Modeling the feminine looks in this photoshoot was much harder for me than with the masculine, androgynous ones. My comfort zone is actually to be Tom-boyish and dorky. Are you surprised, well don’t be.
I used to reject my girly, feminine side as weak and superficial; so I celebrated my masculine strengths as strong and virtuous. Today I practice “bringing out my femininity” as much as I can – to bring balance into my life and to assist me in developing successful relationships.
I was under the assumption that feminine was bad, but why? Here is where I bring up the F word – FEMINISM! This socio-cultural-political movement has produced a tendency to view our feminine persona in a negative light as a byproduct of Feminism’s efforts to substantiate women’s place in this world as EQUAL to men’s. Simultaneously, it has given feminine markers of beauty the middle finger by convincing us that we mustn’t conform to male expectations of beauty. The rationale being that men objectify and sexualize women disrespectfully.
I’m not actually arguing that men don’t sexualize women, they do. However, it’s women who have interpreted this as TRAUMATIC & ABUSIVE and hence the millennial reaction to sexualize and objectify oneself, and the feminist strategy of masculinizing themselves. These defense mechanisms target the female archetype, creating a feminine self hatred that has corrupted much of our existence to date.
What we need to do is stop denying our femininity in favour of a masculine frame of reference to project strength and equality. Men and women were never meant the be the same. Equality – in the form of affirmative action – has become a perverse effort to homogenize the sexes, rather than embrace the polarity and complementarity that naturally exists.
A sense of righteousness has taken over women to demand their stake in masculinity, but this is hurting both men and women in their pursuit of happy and healthy relationships. Family structures are breaking down, marriages failing, and dating culture is in chaos.
We must start to examine how this anti-feminine propaganda has direct links to this deterioration of relationships so that we can begin to turn it around. This doesn’t mean we don’t have masculine and feminine aspects in each of us that deserve our attention – we need to integrate them holistically. We are tasked with identifying the elements that challenge us and then work on amplifying them by finding their utility.
Do you believe that being female entitles you to certain special treatment? Do you feel male privilege is unfairly limiting your capacity at home or at work? If so, your success may depend on how you bring your positive femininity to the forefront of your self image and confidence.
You do this by letting go of your defenses and seeing your actual strengths and weaknesses. Re-learn what it means to be feminine and find ways to bring that to your interactions with men specifically. Don’t try to dominate a man and let it be OKAY TO BE dominated. Competition should be reserved for sports and games. There’s no reason to try and overpower your male counterparts – you both bring something different to the table. Be the best you can be, but don’t fall into the trap of striving to “succeed like a man,” because succeeding like a WOMAN is far more valuable!
MUA & Hair by StyleBAR – Sonia Sajnani & Photography by Tesla Oviedo Photography