So what IS feminine? What does it look like? Can you learn how to be feminine?


So…the question that everyone keeps asking me…what IS feminine?

What does being feminine look like? Well having established why femininity is important, in order to explain what it is, let’s start with what it isn’t. There are so many misperceptions about what the word feminine actually means, and I think it’s important that we address these up front.  Over the last couple of decades, the word feminine (unless referring to the latest Ralph Lauren line) hasn’t always been seen as the most flattering description for a woman.  This summer when Susan Walsh suggested that women “try on” femininity for a short while to see how it fitted, one woman remarked that she saw being described as the most feminine member of staff at her place of work insulting as she believed that feminine = weak and that it meant that she wasn’t being taken seriously.

Does Feminine = Weak?

So let’s start with weakness.  Feminine has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with aubergines (cue lots of emails telling me he is an aubergine addict…).  In fact, a genuinely feminine woman is incredibly strong; feminine strength just presents itself in a different way to masculine strength.  Masculine strength comes from tension and contraction whereas feminine strength comes from flow and flexibility.  A feminine woman is a force of nature.

Does Feminine = Submission?

Another common misperception is that being feminine involves being submissive and appeasing people around you (especially men).  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s about being true to yourself, finding your inner strength and self respect and being proud of who you are inside.

Does Feminine = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that being feminine is about being girly, pink and fluffy, or replicating old-fashioned domesticity.  Every time I hear femininity described in this way, it is always followed up with a comment along the lines of “but that’s not who I am”.  Femininity comes from the inside out;  it’s not something that you ‘put on’ in order to give an appearance.  The time that a woman is truly feminine is when she’s being totally authentic.

So what does Feminine look like?

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.  For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.  I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are being completely authentic from the inside out.

Now I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are…but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress! 🙂

Being feminine is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple.

…and as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as being feminine looks slightly different for each individual woman.

However, there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, but they will all appear in some shape or form.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about being F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E. first.

Flow – Being feminine is all about being open, and letting things flow.  The crucial element of this flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

Emotionally connected – Women are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.  Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of being feminine and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.  Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.  We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love…pure and simple.

Magic – I’m not referring to Harry Potter or David Copperfield here!  This is all about re-capturing the sense of magic from our childhood.  Being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Most importantly…don’t take yourself too seriously!  Being feminine is about remembering the wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

Inspiring – Unlike some of our male counterparts, feminine women don’t have any inclination to use force or pressure to affect people around us…our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with.

Nurturing – Women are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!  Our feminine nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.

Intuition – Everyone has heard of female intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to take the form of some sort of supernatural ability…intuition can simply be a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience.  At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something…often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise…it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t noticed.  Either way…if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then it’s got to be a good thing!

Natural – Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine woman it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core…embracing and embodying it completely.  Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart…and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things…it’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.  It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside…with your ‘essence’…and allowing that to radiate out.

Energy – Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real power comes from.  A feminine woman is an absolute force of nature.  She doesn’t seek out power, or to prove herself like her male counterparts…and when she’s really in her element there is absolutely no need for either.  She can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through her…and every single person she meets can feel it too.

So there, as promised, is my definition of feminine.  It’s come as a result of researching lots of different sources…as well as from my own personal experience.

…and the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of being feminine?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

What is masculinity?

Having shared my definition of Femininity some time ago…I thought it was about time I also shared my definition of Masculinity.

So which is better, masculinity or femininity?

The important thing to point out when talking about masculinity and femininity is that neither one is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other – they’re just different. Polar opposites. Yin and Yang.

Trying to determine which is better is like asking which are better, Manolos or Choos…neither is any better or worse than the other…just different 😉

The other thing to remember is that every single one of us has both masculinity and femininity inside us. At our core we will feel more comfortable with one of these energies than the other, but they are both there, and they are both helpful to us in different situations.

I’m often asked where the name ‘Feminine 1st’ came from and what it means. It is simply a reminder for women who are more naturally feminine to be “Feminine 1st” and then to utilise the masculine traits that they have as and when it is appropriate for them.

What does using masculinity mean for a woman?

