- Reading: I started out searching the web for articles about how to be feminine, a lady, classy, elegant, graceful, etc. I have posted the links on my blog in the post "How will I become an elegant Black woman" and then continue reading the posts on my blog to see my journey. If you want instead you can read the blogs: http://www.elegantwoman.org, http://theproperlady.blogspot.
ca, http://theartofbeingfeminine. blogspot.ca/, and http://www. thefemininewoman.com/ because these are the blogs that helped me the most. This will be fun and interesting not a chore. There is a lot but that reassured me that I would eventually learn what I wanted to learn and that the information was available for free and at my convenience. I read about femininity every day lol!
- Setting goals: Either now or after you start reading you need to make a list of the qualities of the ideal feminine woman that you want to be. It may also help to come up with a famous person (or persons) that you can think of as role models. Ask yourself 'what are their traits that I want to achieve?' because these are the new things that you need to learn and start doing.
- Self-assessment: Also ask yourself, 'what are my current traits that make me appear less like a feminine woman?' because these are the things that you need to change. My list appears here: http://
elegantblackwoman.blogspot.ca/ 2011/02/where-i-need-to- improve.html.
- Monitor your progress: Look back at your goals list from time to time as you progress to keep track of what you have learned and what you still need to learn. Goal setting is important because it gives you direction, tells you where the finish line is, and tells you when you have finished! Also, look back on this list too to remind yourself to keep fighting your bad habits and old behaviours that were unhelpful. It will make you feel good to see how much you have changed and how different you become as you go on your journey. I would recommend starting a journal or blog as I did to keep track of your progress because looking back over your journal is a good way to monitor your progress. I also find journaling helpful for examining your thoughts and why you do the things you do because it's hard to understand our thinking without deep thought.
New etiquette and instructional videos: December 8, 2011: Useful and sometimes funny videos about modern etiquette and femininity.
Free online manners and etiquette tutorials March 3, 2011: Oh I always get a laugh out of these videos. I just pretend they are meant to be funny when probably they were not. I remember watching parodies of such videos on The Simpsons and thought there was no way they were so cheesy...but those were actually accurate depictions! There are some good lessons in them though.
Where I need to improve: February 19, 2011: This is where I made a list of the things I wanted to learn on my EBW journey. As you can see from the list, I did not seek to totally reinvent myself or become something totally different from who I already was. I just wanted to improve and get rid of some negative habits. But I don't see a problem with anyone trying to totally reinvent themselves either if it will make them happier and improve their lives. That would just be common sense, taking pride in yourself, being empowered, and taking initiative. Wow I think I have greatly improved on all of my negative qualities (I still have to work harder on some like wearing heels, not being so passive, and not focusing on the negative though). I have also already learned and continue to learn more of the things on my list. That's a lot of progress in under two years!
Blog reviews: February 15, 2011: I only got around to doing one blog review but I did read the other five that I linked. Be Exquisite has been removed unfortunately but I recommend the following sites for anyone who wants to learn about femininity: The Feminine Woman, Grace and Poise, The Art of Being Feminine and Elegant Woman because these are the blogs that I read when I first started my EBW journey. They have so many lessons about how to be feminine so I didn't feel the need to write about those things here. These are free resources that taught me so much! None of these blogs are written by Black women but hopefully you can get past that and make use of the valuable information anyway.
Assertiveness training will save Black women: December 12, 2011. I think that one thing that can really help Black women is to improve our communication skills. If we want to be understood then we must communicate in ways that most people can understand, especially those who we need to help us achieve our goals. If we need certain things from partners, banks, employers, lawmakers, and even store employees then we need to communicate with them effectively. Being assertive instead of aggressive is also more respectful for the person you are talking to. Online lessons about how to be assertive are linked.
I also found a Tumblr blog you may want to see called Art of Lovely. The blog is not focused on Black women but it focuses on elegant and feminine style. I'm not into buying expensive or designer things for those reasons alone but you can see the quality, beauty, and simple, classic elegance of the items (as opposed to designer items with prominent labels or strange/abstract/futuristic designs). Three years ago I did not think about decor or home design at all, but now that I'm at an age where I will be furnishing a home I've started thinking about it. I like minimal clutter and simple designs and I like the interior design photos on this blog. I also really like the fashions shown because they are classic and always stylish, feminine, beautiful, and not over the top (i.e., I'm not into bright colours, too much pattern, or things that look too trendy or attention getting).
It's also really, I mean REALLY striking the way that White people depict their women in photography, paintings, and advertising compared to Black people. I mean look at the images... how often do you see Black women depicted in the same way? By seeing themselves depicted in loving, elegant, ultra feminine, and cherished ways White women have something to aspire to when they achieve success that actually makes them look classy. But do Black women have similar images or are we 99% of the time only shown as poor, struggling, or average? Or are we only shown rich (not wealthy) Black people (specifically musicians, actors, and athletes's wives) in ostentatious, gaudy, label adverting clothing with a street edge? I mean when was the last time you saw a photo of a really poor White person yet every day we see images of poor Black people. I know many of those images are for charities asking for donations but it does have an effect. The effect is that you can't imagine yourself in the images shown on Art of Lovely and you may internalize the idea that to be Black is to be suffering, and that a life surrounded by beauty and elegance is off limits to you even if you can afford it. This is why it is so important for us to see Black people looking, doing, and acting in as many different ways as possible instead of constant portrayals of the same stereotype over and over. This is why we have to seek out images, role models, and information about the things we desire instead of letting the mainstream tell us "you can not have these good things or have what we have because your are Black". We all have a right to those good things and we should never let racists of any colour tell us what we can't have! Go get your good life ladies!
Thanks to all of my supportive readers and to all the femininity bloggers who have helped me on my journey! I'm really liking the new me :)