Monday, September 3, 2012

Lesson in Extreme Ultra Femininity

These are two images from sites such as FairytalefawnA curious idea, and Angel Fairy (more practical looks):

In Asia they can find stores that sell ultra feminine 
clothes or they buy them online. Yes this style is 
extreme and I'm not encouraging so much but
there are some aspects anyone can wear. 

As you can see this look is MARKETED
 to Asian women in advertisements and 
in certain magazines. Why isn't the ultra
feminine look being marketed to Black
 women? Why are we being marketed
 androgynous or masculine looks instead?

From these two images and many others on the sites (there are many similar sites) we can learn certain things to look for in feminine clothing. There is no need to do all of these things at once, but adding pieces that have some of these features can enhance your feminine wardrobe. I have already read a lot about how to be feminine (it's not just clothing) but it helps a lot to see it in action in images and on film. I think that along with dressing in a feminine manner the women in such images also present themselves in a feminine way (e.g., innocent, delicate, graceful, elegant, poised, demure, dainty etc.). As we all know it's harder to find this sort of image of BW. Choose the following ultra feminine features:

Materials- delicate, sheer, lacy, frilly, bows, fake fur, nylons and leggings
Colours- light colours, pastel colours, pink, white, cream, beige
Patterns- flowers, polka dots, hearts, cute animals, butterflies, cartoon characters, nature, dolls, candy
Items-  feminine shoes, Mary Janes, no stilettos, cute purses, delicate jewlery, old fashioned items
Style- modest and covering the entire body, youthful looking, vintage, old fashioned patterns.

This is a current Asian fashion but as you can see they are wearing clothes that resemble the European Victoran Age fashion! Do I think that AW dress in a more feminine way than BW (and WW)?...YES!!!!! Because this look is MARKETED to them! Their fashion industry wants them to look sweet, feminine and nice while ours wants us to look like anorexic men! It's even more ridiculous because Western clothes are usually made in Asia!!? Asian women made a better choice to spend their money on feminine clothing rather than caving to MARKETING promoting looks like THIS, THIS, THIS or THIS (I will admit there are B-gyaru women though that I wrote about HEREHERE, HERE but they are copying Western BW).

These women are not better, they are just LUCKY enough to have been marketed and sold a better choice! They are influenced by women dressing in a different manner in their media, fashion, and everyday lives. They are actually dressing European but since they are the only ones doing it this is now called "dressing Asian". I think that Asian women know that modern fashion is too masculine so they are looking for more feminine fashions from the past! They look more feminine than many White women who have rejected their own past femininity. They took over the style and now it's theirs. Why can't Black women take over a feminine style and make it theirs instead of accepting these unattractive Western fashions? Asian women are not dressing in a traditional Asian way but they chose a style that actually makes them attractive and enhances their femininity! Instead Black women are choosing to look like THIS (scroll down Why???) and THIS, and photographers and stylists are making them look like THIS (Why??? and from a blog called "Black Fashion!!?"). Why is it that Asian women can find images of ultra feminine Asian women but it is so difficult to find similar images of BW? We need more ultra feminine BW!


Saana Lathan and Gabrielle Union demonstrate
feminine dress: pastel colours. Women over
35 are better feminine role models than
younger women in my humble opinion :)

Saana Lathan demonstrates
feminine dress: Bow, lace, satin,
pink, and posing like a lady :)

En Vogue demonstrates feminine dress: this was how BW 
used to look, look to the past for femininity lessons ladies :)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but has being hard and acting like men ever been encouraged in Asia to the degree it is in Western countries? This is why unfortunately some men (who may actually have personal issues) are saying they can't stand Western women and prefer other women from Asia, South America, Africa, and Western Europe because they have not rejected traditional femininity in their mannerisms or dress. These women go to school and work yet they don't need to look and act like men to do so. These men also say that soon after these foreign women come to Western countries they lose some of their femininity and start acting and looking like Western women.

I am asking Black women to put the race issue aside when it comes to fashion and behaviour and to stop labeling feminine dress and behaviour "acting White or Asian" and masuline/androgynous dress and behaviour "keeping it real or acting Black". If you are living in a Western country realize that those countries have their concept of feminine dress and it is what I have already described above. It was defined by the majority White culture in Western countries but it really isn't that different from the descriptions of other cultures as I showed in my previous post "Who is allowed to be feminine". You have one life to live and if you want to reap the benefits of being feminine then you have to fit the definition of feminine that is used by your country and agreed upon by women and men. You will have to ignore those women who reject traditional femininity and are hostile towards men because their definition of femininity is different from everyone else's on earth.

When I was growing up I had feminine role models like En Vogue, Whitney Houston, Saana Lathan, Nia Long, Gabrielle Union, Janet Jackson, and all the other Black female celebrities who still acted in a feminine manner and dressed in a feminine way. So because of that I don't feel like I grew up without feminine role models unlike younger women today. When I was a teen these were the young women I looked up to and I didn't think that Black women were any less feminine than anyone else. Look to the past if you want to see true Black femininity. Ignore marketing like this, The Tomboy look posted on Clutch...sigh.