Utilising our masculine traits often requires the use of testosterone…and for us ladies that chemical is in relatively short supply. So when we stay in our masculine for long periods of time we drain our testosterone supplies which leaves us only one option…adrenaline. Running on adrenaline for any period of time leaves us feeling drained and can lead to burn out (which we’ve all experienced from time to time)…which is the reason it’s so important to be able to move back into our feminine whenever we can.

It’s not about being ‘only feminine’ or denying that the masculinity inside us exists. It’s just about being the way that is more natural to us for the majority of the time, being able to bring in and use the traits of the other energy whenever it’s right for us to do so and then move back to our natural position again.

Yin-YangRemember the Yin-Yang symbol…the feminine side has a small piece of the masculine inside it….and vice versa.

It’s this dance between the femininity and masculinity inside us which makes life interesting!

So what exactly IS Masculinity?

So in order to be able to recognise and utilise the masculinity traits that we have inside us, I’ve put together a little acronym to help us remember them: M.A.S.C.U.L.I.N.E.

  • M – Motivated – Masculinity is very driven. It’s about being strongly motivated and having the drive for achieving whatever the individual is focused on at any moment in time.
  • A – Assertive – Masculinity is very assertive….sometimes this assertiveness can show itself as being forceful, wanting to lead or be in control, but it comes from a place of strength and being purpose-driven.
  • S – Structured – Masculinity is very structured…often focusing on systems, processes and procedures to ‘get the job done’.
  • C – Competitive – Masculinity is very competitive. Competitive sports and environments are where the masculine thrives – the thrill of competition, winning, beating other people (not literally!) and ‘coming out on top’ feed the masculine energy.
  • U – Unwavering – Masculinity is very focused…and this focus is often completely unwavering. This can sometimes be perceived as being tunnel-vision or seeming blinkered…but this laser-focus means that the individual keeps their ‘eyes on the prize’ at all times.  The masculine energy has a strong sense of ‘purpose’, when a masculine person is working towards that purpose or mission they are completely unwavering in their approach.
  • L – Logical – Masculinity is very logical, and therefore sometimes can appear quite un-emotional. Rationalising, analyzing, problem-solving, deducing are all common masculine traits….we all know that masculine men have a tendency to want to ‘fix the problem’ more often than dealing with the emotion!
  • I – Independent – Masculinity is very independent. Whereas feminine energy tends towards community and connection (especially in times of challenge), the masculine is much more self-sufficient and will often cut themselves off, take time and space on their own to work through any challenges that they are facing.
  • N – Naturally Protective – Masculinity is naturally protective. The masculine instinctively protects and defends that which he loves and holds dear. This can sometimes be perceived as machismo, misogyny or jealousy…but it is instinctive for a masculine man and originates from a place of love.
  • E – End-Result Orientated – Masculinity focuses on the ‘end-result’. It is very goal-oriented and purpose-driven, always working towards an objective or outcome.

Quite often people look at the definition of masculine traits and perceive some of them in quite a negative way (competitive, independent, unwavering)…but it’s important to realise that each of these traits have a purpose and a use in different situations.

Recently I heard masculinity and femininity described in terms of a glass and body of water. The water is the feminine, flowing and nourishing and the glass is the masculine, structured and hard. In order to really enjoy drinking the water, you need the glass in order to contain it. It doesn’t change the water, it just gives it a container in which to flow. Sometimes you need a little structure in order to allow yourself to flow freely within it….to get the best of both worlds.

…and as always it’s about balance. Finding the balance of femininity and masculinity which is right for you.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x


Today I want to talk about one of my all time favourite topics….Shoes! 🙂

There are lots of different types of shoes available…there are high heels, flip flops, men’s shoes, ladies boots, wellington boots, pumps, wedges, flippers, trainers…the list goes on and on.

The thing with shoes is that not every type of shoe is right for every person.

For example I had a friend at university who had a seemingly limitless array of different types of trainers. I personally have two, one proper pair for running and a pair that are comfortable but have a little bling on for when I feel like being casual but still a little feminine. I know other people who don’t have any.

Likewise I have quite a collection of high heels (don’t ask me how many I have…I’ve never wanted to count them!). My trainer friend had one…for when she absolutely, positively, couldn’t in any way get away with wearing trainers (like at a formal ball). Again, I know other people who have none.

