post, where your parents wanted you to go to college, or how you navigate society’s definition of “life.” Who you are and how you live are based on one person only: you, so take initiative and grab those opportunities as you see fit.
Let’s be real, we don’t talk about Lady Gaga’s ability to strut her stuff because she wears the same black, pointed toe heels everywhere she goes. We talk about her because 11 years ago, she showed up to the MTV VMA’s in a meat dress. To this day, she’s still making headlines as she wows in her custom-made feminine gowns whenever she gets the chance. Some may say it’s the fashion that catches our eye, and while that’s partially true, her fashion wouldn’t be what it is if she didn’t take the initiative to be uniquely herself.
The same thing can be said for former First Lady, Michelle Obama. As a lawyer, writer, and political figure, she never let anything slow her down as the First Lady. Why? Because she stayed uniquely herself. From dancing with those in need, to empowering young women of today, advocating for children’s health, and more, taking the initiative to be herself and stay true to what she believes in was the reason why she commanded a presence at the White House, and still continues to do so as a former First Lady.
Know your worth, and don’t settle for anything less.
As women fight standards — whether they’re high, doubled, professional, or basic — it can be difficult not to start an internal fight with your morals. Deep down, we know our worth. The little voice in our head constantly tells us otherwise. It’s important to drown that voice out when negative noise gets too loud, in addition to pulling away from outside forces who may be trying to hold us down. We may not hear it a lot, but we are worth it. We deserve the best we can get. And we shouldn’t settle for anything less. Holding true to your worth can make or break you in high-pressure situations so don’t be afraid to take a stand and know your worth.
Whitney Wolfe Herd
One of the best examples of this is Bumble CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd. Most recently known as a female founder that made stock market history, but most people don’t know what it took for her to get there. In the early days, she was actually an executive and founder of Tinder, which is now a dating app rival of Bumble. After growing tensions at the company with other executives, she decided to resign from her position in 2014. After she resigned, it was revealed that Herd left her position because she opened a sexual harassment claim with a former co-worker and it was not received well.
Instead of sticking it out, Whitney Wolfe Herd left Tinder and started a rival dating app, Bumble. In just six years, Bumble broke stock market history when she recently broke the glass ceiling and is now the youngest self-made billionaire at just 31-years-old. Had Herd not known her worth and settled for her treatment at Tinder, she would’ve never been able to reach her full potential and become the person she is today, so what are you waiting for?
Be an advocate.
There are those around you that may not have the platform that you have. Whether your network is stronger, you’re better with words, you may be more creative than others, there are unique ways that give you an upper hand in certain situations. Why not use those strengths to your advantage? Being an advocate for those around you and lifting people up so they can experience the same things as you is critical.
As women, there are many times a day we face pressures of comparison and belittlement. From magazines saying that we aren’t pretty enough, social media saying we aren’t skinny enough, or sometimes being told that what we stand for is wrong. We all know that’s not true, but the little voice in our heads can convince us otherwise. Supporting other women and other causes is important for us to stand as a whole. We don’t have to agree with everyone but figure out why you don’t agree and take the time to advocate for your similarities. Pushing a negative agenda and letting others be held back by their differences is something that we cannot afford to do.
Megan Markle is the perfect example of a female advocate. Someone who gave up her ordinary life and is now devoted to charity work by means of the British monarchy. It hasn’t always been sunshine and roses for her, as we all know. No matter what, she still continues to find new perspectives of advocacy. From developing charities to provide clean water in Rwanda, Africa to advocating for the stance against British tabloids, Meghan has been the face of many different movements and the voice for those being depleted.
While our own advocacy movements don’t have to be giant international campaigns, small efforts still make a large impact. Being a woman and feminine figure is often associated with the caring characteristics that all of us have. Tapping into those characteristics and tuning in to listen to those around us can be our first step to becoming a feminine advocate.
Whether it be in a personal or professional setting, staying true to ourselves and being unapologetically feminine has great rewards. As women, we are not to be suppressed by societal standards, but empowered by our own unlocked potential. Digging deep to find those unique gems that we have to offer is encouraged as we navigate the hardships we face together.
This guest post was authored by Annie Bowles
Annie is the founder of Sugarfree Media, a modern news source for modern women who want to keep up with everything from current trends to current events. After graduating from American University in Washington D.C., she realized that there was no reliable news source geared towards young women. She developed Sugarfree Media as a calming, safe and understandable news source for women to gather facts without sugarcoating the truth.