For me, one of life’s greatest and most simplest pleasures is getting glammed up for a night out. I never feel more feminine than with some lipstick, a dress, and a pair of heels on. But every woman is different, and we don’t always have to rely on traditionally “girly” ways to express our femininity.
Some would say that femininity is merely a performance, but that’s not really accurate. Femininity is something innate and inherent within each woman, a gift and a resource we can tune into and use to our advantage. It’s how we choose to express it that is individualistic. The good thing about being a woman is that there are tons of ways to tune into our feminine side and express our womanhood. Here are 12 practical ways to embrace your femininity – besides putting on a dress.
1. Spray Some Perfume
We know (now) that many perfumes full of fragrance, alcohol, and other chemicals can be damaging to our skin as well as contain endocrine disruptors. But that doesn't mean we have to completely sacrifice smelling nice and reveling in the luxury of a beautiful bottle of perfume. There are many brands out there that have alcohol-free, clean formulas and beautiful scents.
One of the best things about perfume is that it’s completely unique to you. If you’re fun and flirty, you might rely on a more floral or sweet scent. If you’re the more serious, femme fatale type, you can try a musky, woodsy scent. Spraying perfume or another type of scent on your wrists, neck, ears, and decolletage can give you a much-needed boost of energy and confidence, whether you’re heading out to run errands or to a date night.
2. Wear Meaningful Jewelry
Anyone can buy jewelry from your local big box store for a cheap price, but is it guaranteed to last? Probably not. Jewelry is one of the most interesting ways we can express our personalities, whether through statement earrings or a small, dainty bracelet. Jewelry can be the much-needed accessory to any outfit, and oftentimes it can even serve as a conversation starter. If you’ve had certain items that have been handed down to you by the previous women in your life, all the better. If not, you can start your own collection to pass along to the young women in your life. Specifically, look for sturdy pieces that will last through the years and ones that might stand out to you or have personal significance. They might cost more, but they’re guaranteed to last, unlike most of what’s in our jewelry boxes these days.
3. Cook a Delicious Meal
We all have nostalgic meals or intriguing dishes we’ve seen online that we want to try. Cooking can be a relaxing (and rewarding) pastime, especially if we’re putting love and care into whatever we’re making. The kitchen is a woman’s domain in many households, and whatever meals she cooks for herself and her family reflect the time and attention she dedicates to her household. If you’re not exploring more adventurous meals or trying your hand at certain techniques, it’s never too late to start.
4. Seduce Your Husband
One of the most powerful ways to exude natural femininity (and encourage the expression of masculinity at the same time) is through intimacy. Planning a romantic date night with dinner, drinks, a romantic walk, and/or even an afternoon between just the two of you is playing the long game of seduction. You can amp it up by sending flirty text messages, wearing lingerie, or sending other not-so-subtle hints that sex is very much on the table. Not only is it an opportunity for you and your husband to spend time together, but you can bask in your prowess as a woman and a lover by carefully curating and increasing anticipation. You’ll feel in touch and in tune with your femininity, and your man will appreciate it as well.
Bask in your prowess as a woman and a lover by carefully curating and increasing anticipation.
5. Organize a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
You don’t have to have a 30-step skincare routine to have a “bedtime routine.” Preparing for sleep can not only help you relax and wind down for bed, but practice a daily form of healthy self-care. Whether it’s a bath, diffusing essential oils, reading a book, praying, or otherwise, there’s no right or wrong way to do bedtime, but it can help you feel more attuned to your needs and wants as a woman.
6. Embrace Your Creativity
We’re all creative beings, whether we think so or not. And you don’t have to be “good” at calligraphy, crafting, painting, sculpting, or gardening to exude your creativity – you just have to genuinely enjoy it! Your hobbies and skills might look different from another woman’s, and that’s okay. Just start by finding a relaxing, enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, especially if you get something out of it at the end. Whether it’s cooking, journaling, or designing and sewing an outfit, delve into something that really excites you and go for it. Your mental health will thank you, and you’ll have something fun and interesting that you made yourself as a result.
7. Decorate Your Home
Our homes are a reflection of who we are as people, and ladies, let’s be honest for a moment. If we’re married, most of our homes are not decorated by our husbands (we might even be trying to get rid of the furniture from their bachelor days…or that could just be me). And if we’re single, we have the perfect opportunity to build up our collection of beautiful pieces, whether they’re unique thrift store finds or refurbished antique pieces. In either case, we should take pride in how our home looks. There’s plenty of inspiration to be found online or in our own imagination, and decorating for the holidays, designing a tablescape, or creating a color palette to design around can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to exhibit your femininity.
8. Read Something Inspiring
In classic literature, we can find solace, introspection, and enjoyment from some of the greatest fictional heroines around. I always hear from my friends and other women that reading is a pastime many of us wish we adhered to since we enjoy it so much, but most of us rarely have time for it. It’s not a competition, and there’s no pressure whatsoever – we can start by picking up something that looks interesting, and seeing if we’re still interested enough to see it through till the end. We can also connect through the written word to female characters and study how they demonstrate their own femininity, whether for better or worse. Miss Jennifer Honey, Elizabeth Bennet, and Josephine March are all great places to start.
We can connect through books to female characters and study how they demonstrate their own femininity.
9. Connect with Other Women
One of the most difficult things as an adult woman is finding other female friends – friends who understand your way of thinking, your convictions and your personality, and appreciate you despite your faults. Simultaneously, one of the greatest misconceptions we make as women is thinking we need other friends who are exactly where we are in life. We have just as much to learn from someone older and wiser than from someone our age. It doesn’t matter if they’re younger or older. If you get along well and enjoy each other’s company, you’ve got a friend to hang onto.
10. Be Active
You don’t have to go to spin class or sell your soul for a gym membership to be active. We should all be active, and if we enjoy working out in the traditional sense, more power to us. But there are so many different ways to be active! We can try hiking, or taking an adult dance class, or even martial arts. As long as our bodies are moving, we’re clearing our heads, feeling ourselves, and enhancing our bodies both physically and mentally.
11. Organize Your Wardrobe
Our style aesthetic dictates what we put on our bodies, and that in turn tells others who we are as women. We might always be adhering to evolving trends or loyal to more classic styles, but regardless, our closets could probably use some TLC every couple of years if not every couple of months. Donate what you no longer wear, prioritize styling what you love to wear or what makes you feel confident, and lean into letting your personal style show off your personality and your femininity, whatever that looks like.
12. Share Something You Love with Someone Else
There is nothing more feminine than championing and cultivating our maternal instinct, and one of the most fundamental ways to embody that instinct is teaching or sharing something we love with others. Whether it’s opening our home, cooking meals for someone in need, caring for children, or teaching someone else a new skill, there is no better way to practice gratitude and contentment than doing something for others that they might not be able to do themselves.
We might conceptualize “femininity” as a large, abstract idea that we’d have to work our whole lives to grasp. But in truth, we can practice tuning into our femininity daily, and in more simplistic ways than we might think. Regardless of what we enjoy or how we practice it, we are never more beautiful or more exemplary of womanhood than when we are celebrating our femininity.
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