Personally I have a strong aversion to Crocs…I’ve heard that they are very comfortable, but they just don’t fit with my personal style. I know some people who wear them all the time.

Not all shoes are right for all people.

In addition, even shoes that are right for someone aren’t necessarily right for them at all times and in all situations.

For example, if you’re going to be digging in the garden, I highly doubt that you’ll be wanting to do it in a pair of stiletto heels….even if at other times they would be your shoes of choice.

Likewise if you’re heading to the beach it’s unlikely that you’re going to be wanting to take your wellington boots with you. But if it was time to roll your sleeves up for a muddy afternoon sorting out the garden, they’d be the first shoes you’d reach for.

So as interesting as this is, why am I talking about different types of shoes?

Well, the reason is that in the same way as not all shoes are right for all people, and not all shoes that are right for a person are right in every situation…the same is true for approaches to life…and femininity.

Not all approaches to life and femininity are right for everyone….and even those which are right for everyone aren’t necessarily right at every point in time.

So if there is something that pops up in the newsletter or blog which you think “I’m not sure that’s quite right for me at the moment” that’s absolutely fine!

If it’s not the right fit then just leave it where it is for now.

You never know, there may be a point in the future when you decide that you’d like to come back to it and re-visit it.

…and if that doesn’t happen, that’s absolutely fine as well.

This is YOUR journey. You need to find the information and advice that’s right for you…to help you embrace being the beautiful authentic woman you are….and to celebrate it!

If something doesn’t fit right…it might just be that you’re trying to do the garden in stilettos or that you’re a high heels girl trying to make Crocs fit your personal style.

Find the shoes, and the approaches to femininity, that are right for where you are in your life right now…and then enjoy them!

So, what shoes are right for YOU right now…?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Pink High Heels

feminine weak or strong

Feminine – Weak or Strong?

feminine weak or strongSomething which I’ve noticed coming up on a regular basis when talking about femininity is the perception by some people that it equals weakness.

I have to say that, more often than not, it’s women who bring up the subject. They are reluctant to be associated with the word feminine, because they believe they will be perceived as weak as a result.

I think that many years hearing sayings like “Cry like a girl”, ‘Throw like a girl”, “Run like a girl” (which I’m sure we’ve all heard from time to time) have probably contributed to this belief.

But femininity has nothing to do with weakness. In fact, a feminine woman in her element can be very powerful…and I’d like to share with you a story that demonstrates this.

The story is of a woman called Angela Cavallo from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

It was April 9th in 1982.

Her son Anthony was working on his car in the driveway, while Angela was in the house.

He had jacked up his 1964 Chevy Impala and was working on the suspension.

However when he removed the rear suspension spring, disaster struck.

The jack slipped away and pinned Anthony under the car.

If you have never seen a Chevy Impala it’s weight is comparable to that of a Volvo estate….so it is a very heavy vehicle.

Luckily a neighbourhood kid happened to be passing at the time and saw what happened. They ran to tell Angela who was in the Kitchen.

Angela was described as being in her 50s, around 5’8” and quite large framed. She ran out to the car and seeing her son trapped underneath it, she grabbed the corner of the car and lifted the weight off him.

Unfortunately as Anthony was unconscious he couldn’t move by himself, so the neighbourhood kid went to get help.

It took around 5 minutes for help to arrive, and Angela was holding the weight of the car the whole time.

Luckily Anthony was pulled clear and made a full recovery. But they were curious as to how Angela had performed this seemingly impossible feat so they consulted with a doctor.
The doctor confirmed that Adrenaline would have run out way before the 5 minutes had passed.

It was explained that her endurance came from the consequence of the extreme pain she would have suffered had Anthony died from the incident.

Her instincts as a woman and a mother to nurture, love and protect her son were what gave her the ability to do the seemingly impossible.

You see, a Feminine Woman with a purpose, is a force of nature. She can do the seemingly impossible and draw on a tremendous amount of strength.

So as I’ve said before, Femininity has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with Aubergines…and now you can see why…

Have an amazing week, and remember to stay fabulous!

