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inspiration

A little fun and inspiration…

inspirationI saw this today and thought that it was so cute that I just had to share it with you all.

For those of you who haven’t heard of them before, the PS22 Chorus is an elementary school chorus from Public School 22 in Graniteville, Staten Island (New York).

It is composed of 60-70 fifth-graders, and is directed by Gregg Breinberg. The group have been featured on several major national news and music networks after their videos gained international attention on YouTube. As of December, 2011 the chorus’ videos have been watched more than 39,000,000 times.

They’ve performed with Kylie Minogue and Katy Perry, and have even performed at the Academy awards!

These kids are absolutely amazing and so inspiring, especially around Christmas time, and the message of this particular song is relevant to each and every one of you.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

lets ask the men

Time to ask the boys…

lets ask the menWell it seems that I might have put the cat amongst the pigeons a couple of weeks ago by asking the women what they thought about Femininity but not asking the men…

My first thought when the guys pointed this out was that the reason for the first survey was to ensure that the content of the coming blog posts are relevant to the ladies around the world that will be reading them…

Now don’t tell them that I said this, but I really wasn’t sure that we really needed any input from the men (at this point). BUT, I have to admit, the more that I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that getting the male perspective on femininity (and by extension masculinity) will be very interesting for both me and you ladies who are following the blog.

So, thanks go out to the guys who have given me a cheeky nudge to let them have their say…I think that getting both sides of the story at this stage is a GREAT idea! 😀

I’ve put together some questions below for the guys to respond to and I would like to ask you to please pass these on to any men you know to get their honest opinions. Tell them it will take just a few minutes to complete, that all answers will be completely confidential, and that they will have my unending gratitude for helping us out!

Stay Fabulous! X

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

The attitude of Gratitude

The Attitude of Gratitude

The attitude of GratitudeAs last week saw the arrival of the US holiday season with the turkey-fest that is thanksgiving, it seemed only appropriate that this week I should focus on gratitude.

Now, I might be a Brit, but I have to say that the idea of a day which is all about giving thanks for everything that you have seems like an incredibly good idea to me.There is so much in our lives which we take for granted on a daily basis that I think that having a day with the sole purpose of reminding us to take some time to appreciate it all is something that we should all adopt.

You see gratitude isn’t just a good because it makes our day a little brighter…it’s far more than that! Gratitude is something that can be used to neutralise negative emotions virtually instantly. It is physically impossible to feel fear and gratitude simultaneously. Likewise, it’s impossible to feel anger and gratitude at the same time. The same goes for unhappiness.

Gratitude is a powerful tool that we all need to introduce into our daily routines!

People can suck up so many precious hours of their lives focusing on what isn’t working, what could be better or what they aren’t happy with…and where does this leave us? Miserable. What benefit does it bring us? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

When we change our focus and choose instead to be grateful for what IS working, what IS great just the way it is or what we ARE happy with…things change drastically. Our brains have a rather nifty little function which takes something that we are focusing on and actively seeks out other things of the same nature.

If you’ve ever bought a new car, you know that as soon as you’ve made the decision to buy a particular make, model or colour (or all three!) that you start seeing them EVERYWHERE! There aren’t any more of them on the roads; it’s just that the funky little Reticular Activating System (the technical name for this part of our brain, otherwise known as the RAS) springs into action and actively looks for what it is that we’re focusing on. So if you make the decision to buy a black Ford Focus…all of a sudden the RAS starts noticing them all around you…where previously you wouldn’t have even noticed that they were there.

The same is true when a woman finds out that she’s pregnant. All of a sudden everywhere she goes there seem to be pregnant women popping up all over the place. Are there any more pregnant women than there were before she found out? Of course not, it’s just that the RAS has been fired up and is on the lookout for other pregnant ladies.

Gratitude is no different. If you choose to focus on all of the great things in your life, all the reasons you have to be happy and grateful, your RAS will be on the lookout for even more of them. The more you become aware of the aspects of your life to be grateful for and the more they feature in your conscious thoughts…the more you will notice.

Before you know it you won’t be able to do anything without seeing SOMETHING to be grateful for. How amazing would that be? If every day your brain was actively seeking out and bringing to your attention all the fabulous things around you?

Then EVERY day could be thanksgiving…no matter where you are in the world!

There are so many ways that you can choose to acknowledge the things in your life that you appreciate, for example in the book / DVD “The Secret” (Rhonda Byrne) they suggest the concept of a gratitude journal where every evening you document things that you have been grateful for that day.

Today I want to share with you a concept that I saw in a recent blog post which I thought was a fantastic idea. The idea is a “Girlfriend Gratitude Party”. You can see the full post here, but the concept is for you to host an evening to appreciate and show your gratitude for your closest girlfriends. You can cook an extravagant meal or make gifts for your guests…anything to celebrate and acknowledge how much you appreciate each other. Even better, if you only have one or two close friends, you can get them to each invite someone and widen your circle of fabulous female friends even further.

Just imagine how much it will mean to your girlfriends to have a gratitude party thrown just for them…and who knows, maybe the next one will be thrown for you?

I think that it would be great if we could choose to find more ways to acknowledge and recognise the many aspects of our lives which are great…and even better find a way to express gratitude to the people who make life even more special.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Battling the effects of cancer on femininity…

Hey ladies,

I wanted to share a link with you – http://clicky.me/6kmV – I saw it a couple of weeks ago and thought it was absolutely fantastic.  The story is about an organisation based initially in the US which has now also extended all over the world called “Look Good, Feel Better” who hold free skincare and make-up workshops to help women combat the visible side effects of cancer treatment and, in turn, boost confidence and well being.

Look Good Feel Better LogoHaving known several people who have faced or are currently dealing with cancer, I’m sure that when anyone is diagnosed, their initial thoughts aren’t focused on their femininity.  The article however, points out that the effect that both the disease and the treatment have on how you view yourself as a woman can be devastating.  One of the ladies interviewed says “The treatment can make an attack on your femininity, even if the effects are not as visible as others. It can feel like a very serious change to how you view yourself.”

The idea is that by offering beauty makeovers to the patients it can help them rediscover their femininity.  The ladies who attend the sessions see them as a way of rediscovering their feminine identities and counteracting the physical effects of the disease as well as getting to meet and get support from others who are going through the same experience as they are.

Debbie Blackwell, charity coordinator says “When they look in the mirror, they no longer see the cancer, but how they should look…It is lovely to see them smile again.”

I cannot imagine when facing so much physical, mental and emotional turmoil what it must be like to feel that you’ve lost such a fundamental part of your identity as well, and I think that the organisers at “Look Good, Feel Better” are doing an amazing job.  To help someone to give themselves back the gift of femininity is a wonderful thing, and I’m delighted to know that there are organisations like this out there helping women in one of the most difficult periods of their lives.

Look Good, Feel Better is offered in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Equador, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and have programmes for women, men and teens.  They are always looking for help through donations, sponsorship and volunteers so if you’d like to get involved visit http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs/international-programs to find your local team.

I personally think that this is an incredible initiative and I will be getting in touch with the UK branch to see what I can do to help and support them in their mission, which is so close to my heart.

The question is, what can you do?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

And the winner is…

Well it’s been all go at this end over the last couple of days!

Still buzzing from the fantastic Styling Stripped Bare Worthshop™ Christmas Special this Saturday, I have received some amazing testimonials which I just couldn’t wait to share with you – scroll down to the bottom to check them out.

But before you get to the videos, the countdown to the All Woman Workshop is on and I’m very excited about celebrating my birthday with all of you lovely ladies on the 10th of December.  Remember to buy your ticket here www.allwomanworkshop.com before they all sell out!

I also have a very special surprise in “store” for you shopaholics out there…the Feminine 1st store is now online HERE!  (and you don’t even have to carry the shopping bags!) 😉

As I’m sure you know, over the last week lovely ladies (and even one guy!) from all over the world have been posting me the reason that they would like one of “The Feminine Evolution” CDs in order to get one of the first five absolutely free to celebrate the launch!

The Feminine Evolution

I had some fantastic responses and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to post.

The five fabulous winners are:

Angela Borsellino Spagnol  – Sydney, Australia

Hey Claire. I want one cos if it’s anything like ure daily contribution on fb, can I really go without it? Xx

Emma Heptonstall – York, UK

I’d love to have a copy as I find it a challenge to remain feminine AND be great in business and juggle all that life throws at me.

Terry Loong – London, UK

I would LOVE to win the CD because I can pass this on to all my female clients and help them be a part of the Feminine Evolution!!! If it helps with getting the feminine energy dancing again, I’m all for it 🙂

Lisa Padimore – UK

Why because being feminine should always come first and if you can help all us women to be fulfilled with your cd, we can all spread the word xx

Kate Rees – London, UK

I’d like one of your new CDs because I am fed up with being WonderWoman and want to rediscover ME!

If each of you lovely ladies can send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) ASAP with your address details I will get your new audio programme winging it’s way to you!

BUT that’s not the end of the story…

As the other responses that I had were so fantastic, I wanted to be able to give a little something to the each of you.  So, to celebrate the launch of the store and “The Feminine Evolution” audio CD, I have a special launch offer on for the first week only. 

So, for the first 7 days only if you buy one copy of “The Feminine Evolution” audio CD, you get one for a friend absolutely FREE…click here to take advantage of this great offer! 😀

With the holiday season on the horizon I’m all about sharing the love!

Wishing you all a fantastic week…and remember to Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

The fabulous testimonials from the weekend:

The $64,000 Question…What IS Femininity?

female symbol

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

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 femininity 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 Femininity = Weakness?

So let’s start with weakness.  Femininity 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 Femininity = Submissive?

Another common misperception is that it 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 Femininity = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that femininity 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 Femininity equate to?

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! 🙂

Femininity 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 femininity is 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 – Femininity 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 femininity 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!  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 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 femininity.  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 femininity?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

Exciting News…

Well I promised you a piece of exciting news yesterday, and in order to make up for the news coming a little late I have not one, but TWO pieces for you!

Feminine 1st is appearing LIVE at not one, but TWO fabulous events in the next three weeks…you heard it here first!

I will be speaking at and co-hosting the fantastic “All Woman Workshop” on Saturday the 10th of December in London – www.allwomanworkshop.com.

In the run up to Christmas and the holiday season (which can be a stressful and overwhelming time of year) give yourself a little gift to ensure that you really enjoy Christmas yourself (as well as making it magical for everyone else) and prepare for 2012 to be your best year yet.  Our four amazing speakers will leave you feeling fabulous, and ready to shine this festive season and beyond!

As well as giving yourself a gift, you will also be giving a gift to someone else, as over 25% of each ticket sold will be donated straight to Breakthrough Breast Cancer (http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/) who are dedicated to improving detection, diagnosis, treatment and services.

…and if that wasn’t enough you will also have an opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping with a variety of Christmas gifts available to buy on the day!

AND you also have the opportunity to add a little to the holiday fund.  There is a fantastic 50% affiliate commission on tickets to “The All Woman Workshop”…so if you bring three friends then your ticket is effectively free!

I’ll be sharing some fantastic content about how to feel fulfilled and fabulous by being feminine first…very exciting!

But why have just one fantastic event when you can have two?!

If you just can’t wait until December the 10th…then I have good news!

I am also speaking at the Styling Stripped Bare’s Christmas Special this Saturday, 27th of November in London – clicky.me/6iZT

The Styling Stripped Bare Worthshop™ Christmas Special is an informative, fun and empowering one day event that will enhance your image, strengthen your brand and help you attract better relationship and career prospects with the gorgeous Tanesha Westcarr.

The day is divided into three main areas Self Confidence, Signature Style and Star Qualities to ensure you leave invigorated to achieve the results you desire with a greater sense of confidence and control.

Tanesha uses her controversial techniques and Inside-Out Formula to help you to Re-brand, Re-invent and Re-style yourself for greater levels of success – both personally and professionally. She works with leading brands like, Hobbs, Body Shop, French Connection and Donna Ida to demonstrate the best and latest season’s must haves that work perfectly for your body and shape.

…and yours truly will be featuring as the top guest speaker!  How exciting! 😀

I’m so excited to be getting out there and meeting some of you in person so soon – so be sure to come and say hello when you see me.

Check out the events page now for all of the details on these fabulous events…and I look forward to seeing you there!

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Behind the Scenes…

Well, what a week it’s been!

The first thing that I would like to say is a massive “Thank You” to each and every one of you for the overwhelming support I’ve received from across the globe since the website launched. I have been truly humbled by the kind words that you have sent, I am delighted that this content is touching the hearts of so many women and I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you. There have been many happy dances at this end over the last 10 days!

The second thing I wanted to update you on is that I’m busy compiling all of the results from the femininity survey…and there looks like there could be an interesting twist on the horizon…more on that later in the week…

The third thing I wanted to tell you about is something VERY exciting! Over the last week I have been busy squirreling away over my new audio programme: “The Feminine Evolution”…and I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the brand new CD artwork hot off the press!

The Feminine Evolution

Big thanks to my superstar graphic designer who has done a fantastic job (as always!) – I can’t wait to see the final CDs when the first of them arrive on Friday!

So what is “The Feminine Evolution” all about? Well, in order to make sure that we can collectively make the best decisions for ourselves in the future, we first need to understand how we have got here! …and even more importantly where is “Here”?

These days, as we know, most women feel they need to have superhuman powers (no capes darling!) just to cope with the multitude of roles and responsibilities in their life. In order to manage it all, we have fractured ourselves into lots of tiny parts, each of them dealing with a separate aspect. The problem is that in breaking ourselves into all of these pieces we’ve ended up losing sight of our true value.

We now need to learn how to bring these fragments back together in order to be our whole-selves again and enjoy the fulfilled life that we were born to live (lots of happy dances included!)

The first step in this process is to be feminine first…and in this CD I reveal exactly what this means.

The fourth thing that I wanted to mention was something which has cropped up several times in conversation over this last week is the $64,000 question…”What exactly IS femininity?” I’ve had a great variety of answers through the survey, but several people have asked me if I will give my personal definition.

The answer is, of course! I’m working on the blog post as we speak and all will be revealed later this week…

The last thing that I wanted to mention (but by no means the least!) is that I have some EXTREMELY exciting news which I will be revealing on here tomorrow…so stay tuned…there’s some real fun lurking just around the corner…I can’t wait!

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