Sometimes it’s hard to be woman. At least, where being woman is scorned.
When I was younger, I was as girly and feminine as every other little girl. I remember going to grandma’s house and wearing oversized sparkly dresses and necklaces, and walking around in high heels that were much too big for me and didn’t match. Back then, I would twirl in the grass on sun-filled days and catch frogs and kiss them and try to turn them into a prince. (They never did, by the way. Who knew?)
I was the only girl in 1st grade who wore dresses to school every day. I had notebooks filled with pictures I would draw of myself turning into a princess or my brave knight saving me from a pit of crocodiles (or … cows? …).
But one day that all changed.
I don’t remember when or how, really. But one day I just decided that being feminine was bad. It meant you were weak, and stupid. So I took on masculine ways. I refused to wear pink. Or sparkles. I pretended to hate love stories, and romantic movies. If anyone ever told me I was “becoming a nice young lady”, I was appalled and insulted. I became Miss Independent-No-I-Don’t-Need-Anyone’s-Help, thankyouverymuch. Strange how an 8-yr-old can come up with that, yes? I’m honestly not sure what happened. But whatever it was, it impacted me for years.
Things never changed until I was about 14. And it really hit me — hard. My perspective of femininity, of the world, of life … was so skewed. I bought into the feministic rants, the belief that I should be able to do whatever (and more than) a boy could do, and that femininity is something to be ashamed of. I did a lot of things that probably resulted in losing my woman card. (Yes, men, we have those too.)
What was I thinking?
And that marked a huge change in my life. All of a sudden I wanted to know how to cook, how to sew, how to weave. I began reading books and articles in praise of biblical femininity and grace. I started wearing skirts again — almost every day. I developed a love for all those Jane Austen movies, and Audrey Hepburn, and trying to mimic their elegance and poise. I let go of my pride and let young men come to my aide.
I think as women, we’ve been confused. We think we need to be someone we’re not. We’re told that feminine isn’t enough. We should be this or that. Suck it up. Tough it out. That we have to “man up” to be a better woman.
But we’ve clearly missed the point.
The beauty of being a woman is embracing womanhood’s design, with resilience and valor and strength while preserving the softness and vulnerability of a gentle and quiet spirit. To willingness and courage when God calls us to hard and holy things. To shine with the stunning beauty of Christ in every dimension of our day-to-day lives.
Being feminine is not weak. It is strength.