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Do you know what fake feminine looks like?

Fake Feminine, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stLast week we began speaking about masks…specifically about masculine masks and what they look like.

But masculine masks aren’t the only masks that a woman can wear.

There is another kind of mask that can be even more damaging to both her and her relationships with other people.

What kind of mask is it?

A feminine mask.

Wearing a feminine mask… what is fake feminine?

The danger with wearing a feminine mask…with putting on ‘fake feminine’ is that in a lot of cases the women who are wearing them have no idea.

What’s worse is that they often believe that they are being feminine…sometimes even putting themselves forward as examples of femininity and what it can look like.

Not only is this confusing for them, but for others as well…it’s no wonder there’s so much confusion about femininity these days!

How can you identify fake feminine?

As with everything in life, the first step to being able to change anything is to be aware of it…so in today’s video I want to share with you more about what fake feminine is, and how you can identify it, both in yourself and others…

So how do we deal with fake feminine?

When it comes to fake feminine, there are two areas to look at…when we see it in ourselves and when we see it in others.

When it comes to ourselves, in many areas of life we’re taught to ‘fake it until we make it’…femininity is one of those areas where this doesn’t work. If we don’t feel it, if it doesn’t come authentically from the inside, it can end up as just another mask we put on over the top…and we just compound the challenges we have.

It’s better to begin with a teeny tiny amount of authentic femininity that you can nurture and grow, than put a huge feminine mask over the top of what’s already there, and just keep adding layers that aren’t being felt inside.  So if you notice a little ‘fake feminine’ in yourself, take some time to find a little piece of authentic feminine inside (you can find out more about what authentic feminine involves here to find that initial spark), then take a little time each day to acknowledge it, nurture it and grow it.

…and as I said in the video, when it comes to other women who are displaying ‘fake feminine’ although it would be easy to judge and criticise them, the best approach is to be even more of your authentic feminine self around them.

Fake feminine often comes from a place of insecurity, fear or lack…most women who put on ‘fake feminine’ do so because they don’t have the courage to be authentic and vulnerable.

The more you can be authentic and vulnerable around them, the more you give them permission to do the same.  The more you reach out with love and understanding, the safer they will feel to let go of their feminine mask and show their real self.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you wear an online mask…?

I’ve spoken a lot about the challenges with masculine and feminine masks, but there is another type of mask that is also causing us a lot of problems at the moment…and it could be affecting your femininity.

These days we spend a huge amount of time interacting and connecting online.  Globally we spend a collective 35 Billion hours online a month, which equates to nearly 4 million years!  Of this time, 22% of it is spent on Social Media and 19% on emails…so around 41% of our time online is spent involved in some kind of communication.

What is scary is that 39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do face to face…and I’m sure that the stats for other areas of the world are similar.

In addition, a recent survey showed that these days, many people with a mobile phone prefer texting over a phone call…leading to even more text-based communication.

The challenge with this is that a lot of people wear what I call an “Online mask”.

Masks are there to conceal the identity of the wearer. Wearing any mask involves portraying characteristics that not consistent with who you are on the inside, and hiding an element of the ‘real you’.

When people interact online it is so easy to use the internet as a mask to hide behind.  People say and do things online that they would never dream about doing in the real world, face-to-face.

It’s easier to be bold when you can’t see the immediate reaction from the person you are interacting with.

I’ve personally had a lot of experiences where people I have interacted with online have been very different when I’ve interacted with them offline.

Several years ago I did a stint of online dating, which meant getting to know someone first through a website or email before meeting them face-to-face.  There were so many times that a guy seemed one way online and yet in person was completely different.

There were the usual cases of a man claiming to be 6’2” and in reality showing up as 5”8, or photos that looked like they were taken 10 years ago, but the biggest surprise for me was the amount of drastically changing personalities.  I can’t tell you the amount of times that a guy came across as confident on an email or on a website….but was painfully shy or awkward face to face. Sometimes a guy would appear flirty and forward over text message…but didn’t show up that way when there in person.  One guy who I met in Guilford had seemed very confident over email, but was completely incapable of looking me in the eye over coffee at the local Starbucks!

I know that some people use Social Media to create an ‘online persona’ for their business which is the complete opposite of their offline self as a ‘marketing exercise’.  There are individuals who are privately facing financial ruin…but publicly are declaring themselves a success…or worse claiming to be able to help others to improve their own financial situations.

I’ve built up relationships with people via Facebook where I felt that I’ve got to know the person quite well…and yet when I’ve met the person in real life they’ve been completely different.  I’ve met people at several events over the course of the last year who have completely and totally surprised me by being so different in person to the way that they come across online.

In each of these situations the people in question are wearing an online mask.

These online masks manifest in a number of different ways:

  • Some people say things that are more controversial than they would do in a face-to-face situation.
  • Some people are more extroverted than they would be in real life.
  • Some people are more harsh and brutal with their communication than they would be in person.
  • Some people use the ‘online world’ to play a role that they aspire to be, but aren’t comfortable with when they don’t have the computer to hide behind.
  • Some people deliberately represent themselves in a way that is not consistent with who they are.
  • Some people are more forward or flirtatious.
  • Some people are more honest.
  • Some people are less careful with their words.
  • Some people are less aware of the consequences of what they say and do.

Now, some of these ways seem quite benign.

So what if someone is a little more flirtatious when they’re online or if someone is a little more honest on Facebook?

Well, it might not seem like a big deal, but in reality it can make all the difference in the world.

You see, if you represent yourself one way at one time and in another way at another you don’t come across as authentic. If people aren’t sure that they know you…they won’t be sure that they can trust you.  If they aren’t sure that they can trust you…they won’t be interested in building a relationship with you.

And relationships are the key to everything in life.

Business, life, love…they are all based on relationships.

As a feminine woman, authenticity is the key.  Being who you truly are inside rather than hiding behind any kind of mask is the key to embodying your Femininity.

This applies online, offline, between the lines…all the time.

Step out from behind your online mask.

Be real.

Be yourself.

If you interact with me online, see me in a video, or meet me in person you’re going to get exactly the same person every single time.  In fact friends have told me that when reading my blog or posts online they can almost hear my voice as they’re reading it, as I write exactly the same way that I would speak if I were having a conversation with you face-to-face.

So no matter where or when you interact with me…you’ll get the full, 100% “Claire” experience every single time.

So I invite you to commit yourself to just one rule – If you would say it or do it this way in real life, do it online.  If not, don’t.

It’s that simple.

When you are completely and totally yourself, people can connect to the real you…and that’s when the magic happens.

Stay Fabulous (and real)!

Claire 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: http://youtu.be/_DqysFUF8WU

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