Definition: ‘’’having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness’’’ – courtesy of the Oxford Dictionary. Synonyms: ladylike, tender, soft, delicate, dainty, fair. Antonyms: Masculine, rough, rugged,
What does it all mean?
Growing up, you were told pink was for girls and blue was for boys. Boys played with action figures, cars and nerf guns, while girls used their time jump roping, baking food with easy bake ovens and combing dolls’ hair. (I, obviously, didn’t get that memo…lol). Based on your sex, there were guidelines and rules society imposed upon you.
So, what happened if you didn’t follow these rules?
More often than not, you were questioned, viewed as different
– and maybe even outcast.
There were two pivotal moments in my life that altered my perceptions of femininity and masculinity:
First moment happened during a high school trip to France.
I recall seeing a particular man walking through the streets with a bag slung across his shoulder. It was foreign to me because you would see suitcases and messenger bags but not these. It almost resembled something I considered to be for a woman. But, all I could think about was how I wanted one for myself. It was unique and I was drawn to it.
Second moment happened while living in Atlanta. (Actually there were two, but they correlate with one another).
Thong sandals and Pedicures/Manicures.
Growing up I was conditioned to believe if black men wore thong sandals, also known as flip-flops, they were automatically assumed to be homosexual. I am not even sure where this started because men of different ethnic backgrounds donned them all the time and no one questioned their sexuality.
Also, it was unheard of for black men to receive pedicures and manicures. In fact, it was considered a feminine activity. I started to question these thought processes while living in the Atlanta area. I was introduced to pedicures through a dear friend and I admit I was skeptical and slightly judgmental and perturbed about it. Though I felt uneasy about it, once the lady finished I realized how much I enjoyed having my feet done.
Who decided what was masculine and feminine? Why do people follow rules so blindly?
I know I’m not perfect but I am trying my best to keep an open mind.
– Wardrobe –