What signals femininity to you? Do you think of elegant ball gowns with cinched in waists or do you prefer the boiler-suited style of Rosie Riveter? In this day and age the definition of femininity is so varied and multi-faceted that anything goes.
Over the years women’s shapes and styles have changed dramatically. Where once big, child bearing hips were seen as desirable, now the more svelte shape is highly coveted.
Whatever your opinion, femininity is what you make of it, but it hasn’t always been this way. For centuries women wore specific clothes that were seen as appealing to men. Corsets, in particular, were a way for women to manipulate their curves to make them look more alluring to the male sex – the suggestion of fertility and childbirth were par for the course in days gone by. Crinolines and bust-enhancing bodices during the Edwardian era were then replaced with the more discreet style of the 20s.
What strikes me the most is that the biggest part of the female form to be overlooked is the brain. For way too long women have primped and preened themselves in order to seek favour with men. Why?! It seems absolutely ludicrous to me. What pressure to men feel under to be appealing to women? Apparently we are now in an era where equality is much more common – women can be bosses of companies as well as mothers and wives. However, there is still a huge amount of pressure on young women due to celebrity and porn cultures.
There is so much out there to “feed” male brains. It is easy for them to access physical perfection at the touch of a button. However, how many men are now expecting their partners and wives to be as perfect as their famous, photoshopped counterparts? How many men find a creative, well-developed brain over a well developed bust appealing? I’m leaving these questions unanswered as I may be afraid of the answers!
I certainly don’t mean to “man bash” by writing this article and not all men are that easily led, but it is something I struggle with on a regular basis – men and women are so very different that it amazes me that there are any heterosexual relationships left. Where women strive to be accepted and push themselves to achieve more, men are already at the top of their game with very little left to achieve or, more importantly, prove.
I work in a male-dominated environment and it is very difficult at times to rise above the throwaway sexist comments, especially as I’m a woman with a rather different take on “corporate dressing”. With half of my head shaved, tattoos, percings and a colourful, varied wardrobe, I’m seen as pushing the boundaries in a suit and tie world of grey and black.
I won’t change, though. It has taken me so long to accept myself for who I am that I won’t conform for anyone. As long as I’m dressing smartly and covering up my tattoos so I don’t “offend” anyone then I can just about get away with an alternative look. I love my unique wardrobe of styles from the 40s up to the modern day. Every day is a dress-up day for me where I take a random selection of clothes from my wardrobe and then accessorize.
Where some people think my style choices are to stand out and get attention, I stand by the belief that my style choices are because I have a hugely creative brain and sometimes people don’t take the time to listen to it. I wear my creativity as a uniform. I’m sad that this has to be the case, but it still is, even in a so-called “modern” society. If fighting to be heard through my clothing is the way to achieve some progress in creating an equal society then I’ll keep at it.
Fashion will always be seen as a leader in femininity, however, being an individual is what makes you a survivor in this day and age. Don’t be a sheep and follow the crowd….stand out from that crowd and shout for your right to be seen AND heard for all the right reasons.
I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Mr Iggy Pop to finish this article:
Light and love, people. Mimi Cat xox