P.S. If comparisons to Asian women offends you then read this article from LifeHack, take a deep breath, and heal thyself of your offend-initis ;) You know it's so sad that so many women have forgotten  or never learned what things are feminine. Here's an analogy I just thought up. In football each team has a playbook with all of the plays and tricks they use on the field. Men have a playbook and so do women. In the past ALL women got a hold on the men's playbook. From the book they learned that as long as they continued to act in a feminine manner (they ALL knew how to be feminine) they were more likely to win the men's hearts in the game of love! Unfortunately many White women threw out their copy of the book and are now using plays that win some women and repulse men. Many Black women also threw out their copy and a lot of the men with it! Asian women are still following the old rules that all women used to know and were once taught. Since they are the ones who seem to have "the best game" that is why I study them in order to "improve my game". Not only my game with men, but also with anyone in society who isn't woman-negative. Don't hate the player, hate the game lol! One has to question, why isn't there an equivalent ultra feminine Black fashion? Yes, yes, yes we do not always dress for men but it is the awareness of masculinity that tells us what is feminine when we are unsure (it's the opposite). If one is confused about what is masculine or androgynous then they will also be confused about what is feminine.

18 comments:

  1. If women look back into the 40's,50's & even the 20's,women looked good and feminine. I wear dresses alot at work. Though most women wear pants, they love it that I wear dresses and tell me "They can not wear a dress or a skirt all the time." I just got tired of wearing jeans. Plus giving the fact that I'm 34. Even back in the 'olden days' my grandmothers' didn't have a lot of money but dresses so classy, sophisticated and feminine, I'm scratching my head why women today do not pick this up. Lovely article! I adore Victorian, 40's and 50's fashions myself. :)

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  3. Thanks for your visit Keeshia. I find jeans and pants to be very uncomfortable. They tend to cut into me at the waist and give me muffin-top unlike skirts and dresses. Skirts and dresses make me look more dressed up even though it didn't take much effort.

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  4. Hi Elegance
    thanks for yet another wonderful post this one is very timely.

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  5. notyourgirlfriday.wordpress.comSeptember 3, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    I like this post, I agree that a lot the unfeminine clothing is marketed specifically to Black women. I'm definitely trying now to incorporate more feminine styles into my way of dress. For example i find that painting my nails a nice soft pink actually enhances my look quite nicely.

    I also noticed in the pictures that you posted from the black fashion tumbler the women in the pictures were also doing what you called "mean mugging" idk why some women think that's attractive. It's really unflattering. What could have been a nice photo was actually ruined by their facial expression

    Oh, speaking of dressing feminine,I am trying to find more dresses to wear, but seeing as the fall is approaching I would definitely love it if you would do a post on dresses women could wear during the winter. I don't know if everyone is like me but I sometimes feel because of the fall I have to sacrifice feminine for warmth I would love if you would do a post on feminine clothing to wear during the winter. :)

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  6. You are now officially my idol. I'm actually thinking that I should make your blog my home page lol.
    I have been shopping a lot lately because I'm still sort of purging my wardrobe. I got rid of the jeans but I'm still wearing the floral and pastel coloured pants until I can replace them with more dresses and skirts.
    The pics from that black fashion site is not something I would wear and never have, even when I wore jeans I would still pair it with a girly top.
    As for the tomboys, well, the look is just dreadful. I do not know what is wrong with western women, because obviously it's not just a black woman thing. White women too are wearing the masculine clothes. You should visit Panama sometime because the women here are sooo feminine. I go to the mall and women are all dressed up wearing dresses and girly clothes. They all paint their nails and wear feminine shoes and some of them even dress up to go to the supermarket! I have been to countries in Europe and even they have a problem with dressing feminine. It's crazy. I'm from Trinidad and there aren't enough feminine black women there, only the ones who has a great sense of style or the ones that go to church. Half the population are of Indian decent and their women are very feminine. I think you're right about the fashion industry targeting black women with masculine style clothing because it's the same problem in the Caribbean especially places like Jamaica where there is the Dancehall culture. Since moving to Panama, I feel more pressure to dress more feminine because the women here really dress up, but I have someohow manage to develop my own style because I have a more classy look.
    The girls here are feminine yes but most of them dress a little too sexy, which is the norm in Latin America so when I go out looking like Joan Smalls or Selita Ebanks, everyone is complimenting my look and now some of the girls are trying to dress like me lol :)

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  7. Questions, why don't you post links to your blog on your tumblr?

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  8. Thanks Maria lol, I'm glad you liked the post. I didn't know women dressed up so much in Panama. It would be interesting to take a look at some street fashion there to see how women look. I'm really wondering if there is a style that a niche group of Black women have that is highly feminine and not influenced by European culture at all. And of course by feminine I mean something that most people would agree is feminine and also appropriate for an EBW. If there was something I would gladly showcase it.

    Hmmm, I thought the link was posted. The themes on the site really aren't that good. Some show links while others do not. So I changed the title of my Tumblr to my blog link so that should solve the problem. Thanks for letting me know about that :)

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  9. Interesting site on black women. Thanks for sharing this blog. Educational and informative.

