November 3

Play up your Femininity Part 2

Play up your Femininity Part 2.  Nothing makes me feel more feminine than being around a very strong man.  That being said, let me start by updating you on my reset week.  It went by flawlessly.  Yes, I had to be warned about my playful sarcasm crossing the line a few times, but as hubby says, that’s me.  He doesn’t ever want to change who I am.  We just need to keep it respectful to each other.  So, it ended up being a pleasant week that felt much like a flashback to honeymoon times.  That tends to happen whenever we are paying such close attention to everything the other says and does.  Perhaps we should do that more often! ::::pleasant sigh:::

part 2b

So. Anyway… on to my post.   Femininity.

What makes a woman feminine?  And why would we go to any extent to cultivate femininity?  Many months ago we started talking about a man’s idea of an ideal woman and how you can save or improve your marriage by striving to be more like her.   (If you want to catch up first, start on this page and read the posts in order.)  Being feminine is #1 on that list.  Men who seek women for their life partners tend to be attracted to feminine women.   Femininity refers not just to appearance, but also to manner and actions.   They are turned on by her girlishness, joyfulness, vivacity, and dependency on men for care and protection.

Without femininity, you could fail to arouse your husband’s natural desire to protect and shelter you.   If he sees you as too strong, dominant, and self-sufficient, he will feel less manly and less needed.   Makes sense, right?  So let’s talk about ways that today’s modern woman can still play upon her feminine side.

Last week we addressed how to incorporate feminine fashion and style.  This week we move on to mannerisms.  Your mannerisms are the way you use your body, how you use your hands, your facial expressions, your laugh.   I actually had first-hand experience with this at the beginning of last week when I woke with a touch of laryngitis.   Toward the end of the day my husband told me that he loved my soft little squeaky voice.  He even said it was “so cute!”  So guess what?  Even though I have a naturally high-pitched, girly voice,  I know one thing that I need to work on. 🙂  Softly.  Speak more softly.

It was a lesson I needed a reminder in.   You can’t stop at feminine dress.   Without the correct mannerisms, feminine dress just looks silly.  I’m sure you can think of at least one example of this that you’ve met in your lifetime–someone who looked very pretty and sweet but then spoke in a gruff tone or walked in such a tomboy manner that almost made you laugh out loud.  I can think of a few, personally.

So let’s begin with the hands.   When I was in high school in the “dress for success 80’s” we were actually taught how to shake hands.   A firm grasp, two pumps up and down while you look the other person right in the eye, they told us.   Play up your strength and your confidence, they said.   Right.   They taught me how to act like a man.

Have you ever seen a woman’s hands while she hand sews a button? Or does a cross stitch? or braids a little girl’s hair?  Our hands are little works of art that move in a graceful, delicate manner.  We can fold our hands in ways that men can not.  And men notice the delicacy of our hands.    My husband loves a nicely manicured hand on a woman.  He even holds my hand more when mine are pretty’d up.

Take time to care for your hands.   Hand creme.  Nail polish.  And for all that is holy, don’t use your hands to talk, but DO use them for expression.  A finger gently held in front of the lips after you’ve spoken too loudly or said something you shouldn’t have (combined with an innocent eyelash batting) is very feminine.  Pounding on the table to make a point is not.  Holding up your middle finger at someone is decidedly not!  You get the idea.

Now your walk.  Stand up straight, and walk as if you are worried about disturbing the baby sleeping downstairs.  Light steps.  Always.

And your voice.  Avoid speaking loudly, crudely, or in any manner that mimics men.  Please, never ever curse.  If you must, come up with suitable alternatives such as “shoot!” or “bugger!”   But don’t curse.  Nothing crushes a feminine image faster than talking like a truck driver.  Any time you question this, just imagine if you’d like your husband to suddenly start speaking in a soft, effeminate tone of voice.   No?  really?  Right.   He doesn’t want you to start talking like one of the guys either.

Every day, while you are alone,  practice your voice modulation.   Read a story book aloud.  Practice speaking softer, slower, and if necessary in a slightly higher pitch.  After a few weeks of doing this, it’ll become natural.    One wonderful trick is to also put the sound of joy or laughter into your voice.   It’s highly effective.  The same is true for sadness, when those times are appropriate.   Squeal when you are delighted.   Do all of the modulations of voice that men would never do.

Now.  This next is a little bit more difficult, and being such a fan of pure and authentic joy I am almost loathe to mention it, but for some it is important to attempt to alter our laughs.   If you snort, or guffaw, perhaps you might want to attempt to temper it.  On the other hand, perhaps you want to just allow yourself this one freedom of pure unadulterated joy.   I’ll leave this one up to you.

The last bodily motion that I want to talk about is facial expression.   Think about The Wizard of Oz wicked witch right now.   You see her in your mind’s eye.  Her forehead is creased in a frown.  Her lips are pulled tight in a scowl.  Her bodily mannerisms are quick and jerky.  Now transfer that image to some woman that you know looks like that in real life.  Even scarier, right?  yeah.   Don’t do that.   Work to keep your expression softened.  Think kind and happy thoughts.  Take a deep breath several times a day to help relax the stress that causes those frown lines.  Keep your body motions soft and fluid and graceful.

Now let’s move on to other mannerisms such as how you interact with others.   If someone were watching you in conversation from afar, would they know what you were thinking? feeling? or saying?    They should.   When someone is telling you a sad story, your expression should reflect sympathy.   When the conversation is joyful, your face should show joy.   When you are speaking to children, you should be down at their level and using a soft, cooing type of voice.  Be tender.   Be expressive!  Be unabashedly female.  Embrace it.  It’s your gift.

