I’m Not That Girl (and the notion that ‘she who’s winsome, she wins him)

This is going to be a hard post to write. I was never very good at selling myself, but I figure this is a skill I’m going to have to learn and use a lot.

Edit: Post (originally posted on https://natzisstash.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/im-not-that-girl/ expanded after reading this article. http://www.theproperlady.com/2013/01/10-steps-to-becoming-feminine-woman.html?m=1) I made enough changes that I felt that this should be posted as a whole new one and not buried under old my camwhoring photographs under the old post.

 

The title to the article: 10 steps to becoming a feminine woman. In a sentence, within the article femiminity is all about being the yang to conventional masculinity. Which is not just terrible advice for women, this also continues to reinforce unfair expectations on masculinity and male behaviour for men. Why? Because again, you’re categorizing how girls and women have to behave in order to be their sex, and conversely, it applies to boys and men. Which is absolutely retarded because I’m pretty sure we all know that our sex doesn’t determine how we ought to behave.

For instance, tip number four:

(4) Learn to Stop Judging and Start Accepting One of my favorite qualities of feminine women is their acceptance. Feminine women live by the motto: “Stop judging and start accepting.” Refraining from instant judgement and learning to just accept others for who they are and offer unconditional love is a hallmark of feminine energy and the feminine woman. When you meet someone, resist the masculine urge to make snap judgements about others and instead, take on the feminine quality of being open to what the person may have to show you and what they may even have to teach you about life, and accept and unconditionally love them the way that they are, flaws and all, without judging, having critical thoughts, or hoping that they’d change their behavior.

Where do I even start with this one? It’s completely insulting to men – it really isn’t fair to assume that judgmental behaviour is reserved for men alone, and they’re incapable of being accepting and loving (or worse, should not be encouraged to have). In fact, it’s a trait that everyone, regardless of their sex or gender, should strive for, only because it would make each person, and everyone around them, much happier.

Then number six:

(6)  Learn to Speak Like a Feminine Woman

The Kyoto geisha used femininity to be attractive to men and the maiko, or geisha in training, who were considered the hallmark of Japanese femininity, spoke a special dialect that was considered to be more feminine and gentle than the Japanese others spoke.

If your voice is masculine, loud, and hard, no matter how feminine your behavior is, you’re going to come off as being masculine, loud, and hard to others.

 To learn how to be a feminine woman, practice speaking in a way that’s more gentle and high-pitched than before.

And number one:

 (1) Look the Part

Femininity isn’t about appearance, but about your energy — who you are, how you move, the way you speak, what you stand for, your personality, and the energy you radiate. I believe that much. However, first impressions are important and it’s hard for people to see the authentically feminine you if you seem masculine to them at first glance.

If you’re masculine at first glance, many people won’t stick around long enough to see whether you are made up of feminine energy.

Take the time to make sure that your appearance feels feminine to you. Having trouble? Aim for looking the opposite of how a masculine man usually looks.

Think: soft skin, long shiny hair, feminine clothing, etc.

 

I just. Urgh.

The thing is, the word ‘feminine’ has become associated with ‘pretty’. So in order to be pretty, you need to be feminine, and you need to have all the characteristics society

Long hair seems to be a big part of it. (I wrote a poem on long hair once.) But yeah, I’ve heard plenty of times of boys trying to talk their girlfriends into growing their hair out, or outright admitting that they would only notice girls with long hair. It’s always felt to me that long hair is needed to be a signal to guys, a kind of marker of the opposite sex.

My awkward adolescent stage was a pretty horrific period for me, and lasted at least six years. I had short bobbed hair, thick ugly glasses (this was before hipster specs were in) and I only wore T-shirts, jeans and one pair of sneakers. I had short scuffed nails that I still chewed every now and then. I tried growing my hair out but got impatient with the weight and heat of it every time and ended up cutting it short again within a few months. I felt fat, not all of the time, but some of it, when really, the biggest problem with me was lack of exercise and the usual weight gain one gets during puberty.

I hated my body and any exposure of skin. I never wore tank tops or singlets, covered up my legs with long pants. I remember I insisted my mother buy me a full-body swimsuit, covering up my legs and arms. I hated my skin, too white and pasty, perfect for showing off any unevenness and blemishes. I hated looking in mirrors, and I hated being photographed. (Which is kinda funny, now that I think of it, and look at the number of photographs I have of myself on my blog.) I could never smile right, I always looked awkward, arms and body positioned strangely. In fact, I still do, but right now, I’ve realised that really, I just don’t know how to fake smiles for photographs. Just about all my nice smiling photos are when I am genuinely happy. And that’s actually kinda nice, I think.

