Play up your Femininity Part 2 . 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.
Let’s move on now 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!
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