Finding My Femininity

At the young age of seven, my parents divorced and my dad became my sole caretaker. He was great for teaching me life lessons, confidence, and manners, but in the terms of femininity, he may or may not have had any clue on where to help me. Being so young, I looked to my older siblings for help. But wait, did I mention I only have one sister and five older brothers? The order of my siblings goes boy, girl, boy, boy, boy, boy, girl with me being the youngest. So yeah, you could say my sense of femininity was practically non-existent as most of my youth was spent with my brothers. 

From the ages of seven to eleven, I never felt feminine. I even let my dad cut my hair short, like he did for my brothers, and when he botched it, I would go to the hair salon and continuously cut it short. I dressed in basketball t-shirts, cargo pants, and other typical sport attire. I attended sports camps with my brothers and I preferred hanging out with boys over girls. I would even sit at the boys table at lunch because what they talked about seemed more familiar to me. 

However, with the help of my sister and a developmental program called Barbizon, when I was entering the sixth grade I began to develop a sense of femininity. I didn’t realize it then, but it was much needed. When my sister was home from college, she would pick out clothes for me that were much out of my comfort zone, do my hair and makeup, and invite me to hang out with her friends. Slowly but surely, I felt like I belonged in the “feminine” world. Without a mom present in my life and my sister away at school, it felt hard to feel that for a while.

Through Barbizon, a modeling and personal development program, I learned how to walk, be more “proper,” do my own hair and makeup, and how to carry myself, all with girls my age that soon enough became good friends. Now, I definitely am not the most proper, I could not tell you what soup spoon to use or what fork is for what. I definitely don’t have the best posture, either...much to my dad’s dismay. However, what I can tell you is my sense of femininity greatly developed from these two things. 

After Barbizon, I would go on YouTube for hours and started practicing my makeup. I loved the way it made me look and feel, and I loved having a whole community just to myself, not one that my siblings had already been a part of. I started to develop my sense of fashion, loosely based on what YouTubers wore, and sure enough, I developed my own sense of femininity. And for me, it felt right. For other women, that’s not their vibe and that’s totally cool. 

Present day, I pride myself on looking put together most days. Rather than to prove my femininity (which is what I once used to do it for), it’s for me. It’s for me to express my passions on the best canvas: myself. I dabble with different fashion looks and colors, I wear shoes people hate (hi Fila haters ily), and I just vibe with what I like. I am confident in my sense of femininity now. 

Some days, I have more of a tomboy vibe, other days, I rock a “pretty in pink” look. The good thing about femininity in present day is it can be what anyone wants it to be. It’s a never ending journey...which my bank account hates, but it is something that makes me excited to continue to discover. It gives me a confidence boost when sometimes everything else in life is in a disarray. So, my fellow women, wear makeup, don’t wear makeup, dress up or dress down, explore what being feminine means to you and have fun with it.