So, as promised, today I'm tackling the issue of femininity, and what it means for me. Growing up, especially in my teenage years, I didn't feel feminine at all. When I was younger, I opted for cars instead of barbie dolls. The choices I made and my overall attitude and appearance would even induce the word "tomboy". My Dad even nicknamed me "his little lad". I didn't seem to be hard-wired in the same way as all the other girls were.
((Of course, now, I realise that was partly due to the fact that I hadn't been diagnosed, and thyroid hormones interact with female/male sex hormones in the body, so I may have had some sort of chemical imbalance. I've recently had my sex hormones tested, and all is fine Alhamdulillah.))
But, even now, post diagnosis, at 19, I don't feel fully feminine. I might wear make-up now, I might have pretty dresses, but does that make me feminine? And this got me thinking, surely how feminine we feel as individual women must only lie with our own perceptions of what the word feminine means to us. The major thing that has been fairly constant throughout my life is my weight. I've always been "overweight." And many overweight women in society tend to feel, dress and therefore portray themselves as "less feminine" than other women.
Is this woman:
The point Im trying to reiterate, is the fact that it's all down to our own perceptions. Myself included, and many other overweight women are putting themselves down as we don't look like the magazines, we're not the right height or weight, we're not thin and elegant etc.. the list is exhausting.
Back to the femininity issue, it's hard being overweight and feeling feminine at all. You tend to feel clumsy and frumpy, quite the oposite of elegant and graceful. One thing we should remember is that the magazines are highly airbrushed and edited, and none of the bodies printed on their glossy pages are actually achievable (since they're computer edited images.)
Another reason I don't feel feminine is due to my feet. I have pretty wide feet, and I'm off the scale with a width measurement of F. I also have to wear insoles in my shoes, as I have flat feet. This restricts my footwear choice massively, due to the insoles Im only supposed to wear lacey shoes. And my choice of shoes for 3+ years now have been trainers. Im not even allowed canvas pumps. So you can imagine me walking down the street with a dress and trainers on. Most days I dont mind, in fact I don't care, but I realise it's having a massive impact on how "feminine" I feel. I don't wear skirts anymore due to the fact that I think trainers and skirt just look completely wrong. I'm still on the hunt for a good pair of wide fit shoes, and if Im lucky, boots. Most companies I've come across assume that the wider your foot the bigger it must be. In my case, my feet are tiny but wide. Therefore, my UK size is 3.5 F.
It's amazing how shoes can massively impact on your femininity and overall self-esteem. This is the last point I want to make. Since we've established femininity and overall "perfection" is something percieved by ourselves, why are we so quick to look in the mirror and point out our imperfections?
We're in control of our own lives, our own self-esteem, our feelings & emotions, as we create the perceptions we have of ourselves. InshaAllah I'm almost there myself, but it's time we looked in the mirror with confidence, with acceptance of who we are, and uttered the words "I am who I am." We are the ones who have the power to change ourselves, whether it be lose weight, whether it be work on our character, our skills, but first, we must accept ourselves for who we really are.
** I do realise this post digressed much from the inital topic, but I felt that everything I said was interrelated to femininity. Here are some songs that spring to mind: