Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Become an Elegant Black Woman?

This is a question I know I will be asked when people hear about this blog. People who know me will wonder why I suddenly decided to do this (I explained why here). People who don't know me will wonder why ANYONE would want to do this. In fact, I had a discussion with some work colleagues about this and one of them said acting more feminine was fake, no one should change in this way to get a man, and a man should love you just the way you are ;) I found it difficult to explain my reasoning and as you remember from this post, I did have some thoughts about whether this was trying to emulate someone else.

Fortunately I found two articles on The Feminine Woman that can help clarify that this is not about being someone fake and that there are actual benefits of becoming more elegant. You must read What is Fake Feminine? The article explains that becoming more feminine is actually allowing your natural femininity show instead of repressing it. I began repressing my femininity during childhood. Based on teachings about equality and feminism I automatically rejected certain things because they were expected of girls or boys were not encouraged to do those things. For instance, I rarely wore skirts or dresses, I scoffed at the idea of dance lessons, I looked disapprovingly at "girly girls", and I refused to learn how to cook because that's what women traditionally did! In my mind I thought that the way to succeed and be taken seriously was to avoid learning anything that was traditionally feminine and to have androgynous pursuits. I even thought that if I liked things guys did then they would like me more because I would be like one of their guy friends!

I was not intentionally "trying to be a man". I did wear women's clothes and make-up, most of the time I had long hair, and I chose a career field that is now predominated by women. I just had a negative attitude about "feminine pursuits" and thought people would use them against me somehow. What the article explains is that being more feminine is about changing my attitude about femininity and letting my innate feminine qualities show, instead of repressing them out of fear they will harm me or make me appear weak in front of others. We all act differently depending on the situation and that does not mean we are being fake. We just let some things show more or less depending on the company we are with but they are all aspects of the real you. For example we act differently with our parents, friends, boyfriends, employers, and when no one is watching.

The second article I read was Why Be Feminine? This article lists some benefits of being more feminine. Please also read Develop Poise for Beauty and Grace at Elegant to learn about the history of poise. Although there are benefits that does not mean it's insincere manipulation to get some kind of reward. It's just a fact of life that your life may go better if you have certain characteristics (e.g., if you are not a Black women you don't have to worry about being stereotyped as angry and loud). Is it wrong to become more feminine because men prefer it? I don't think so. We learn and do so many things to be appealing to men (e.g., wearing make-up, dressing well, etc.) and as I said, this is letting your feminine side show instead of repressing it because men prefer that.

I think women like me thought men preferred someone who was more like them. I always remember learning in school that people get along with people who are similar to them, but apparently this is not the case with femininity. I believed that men thought girly things were stupid and ridiculous but they might not even realize they love it! (Side Note: Have you ever pretended to like sports, cars, or action films to get along with a guy? No need to pretend anymore!) This article really hit home for me and made me think about my aversion to cooking because it was "woman's work". Most men LOVE a woman who can cook so why not learn this skill to attract the man of your dreams? Women get plastic surgery, give their bodies away, give up their dreams, and have open relationships sometimes for men. If I can get the same results with cooking then I choose that because we all have to eat!

Here is the list of benefits:
  1. You will be successful in your romantic relationship.
  2. People are nicer to attractive people so you can get what you need or want (but not in a manipulative way).
  3. Other people will want to protect you.
  4. Femininity is rare nowadays so you will become more attractive than other women. (With the competition for good men this is so important!!!)
  5. You will be expressing more of your true self.
  6. You will understand and appreciate men more.
After reading these articles I am a peace with my decision to become an Elegant Black Woman (EBW). I'm letting my natural femininity show through and it's just lucky that people (especially men) like this!

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