There is an art to being a woman, something that has less to do with a genetic predisposition and more to do with the feminine art of our being.
To men desiring a wife, it was an attraction that you couldn’t wash down the drain. To the family, it was that warm, comforting blanket of reassurance made by the toil of her two hands. To our friends and guests, it was the extra effort in our outreach, sending gifts and greetings without question. These are just a few of the myriad arts mastered by the women before us. Skills like these have been and will always be the skeleton keys that can unlock our femininity and the rewards therein.
Using Our Hands
There’s a certain warmth that radiates from a knitted sweater. And homemade pie just tastes sweeter than store bought. The power and beauty of creativity is underrated. From her culinary creations to her holiday décor, the feminine woman brings cheer to the people in her life whether she realizes it or not. What’s even more amazing is that it comes naturally to her. Plus, there’s nothing more enriching to your self-esteem than to claim a creation to be yours. Remember how powerful our hands can be.
Beautifying Our Surroundings
Once upon a time, housekeeping wasn’t just about keeping the humble abode tidy. As a young child, I remember Momma taking us to Kirklands to buy little “knick-knacks.” We’d leave with bags full of spicy potpourri, decorative wicker balls, bamboo sticks, scented candles, and whatever else fit the bohemian chic vibes of my childhood home. The afternoon would be spent putting everything in place. Then Momma would step back and admire the ambiance, as would her guests.
Small touches of beauty here and there make us feel good in our own home.
At first, I didn’t understand what it was for. Today, as a new homeowner and newlywed, I’ve witnessed firsthand how my husband notices the small touches of beauty here and there – his favorites being the peony fragrance in the foyer and the vase of eucalyptus in the master bath. To know that my small efforts make him feel good in his own home is everything I could ask for as his wife.
Practicing Good Manners
Do we even write thank-you letters anymore? In our digital world, it’s as if we’re far removed from the warmest gestures like the handwritten notes of appreciation from yesteryear. Beautiful stationery and a quality pen have the gravity that an email or text message does not, and so I hope we never forget to send our thank-yous in this way. This is just one of many formalities that deserve a comeback if we truly value the importance of our personal connections.
Dressing Stylishly…or at All
I know I’m not the only one who feels that going out is…underwhelming? I used to practice a healthy amount of observation when we would visit malls or dine at restaurants, admiring all the clothing choices and hair styles, and giving compliments when called upon. Then it became “cool” to wear pajamas to shopping centers, a stark contrast to past generations when whole families would put on their Sunday best for air travel. Maybe we used to feel important. Maybe – just maybe – our self-esteem was intact enough to not be caught at the local coffee shop without a bra.
Beauty is a verb.
I certainly advocate for dressing stylishly (like what I’ve highlighted in this style guide), but can we start dressing again, period? Take me back to the days when flip-flops weren’t the default shoe for every occasion, a handbag was a prerequisite, socks actually matched, and our tresses met a brush or comb at least once before hitting the door. Pretty please.
Being an Exceptional Hostess
While we’re turning back the hands of time, let’s stop by Granny’s house, Auntie’s place, or any female family member of your choice, and we’ll find morsels and treats at the ready. The cookie jar is full, the water pitcher is cold, and the coffee maker is on at the disposal of visitors both expected and unexpected.
Back then we took pride in being the hostess of our home, treating it like an adorable mom and pop business while offering concierge services you’d pretty much only see at a four-star hotel. I still have to pinch myself to remember that I should offer guests a cold glass of water with ice at the very least. Hospitality is a habit worth practicing, as we retrain the mind to be thoughtful and compassionate beyond our own needs.
Hospitality is a habit worth practicing, as we retrain the mind to be thoughtful and compassionate.
Organizing Your Life
A common refutation to these feminine arts is that today’s woman simply doesn’t have time to embrace them. But that claim denotes one’s lack of organizational skill. More specifically, we no longer follow home calendars as we once did. Refrigerators used to be covered with sticky notes, magnets, and those free calendars from your friendly local business. And moms carrying babies in their arms and spatulas in their free hand made sense of the day-to-day chaos somehow.
Today, our phones are more powerful than ever, capable of replacing clocks, calendars, planners, and much more, yet we still complain that time escapes us. How could this be? I for one am thankful for free project management and calendar tools like Trello, Asana, and the trusty Google Calendar that nearly everyone has. To use them is to realize how much time we actually do have and to make the most of it, one feminine touch at a time.
Beauty is a verb, or so I’ve decided. It’s the best way I can explain the important place compassion and thoughtfulness have in our lives and the lives of those around us. Women are uniquely equipped to perfect this in ways men can’t in the long run. And though we’ve endured some cracks in the pillars over the last few generations, womanhood as we know it is not beyond repair, so long as the feminine arts exist.
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