Claire x

P.S. A quick reminder that the All Woman Workshop, is this Saturday!  If you would love a day for yourself to indulge, be inspired and meet other like-minded ladies, then click here to snap up your ticket now.

Can you be feminine and feminist at the same time?

I’m not a fan of stereotypes…in any area of life.

These days it seems that stereotypes are more like caricatures.

It is all about focusing on the extremes, rather than the norms.

I frequently find the concepts of femininity and feminism are referred to as if they are opposites.

Ironically, if you look feminism up in the dictionary, one of the definitions is “feminine character”!

I believe the reason these concepts are thought of as opposites is the caricature factor.

When the word feminist comes up, what is the image that appears in your mind?

Often people get an image of an aggressive and angry woman looking to burn her bra on the nearest bonfire and ready to take on any man (before he’s even realised that a battle is taking place!)

Likewise, when the word feminine comes up, what picture do you see?

People frequently see a picture of a woman dressed from head to to in pink fluffiness, with blonde hair and an attitude similar to that of Alicia Silverstone’s character in the film ‘Clueless’.

Neither image is an accurate representation of the women who fall into these categories.

Both are actually pretty offensive!

But what is the reality?

Femininity is all about embracing the natural qualities of a woman.

Feminism is focused on proving that there is an equality between men and women.

From my point of view, the reason that people believe that you can’t be feminine and a feminist is because of one word.

They mistake equality with being ‘the same’.

It is perfectly possible for two things to be equal and opposite…and that is the key.

Life is filled with forces that are equal and opposite: Dark and Light, Right and Wrong, Hot and Cold…the list goes on.

Male and Female is another example….equal but opposite.

For a woman to be a feminist she doesn’t need to believe that Men and Women are the same…she just believes that we are equal.

It is absolutely possible for you to be both feminine and a feminist.

I know…because I am 🙂

I’m not really a fan of the label ‘feminist’ as I feel that it is one-sided and has been misrepresented over the years. I’d actually prefer the term ‘equalist’…but I’m not sure that it would catch on! 🙂

I definitely consider myself a feminine woman.

I love being a woman and embracing all of our fantastic feminine qualities.

I also believe that we are equal to men.

Equal and opposite.

…and when we’re in balance, that’s when the magic happens.

How about you?

Are you a feminine woman?

Are you a feminist?

Are you both?

What do you think?

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

How to get your balance…


No, I’m not talking about walking down the road with a Manolo Blahnik bag in one hand and a Jimmy Choo bag in the other.

I’m talking about balance in life.

We hear about balance all the time.

Work-life balance.

Balanced diet.

Emotionally balanced.

Balance the cheque book.

In the balance.

The balancing act.

A balanced relationship.

On balance.

It seems to feature in almost every area of life.

But how much time do we actually take to think about balance?

…and what on earth does it have to do with femininity?

Well, a lot of people think that masculinity and femininity are completely separate and because they are total opposites that they have nothing to do with each other.

When in actual fact, the reality is that each contains a part of the other.

I’m going to use the Yin Yang symbol here to demonstrate what I’m talking about.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the concept of yin yang is used to describe how polar opposites (such as masculinity and femininity) are interconnected and interdependent.

With the Yin Yang symbol, the white represents the masculine, the black represents the feminine…and as you can see, each side has a small circle of the other inside it.

A truly masculine man, has a small element of femininity inside him, as a truly feminine woman has a small element of masculine.

The challenge that a lot of people face is that they struggle to getting the balance right.

Men have been told for so many years that they need to be in touch with their feminine side, that for many of them the small circle of femininity has grown to the size where it’s bigger than the masculine part.

Women have been told that they should ‘man up’, ‘play with the boys’ and “stop being so emotional” so many times that our masculine side has all but wiped out the feminine part altogether.

When the balance of our mindset and our behaviour no longer matches the balance of who we are at our core, that’s when we start feeling drained, stressed, unhappy and overwhelmed.

If you are a feminine woman at heart who is acting like a burly 6ft bloke, the chances are that you’re not very happy.

So what is the answer?

The B word. Balance.