Growing up, I was highly conscious of all the hair on my body. On my head it was thick and heavy and unruly and needed to be cut into multiple layers to be manageable. I hated my thick eyebrows, which my mom banned me from tweezing. I was afraid to wear skirts and shorts all the time because I got really conscious about my leg hair (Which, again, my mom banned me from making any alterations to).

And that was just my body. My discomfort with my own personality, I think, played a huge part on my dislike toward my physical appearance. For the longest time, I was upset that I was never going to be the bubbly, vivacious girl, who somehow manages come off as demure and sweet at the same time. I’ve felt that there’s been this expectation for me to become that girl for the longest time, that you have to be sweet and demure and bubbly to be liked (by the other sex, and by society in general), or to be seen as potential girlfriend material. And for a pretty long while, I thought that my personality had to be changed in order to be able to fit in, that there was something wrong with me. I’ve been labeled a lot of things, and ‘dominatrix’ probably is one of the kindest terms that summarize the lot of them.

It isn’t just about me taking on masculine behaviour – hell, I don’t think anyone who’s even called me a dominatrix would ever describe me as masculine. It’s because I won’t back down, because I will go ‘Fuck you’ and do things my way if I think I’m right, because I will yell (as anyone who has worked with me for projects or who has been taught at me) at people for incompetence. It’s the fact that I scare most people outside of the debating circles because apparently I come off as too smart, for knowing about politics and social issues, or for having a fancy accent. I’ve been told by a former crush before that he was terrified of intellectual women. I don’t even want to remember how much that hurt when I heard that. Because I am the girl who will argue with you if I think you’ve said something wrong. If you’ve said something I think absolutely stupid, I will give a disparaging look and tell you just why I thought what you just said was extremely stupid.

And I’m not an extrovert or a social butterfly, which is the other end of the spectrum for feminine behaviour. I will be the girl who, after two hours of awkward interaction with the world, will feel the need to retreat to my room and read a book or Facebook or something, away from other people.

I don’t speak in a ladylike fashion, to my mother’s constant exasperation; I am the girl who can and who will swear like a sailor, and I will not censor myself. I will be the girl who will throw tantrums in public (yes, with hand gestures, expletives and yelling) if something I’ve thought was ridiculously unfair has happened, even if there are random strangers watching, and then write pages about it, on my blog or my diary, whatever, and rage about it for all to see.

I am the girl who will quote from random mythologies and obscure fairytales and ruin everyone’s idea of Disney princesses and happy ever afters with the original morbid versions of the stories, just because. I am the girl who will stay up for nights writing if I have an idea that I will not let go of, then fall asleep in class in an extremely unglamourous fashion the day after (or end up not going after class at all).

While I’m the girl who used to own a ridiculous number of Barbie dolls and who did play with them extremely often, I’m also the girl who has played Pokémon I’m the girl who has played Pokémon for years, and intend to keep on playing for years more (unless the Pokémon keep getting more stupid, as has been happening lately.)

I’m the girl who will blast Taylor Swift in my room in the middle of the night and sing loudly enough to piss my neighbor off, and switch over to My Chemical Romance a minute later, and then switch over to oh, I don’t know, Chicago, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera or something. I am the girl who will burst into song at random times if the moment calls for it, or even if it doesn’t call for it.

I am the girl who will trawl through makeup blogs, and then follow that up with Reddit’s nosleep thread and scare myself silly before going to sleep. Then I’ll proceed to repeat those stories and scare the hell out of other people

I am the girl who will forget birthdays, who won’t write cards or letters because I never know what to say to most people, but who will buy random gifts if I’ve found something that makes me think of you.

It’s taken a while, and I think it’s still a journey that’s not quite complete but I think I’m on the right track. I won’t change for anyone. And yeah, in the last few relationships I’ve been in, I have never once been pressured to act more ladylike or to behave in a more feminine fashion. In fact, the current boyfriend is a little stunned – and I don’t blame him because I never thought I would ever become one – that he’s dating a makeup geek but he’s never bothered about my hobby. I don’t know if this is due to my luck, that I’ve just been really fortunate to meet the bigger-minded boys so far, but if your crush is demanding that you change the way you are to suit his needs, then I’d say to tell him to screw off, because really, there are most definitely better people for you out there.

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8 Responses to I’m Not That Girl (and the notion that ‘she who’s winsome, she wins him)

  1. meow says:

    If not for the comments on that article saying that it was changing their lives, I would’ve completely thought the post was a spoof, like The Onion. About two thirds into it, I was pretty convinced it was just a joke.

  2. jeanna says:

    nat you’re beautiful ok 🙂

  3. versiedoe says:

    Nat, I love your yelling and your swearing. Even if it’s directed at me. Sometimes.

  4. Pingback: Reflections | natzisstash

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