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  10. Another homerun with this article Elegance! I do feel it's only a matter of time that BW will step out of (societys) low and counter productive expectations of us. Seeing how it does'nt seem to be serving us very well as of present.
    It is imperative that we take our image in our own hands. Write our own playbooks for behavior and style and reep boundless rewards because of it.
    We shall lead the way. Love, blessings, and Black Beauty unite.

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  11. I really love your website and I follow you on tumblr. I completely agree with what you said about marketing. I prefer to flip through Japanese fashion magazines(check online for scans) for styling but the best advice I could ever give, I suggest watching a few Doramas. Doramas are soap operas that can range from funny to horror to crime investigation. The website mysoju.com has quite a number. It was watching these that my sister and I really began to turn around our wardrobe.
    Thank you again for all that you do!

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  12. I'm 20 years and I see a lot of young ladies my age dress the new... what I call the "ratchet fad". Not saying that they're "ratchet", but just that there is a lack femininity or elegance. I was born and raised in urban Philadelphia and sometimes I get questioned about whether or not I'm from the city BASED ON HOW I DRESS AND CARRY MYSELF. I'm a very feminine and gentle and lady-like. I guess it's (to them) a sign of weakness.

    Personally, I would LOVE to see more quirky/cute/feminine black females. In the media or in real life.

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  13. Thanks everyone for all of your positive comments! Welcome to all the newcomers :) I'm planning to do more fashion posts since clothing is about the only thing you can buy to become more ladylike :)

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  14. Thank you so much for this post. I enjoy ur site and the pieces of advice u share with readers.

    Being feminine has done wonders for my love life. Before, I was alone & miserable. I am now able to share both knowledge & warmth with another human being- instead of venerating feminist teachings.


    In order to be more feminine, I have included colours in my wardrobe. Black is not my default colour anymore- blue, kabi & beige have replaced it. I wear bracelets & earrings. My hair is tousled. And I make sure I smell good (perfume, hair, breath).

    How do I exhibit feminine traits ? I seek to encourage my partner, praise him. I only criticise him when we are alone & make sure it is constructive criticism. I never participate in male bashing activities- online & in real life.

    Although feminists & trendsetters are interesting, I have realised their advice was detrimental to my love life.

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  15. I never really understood why people get mad when you look to Asian women as examples. BLUNT ALERT!: Look the majority Asian women's bodies are androgynous and boy like. Other races of women are more curvy (aka womanly), especially black women lol I think Asian women bluntly acknowledged this fact and analyzed the situation: "If I can't change the fact that I don't have a womanly figure BUT I can have a more feminine demeanor and fashion sense."
    It's all about packaging. Black women kinda forgot that most of possess extreme curves that would be irresistible to all men if we dressed in a more feminine manner and simply stopped dealing with people who try to provoke harsh behavior from us.I think too many of us are still resentful of the unfair advantage of white female privilege that white women and other WOC can use (by being white skinned, straight haired with Euro features all flaws are invisibilized). Some are just resentful that Asian women are way ahead in the game. Black women who plan on winning simply need to present their natural assets (and features that make us more exotic) in the most feminine way and we need to be comfortable borrowing from other women's playbooks.

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  16. Hi samadhi101, I don't understand why it bothers people either. I mean when I went to school I (and most people) had to read books and study leaders, theories, events, and examples from people all over the world. That doesn't mean those people are better, they just have some good examples that illustrate a point.

    Anyways, your comment reminded me of a post I need to finish about good qualities that Black women have over other women. One thing that you mentioned is having curves. I have spoken to men, including Asian men who are not attracted to Asian women either because of their non-curvy bodies, or because (in the men's opinion) they are golddiggers always expecting expensive gifts and are totally dependent. Everyone does not love them but maybe my critics are assuming I think so?

    I like your point about many Asian women accepting that their bodies are androgynous and instead playing up their attractiveness in another way. What Black women have to do is make use of our more feminine qualities (e.g., full lips, curves) and use those things to emphasize our femininity. Men should be falling down in the street after being overwhelmed by our curves and sexy lips but they are not if we don't accentuate those things.

    The exotic thing I think is also good. Some women shy away from it but I think some of us can use it as an advantage. Thanks for your great comment :)

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  17. Thank you for sharing this insightful information, I feel blessed :-)

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  18. What a timely article even years later.
    I know for some time when I was younger, I did dress pretty tomboy, or if it was "girly" (or my own definition of the word). I admit, I thought it was cool and that I looked mysterious, but after a while I didn't like the type of attention it attracted. My parents were frustrated that someone who was well-spoken and well studied dressed like I did!
    Now in my mid 20s, I own only one pair of pants, and even then I have to pair it with heels, jewelry, and do my hair and makeup ultra feminine. I notice the change in myself deciding to dress very feminine as of late (I actually own Japanese fashion magazines imported), and noticed I was treated by men (and some older women in the workforce) better. There is a fashion trend that I follow from Japan called "mote-kei." It is a style that is meant to purposefully attract the opposite sex in a cute manner. It is described as everything you listed above, and since dressing as such I feel a lot more..confident? Yes, that is the word.
    I am glad someone else notices this detail about fashion and behavior.

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