It’s knowing that you have an element of masculinity inside you and for short periods of time when the situation demands it, it’s perfectly ok to step into your masculine and utilise that part of your personality.

The key is to be conscious about the fact that you are stepping into the masculine. You then need to be conscious of the best time to release the masculine and step back into your feminine again.

So how do you know when the balance is right?

Honestly, the best way is to just trust yourself, you know better than anyone what balance is right for you.

If you’re not quite sure then look back to the Ying Yang symbol…it will give you an idea of the proportions to start with.

Then just play with it and listen to what your intuition is telling you 🙂

Next time we’ll look at how you can identify whether you are in your masculine or just in a strong feminine mode, as well as a few quick tips on how to get back to your feminine quickly.

So enjoy ladies, find your balance, and remember to Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short video message, from me, to you, with love x

Fake Feminine

So having talked about masculine masks last week, this week we’re looking at the other side of the coin.

Because as difficult as a masculine mask is…wearing a feminine one can be even worse…

We have all seen women who are quite obviously prioritising their masculine tendencies, but the other extreme are women who put on the appearance of being a feminine woman: an appearance that is only skin deep.

I was at a Christmas party a week or so ago, speaking to a group of friends when the subject of femininity came up. Someone very kindly put me forward as an example of a feminine woman when one of the women in the group said something which I found really interesting. “Yes, but Claire’s the RIGHT sort of feminine, she’s obviously feminine but she has a power with it…she’s not one of those ‘other’ feminine women”…I was intrigued.

“What kind of feminine women do you mean?” I said. She replied “Oh you know…THAT kind”…and put on a silly giggle paired with an obviously ‘put on’ face that made her look like a four year old trying to appeal for a sweetie / cuddly toy / just one more hour before bedtime…

What fascinated me about this is that, in my opinion, that’s not femininity at all (something I pointed out during the conversation). It’s not something that you ‘put on’ like a pair of killer heels (like the beautiful pair of bright pink peep toes that I was surprised with as a birthday present this weekend…sorry just had to share that with you all!)

As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, true femininity can only come from the inside. It’s beautiful, authentic and real. It starts from within and is radiated outwards.

Yes, your appearance can help you to feel more in touch with your femininity – for some ladies it’s easier to feel feminine in a dress and sparkly earrings than it is in flat boots and a masculine uniform – but that’s not where it originates.

Wearing a mask that shows you as feminine if the inner you doesn’t match is no better than wearing a mask that portrays you as masculine. It’s still concealing the true you…and femininity is all about being true to yourself, inside and out.

As with masculine masks, there are a number of reasons that women can step into the role of a “Fake feminine”.

The most common reason is simply to mask insecurity. By putting on the mask of a pretty confident woman it is easy to feel that you are covering up and hiding away parts of yourself which might otherwise make you feel vulnerable. What we have to remember is that especially as women, our vulnerability is our power…by being able to embrace our own imperfections we give others permission to acknowledge their own, rather than shying away from them. It enables us to connect with others at a level which otherwise would not be possible.

Unfortunately there is also another reason why some women choose to adopt a ‘fake feminine’ persona. Some women believe that through adopting this artificial femininity that it will enable them to manipulate others and ‘get their own way’. It is unfortunate that women who do this can affect people’s perception of femininity…much like my friend’s perception from the Christmas party. Women who do this, in my experience, actually do this in order to cover even larger and deeper insecurities. It comes from a place of fear which leads to a need to control and protect themselves at all costs.

While it would be easy to judge women who behave in this way and criticise their choices, I believe that the better response is to treat them with kindness. They might just need someone to show them a little understanding to question whether they need to protect themselves to such an extreme. Remember…vulnerability is power.

Being true to yourself is so important…it would be great if more women could look in the mirror, smile and say “I am happy with me”, or even better “You’re gorgeous, inside and out”.

So we know that authenticity is the key…and the quickest and easiest way to authentically connect with your femininity is to dance. It doesn’t have to be in a dance class, or even need to be co-ordinated! Just moving your body to music that you love in a way that makes you smile is all it takes.