All of these things take time to cultivate, but start immediately to work on them.  Time is going to pass anyway, so you might as well start using it.   As each week passes, you’ll have small improvements and in a few months, these things will come naturally.

In my next post, we’ll talk about social situations and bringing in further refinement.  Maybe we’ll even do some tea and crumpets.  Just kidding, but really it’s not a bad idea to start to practice with some afternoon tea once in a while.   It could be fun.   See you then!

 

 

 

 

 

October 24

Dress for Marriage Success. Play up Your Feminine Nature.

Dress for Marriage Success. Play up Your Feminine Nature. After World War II, there was an imbalance in the male/female population ratio that left single women fearing for their futures.   Good Housekeeping magazine warned that 1 in 7 of them would be forced to live alone her entire life.   And  women’s magazines began flooding the newsstands with advice about how a girl could reinvent herself to attract a husband. Coronet Magazine (1953), quotes:

The smart woman will keep herself feminine. It is her duty to herself to be desirable at all times to the opposite sex.

And what followed was a period of time where, in my opinion, women exhibited some of the most amazingly beautiful, sexy, and feminine fashions and appearances of all time.

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Femininity has an enormous appeal to men.  It is in stark contrast to the big, strong, masculine nature they try to project.   Standing beside a soft, sweet, delicate-looking woman only makes their masculinity more apparent.   So, if they love it so much, why would women want to only play up their feminine nature when seeking a mate?  Why would we not wish to please our mates long after our wedding day has past?

A few days ago I talked about how throwing away our scales could ultimately save our marriages.   In the scale of importance,  if maintaining our proper weight would be considered  “important”, embracing our femininity would be considered “non-negotiable”.    Here’s why.

First, when we take care to accentuate the differences between our feminine self and our manly husband, two things happen.  First, we feel beautiful.   Let me ask you how many times a day you feel beautiful when wearing your stained yoga pants and frumpy t-shirt?  Not many, right?   How often do you feel beautiful when you wear a pretty, feminine top; fix your hair, throw on some make up and a pretty pair of earrings?   Much better, right?  And when you feel pretty, how do you act?  And when you act more confident and desirable, how does your husband act?  Right.  That brings us to number 2.   When we accentuate the difference between our feminine self and our husbands masculine self, this causes him to feel more manly and that is one of the best feelings a man can feel.  And you do that to him.   And he knows it.  You make him feel like more of a man when he’s with you.

You make him want to take care of you.   You make him want to do things for you because, surely, you are too delicate to do them for yourself.  You make him want to be your man.

So how do we maintain this standard on a day-to-day basis?   No, you don’t have to look like Marilyn Monroe or a fashion model every day.  And you don’t have to be uncomfortable.   If you follow some basic rules of fashion and appearance, it should become effortless.

Rule #1, think like a man.   Men would never wear anything fluffy, lacy, flowery, ornate, brightly colored (usually), or delicate.   Therefore, those are the things you would wear.    Think like a man then do the opposite.  Your job is to put as much distance between men’s and women’s fashions as possible.    So when you shop:

1.  Avoid heavy, manly materials like men’s suit materials, rough or hard finished woolens or denim (except for a great pair of fitting jeans).   Think: soft cottons, silk, cashmere, soft woolens, floral prints, polka dots, animal prints, chiffon, lace, velvet, satin, faux fur, angora, and organdie.   When you hold up a garment, if it looks like something a man might wear, put it back on the rack.

2.  Colors.  Choose pastels, soft colors, and bright colors.   Reserve black, grey, brown, and charcoals for accent pieces.  Never do entire outfits in black except for a little black dress and pair that with a brightly colored or printed sweater or jacket.    The other exception to this rule is an outfit that might be black or drab colored but is in a highly feminine cut or style or has feminine trim to offset the man factor.

3. Style.  Obviously not every style looks good on every woman.  But.  We can strive to insure that what we are wearing is something a woman would wear but never a man.   Cut offs are a no no.  Buy or sew shorts or capris that are more flattering.   Jeans are okay only if you pair them with a feminine top and shoes.

dungareesTry to include as many skirts and dresses as you can.  Nothing will make you feel more feminine faster.   Look to old photos for inspiration.
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Don’t, however, sacrifice comfort.  One of the common misconceptions about the 50s housewife is that she always wore uncomfortable pumps.  Not true.  Women were not idiots.   Look at the shoes on this woman.

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They were pretty, coordinated, and comfortable.   You be comfortable too.  It’s easier to feel more ladylike when we aren’t tempted to lash out at the nearest person because our feet are killing us.

4.  Accessorize.   Jewelry, makeup, scarves, hats, gloves, purses, flowers, ribbons, lace.   Use them.  They’re fun and womanly.  Have fun with them.   I am always pleasantly surprised when I wear a fashionable hat and my husband responds with a smile and a comment such as, “Look at you in your cutsie hat!  I love it.”  And then I catch him smiling and stealing glimpses at me as we are out and about.

Lastly.  5.  Underclothes.   Sometimes mundane undergarments are necessary.  But whenever possible, wear pretty underclothes (but for health reasons, always choose ones with proper white cotton panty liners stitched in.)  Just trust me on this one.  Ditch the granny panties and invest in some pretty, or if you dare, sexy underclothes.  Then watch what happens, both with your attitude and your husband’s.  Oh, and be sure to casually dress and undress in front of him.  (Don’t make it obvious that you are doing so.)

Ahhhh but, fashion is only one part of the equation.  In my next post we will talk about maintaining a feminine manner, which is equally important.    In the meantime, don’t forget to like our Facebook page.  And also, check out our other marriage and relationship articles.