It seems that gender, and consequently femininity, has been placed right in the middle of a warzone. Many of us who grew up in the ‘90s had our eyes glued to iconic women such as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jennifer Love Hewitt. And let’s be honest, these women rocked the feminine figure.
However, the ‘90s were a time when female celebrities were constantly oversexualized. Jennifer Love Hewitt has mentioned how half of the interview questions for her films would be about her breasts and body. Britney Spears was solidified as a sex symbol at just 16. Natalie Portman’s local radio show had a countdown to her 18th birthday. These degrading perspectives communicated to teenagers and women that sex appeal was all that mattered.
Until the rise of social media, if you weren't born "movie star pretty," then you had limited options improve your appearance – exercise, makeup, and plastic surgery were it. Now, with social media, how you look in real life is practically secondary to how you look online, and the invention of filters and photoshop gives any woman the tools to perfect her digital appearance. The emphasis on oversexualized, perfected female bodies leaves women confused about what it even means to be a real woman, constantly battling her body, her looks, and her capabilities.
When women are questioning even the basic tenets of their existence, mystified by their own bodies and sexuality and what it means to be a woman, they become prey to the opinions and expectations of others, which only deepens their insecurities. Sadly, with social media, beauty marketing, and platforms such as OnlyFans breeding confusion at women's fingertips, they’re constantly being bombarded by false realities. Women are encouraged to strip themselves of their natural curves, features, and identities to achieve the unnatural.
With a society-wide denial of woman-ness on one side and oversexualization on the other, how is a woman to know how to live in her female body and feel comfortable with her femininity?
What Can You Do To Build Confidence in Your Natural Femininity?
Both of these extremes are designed to destroy a woman’s confidence in her natural female body. When a woman lacks confidence, she’s easier to control and manipulate, consequently playing into the role of the extremes. A proactive way to rise above the noise and stabilize your womanhood is to understand, honor, and respect it as it is – not as you’re told to express it.
Here are a few ways that prove to be most effective in building confidence around your natural femininity.
Learn about your cycle.
Get in touch with your female body by gaining body literacy and getting in tune with your cycle, your hormones, your energy levels, and your cravings. Learn about your potential for bringing new life into the world and honor your body for that. When you can understand how your body is built, how it operates, and why each capability is beautiful for its feminine function, it provides grace for all the “flaws” society likes to create. As you learn to appreciate the complexities of your female form, you’ll want to do everything you can to optimize its health and essence.
When you understand how your body is built, it provides grace for all the “flaws” society likes to create.
Explore the feminine virtues and find ways to incorporate them into your life.
Reflect on the qualities that make women women: grace, beauty, nurturance, poise, and self-respect. A confident woman is devoted to how she carries herself and upholds her morals over how she looks. Although, when a woman is confident in herself, it blends effortlessly with her appearance.
Discover who you are.
What actually brings you joy? Not what should, but what does. We’re talking about child-like bliss here. What makes you laugh? What makes your heart skip a beat? What could you do for hours and never get tired of it? Take some time to unplug from technology and discover what it is that you actually desire and what you truly value.
So many of us get caught up in the waves of what we “have” to do – whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working corporate, it feels like the demands and expectations are endless…which has women putting their own needs last. So take some time to really get to know yourself again. The more you connect back to you, the more you can develop a deeper trust with yourself and stop seeking external sources for validation.
Embrace wellness that works for you.
Wellness is about feeling good in your own skin. Naturally, this is found in eating healthy foods, hydrating, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Instead of forcing yourself to do work outs you hate, find pleasurable ways to move your body. Instead of stress-eating sugary treats, take a minute to slow down and fuel your body for optimized energy. Instead of going straight to morning coffee, try starting the day with a refreshing glass of lemon water and a high-protein breakfast. The byproduct of these small, yet significant habits will be a psychological sense of confidence and beauty in your own body.
When we embrace our true femininity, we exude a genuine confidence that’s irresistible.
Write a love letter to your body.
As women, we spend too much time fixated on the qualities we don’t like about our bodies. Imagine if we spent that same time focusing on what we do love? Make it a habit to show yourself some appreciation by complimenting yourself and honoring your body for what it does do for you on a daily basis, as opposed to what it doesn’t. It’s true women have a challenging time receiving compliments, and often deflect them. Learn to get used to it by starting with your own.
The Magic of Confidence in Your Femininity
Marilyn Monroe glowed with a natural, voluptuous, feminine essence that had every woman wanting to be her and every man wanting to be with her.
The wife of Marilyn’s photographer, Amy Greene, described the powerful effect that Marilyn’s attitude and confidence had: “I’ll never forget the day Marilyn and I were walking around New York City, just having a stroll on a nice day. She loved New York because no one bothered her there like they did in Hollywood, she could put on her plain-Jane clothes and no one would notice her. She loved that. So, as we were walking down Broadway, she turned to me and said, ‘Do you want to see me become her?’ I didn’t know what she meant, but I just said ‘Yes’ – and then I saw it. I don’t know how to explain what she did because it was so very subtle, but she turned something on within herself that was almost like magic. And suddenly cars were slowing, and people were turning their heads and stopping to stare. They were recognizing that this was Marilyn Monroe as if she pulled off a mask or something, even though a second ago nobody noticed her. I had never seen anything like it before. I refer to it as the Marilyn Monroe effect since the attitude she embodied on that day can help people transform from the ordinary into the extraordinary.”
Without being fake with her feminine nature, Marilyn demonstrated the magic every woman holds when she proceeds with confidence. In this moment, she exemplified that a woman doesn’t need to exploit her sexiness, she just needs to know it exists and own it.
It’s true what Audrey Hepburn famously said – “happy girls are the prettiest girls” – and not just physically. When you truly accept yourself as a woman who loves her femininity, you exude untouchable beauty and confidence. A beauty that doesn’t desire to be exploited and a confidence that doesn’t desire to be confused. Today, more so than ever, it’s vital for women to stay strong in their feminine essence.
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