…and in so I want to share this video with you to inspire you to connect with your authentic femininity the way that this lovely little girl does:

Here is the link in case the video doesn’t display in your browser:

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

P.S. Remember that you can still get your copy of The Feminine Evolution audio programme in time for a last minute Christmas gift!  Order before Monday 19th December for delivery in the UK by the time Santa arrives 😀

The Feminine Evolution


masculine masks

The reality of masculine masks…

masculine masksWe all know that drag is most commonly associated with describing a man in women’s clothing (before I get corrected here, yes I know that it is used the other way around too! 😉 ), but the real drag is a woman who is feminine on the inside and yet putting on a masculine mask.

Believe me, I speak from experience.

So what is a masculine mask?

Masks are there to conceal the identity of the wearer. Wearing a masculine mask involves portraying characteristics which are primarily masculine and in doing so concealing who you are on the inside. It’s about creating an appearance of being masculine externally which doesn’t match the feminine woman that you are at heart.

Masculinity, like femininity has a number of traits that are associated with it. Without wanting to create an article purely focusing on masculinity (don’t worry, I’ll come to this later!) some of these traits include tension, contraction, solidity, competition and goal/outcome oriented. Masculinity is often associated with ‘problem solving’ (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had an argument with a partner who is trying to ‘fix the problem’ when all I was interested in doing was getting it off my chest!) and it often has a tendency to spend more time on the side of logic than emotion.

Taking on these masculine traits externally if they don’t match who you are internally is exhausting. There is nothing worse than having to behave like someone you’re not. It can affect you emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically too.

Imagine for a moment Charlotte from Sex and the City.

For those of you who have never seen the show Charlotte is woman who believes in true love, in behaving ‘correctly’ and conforming to what is considered ‘the done thing’ in polite society. She is the most conservative of the group, an irrepressible optimist and a girl who is always looking for (and expecting) the arrival of her knight in shining armour.

Next, I’d like you to think about Samantha from the same series.

Samantha is a woman who does not need a man for anything other than an enjoyable night between the sheets! She is outspoken, risqué and gives the impression that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She is often heard to say that she can do anything a man can do, and likes to prove it. She could easily be described as a masculine woman.

Now, imagine for a moment, Charlotte wearing a ‘Samantha mask’. Dressing like her, behaving like her, speaking like her…all the while still being the real Charlotte on the inside.

Can you imagine how difficult that would be for Charlotte to keep up the ‘Samantha mask’ pretence long term? How Charlotte would feel?

For a short while it might be do-able, even fun, to appear as something your not…its part of the reason that Hallowe’en and fancy dress parties are enjoyed by so many people. But to pretend for any period of time that you are something that you’re not can really drag you down.

Masculine masks are worn by so many women these days for a variety of reasons. They are incredibly common in business, as so many women have looked up the career ladder and seen mainly men in positions they would like to be promoted to eventually.

Some women choose to replicate the behaviour of the men in more senior positions in order to be considered successful, ‘the right fit’ for the company and ‘good senior management material’. Likewise in very masculine working environments, women can feel the need to act like ‘one of the boys’ in order to fit in and be accepted by their peers.

However it’s not only in business that these masculine masks appear. Women who are often feeling overwhelmed can step into superman mode to prove that they can keep control of everything in their life.

In relationships women can put on a masculine mask to try to ‘protect’ a woman from getting hurt, often as a response to heartbreak somewhere along the line. Or they can be worn by women who feel the need to ‘prove’ that they are independent and can do it all, and sometimes even bring an element of competition, showing that they can do things quicker or better than their partners. This can lead to either an explosive battle of masculine energies with their significant other or to their partner stepping back from their own masculinity (sometimes into a more feminine role) in order to prevent confrontation. This flip in polarity can have a devastating effect on the attraction and passion in an intimate relationship.

The challenge with these masculine masks is that they are draining. It is a demand on your energy to constantly keep up an appearance which is inconsistent with your inner self. The tension, control, competition and ‘need to prove yourself’ associated with the masculine masks takes continuous effort, and can often mean that you are running on adrenaline in order to keep going.

You end up feeling tired, run down and most importantly that you’re not being the real you.

Many women put on these masculine masks as a way of coping, being able to do it all or prove themselves, but in reality we become much more effective, happier and able to cope when we’re true to ourselves.

So girls…it’s time to ditch those masculine masks once and for all, have a good old chat (over a cocktail or two) with your inner woman and decide to put your best foot forward (in fabulous shoes, if that’s your thing) as the real you for all the world to see.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

So what's so important about femininity anyway?

Femininity – So what’s in it for me?

So what's so important about femininity anyway?So what’s so important about Femininity anyway?

So what’s so important about Femininity? Why should we care? We’ve been proving to everyone out there, men and women alike, that we can do anything and everything that the boys can do (often quicker and better!) for decades now…so what’s the big deal? I mean, we’ve still got our heels and handbags, and that’s what matters….right? So who cares if we’ve lost a bit of our femininity along the way?

Well, the answer is (unfortunately)…we do. We just don’t necessarily realise it.

As important as our heels and handbags are (I personally worship at the altars of Blahnik and Choo on a regular basis)…our obsession with gaining ‘equality’ with the boys is costing us dearly…and while we might be aware of the symptoms…we’re completely oblivious to the cause.

You see, life is all about balance (and that doesn’t consist of a cocktail glass or shopping bag with the latest pair of killer heels in each hand…), and unfortunately balance (especially in terms of masculinity and femininity) doesn’t tend to be very high on our list of priorities.

We are trying to do it all…and we are trying to do it all without any help. We are taking on so many roles in life: girlfriend or wife, mum, career girl, daughter, friend, domestic goddess, culture vulture, chef, health & fitness poster child, entrepreneur…the list goes on!

Put simply, women these days are wearing so many hats that they could single handedly supply the entire crowd at Royal Ascot’s Ladies Day (for our international readers the hats at ladies’ day are notorious…check these out for some giggles)…and femininity is not even on our radar.

Not only are we trying to do it all…but we’re trying to do it all perfectly. We are trying to prove that we are the best…and there’s nothing that we can’t do.

So where does the femininity come in?

Now, I hate to break it to you ladies, but the need to do it all, keep control, compete with everyone around us and prove that we are the best…these are all very masculine traits.

We’ve all heard comments like “She definitely wears the trousers” (read “pants” for our international ladies!) or “She’s got balls!”…and while this might not be anatomically accurate, it does sum the situation up pretty well (let’s face it, they’re not phrases we’d associate with femininity!).

You see, women have been so desperate to keep control of this chaotic life that the only way that they have found to do this has been to step into Superman (not even superwoman!) mode. The man of steel who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Now, no self respecting woman would ever combine red underwear with blue tights, but how many of us feel that we need superhuman powers just to get through the week?!

The problem with this situation is that “wearing the trousers” takes real effort…its hard work. You need to force yourself to stay strong, to make everything happen, to prove that you can do it all. This “masculine woman” is stressed, overwhelmed, feels underappreciated and unhappy. Whether it’s at work or at home, she is struggling to keep all the balls she is juggling in the air. She often has health problems, a schedule which is running her ragged and time for her seems like a distant memory (Time for me? What’s that, I hear you say?!)

On the flip side, when you decide to hang the ‘trousers’ (or ‘pants’!) up and go back to being the real you – losing all the baggage, the competitiveness, the control and getting back to connecting with your femininity and enjoying the ride, it’s a whole different story.

So how can femininity work for me?

You see, a woman who is being completely and totally true to herself is powerful, confident and can just accept herself, as she is.

She doesn’t have to force anything or prove anything, she just does what comes naturally…and believe me when I tell you that it has an impact on every single aspect of her life.

Now, I want to be clear, by being feminine, I do not mean a return to domestic submission, aspects of servitude or the appeasement of the male species (sorry boys, but trust me when I tell you that you’ll enjoy this a whole lot more as well!)

…and it also doesn’t mean that we need to forget or lose touch with our masculine traits either, as everyone has access to both for a reason.

Personally, I think that femininity has been given a bad rap…and I would like to set the record straight.

I know you might think that the feminine you doesn’t exist, but maybe she’s just been buried for a little while…and the experience of digging her out and dusting her off will be well worth it, believe me.

So if you would like to find out more about femininity…then stick with me…it’s going to be a lot of fun! x