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Jan 12, 2009

How to Be Feminine

People are so sensitive about gender issues these days that it's almost impossible to talk about what's feminine or masculine without stepping on someone's toes. If you're reading this, though, you're probably looking to get in touch with your more feminine side - those non-physical aspects of yourself that make you feel more like a girl or a woman. There's nothing wrong with being feminine, or masculine, or androgynous--we all have our preferences, and if femininity is yours, here's some advice on how to cultivate that.

    Sit down and think back to times when you've felt especially feminine. Remember those moments in detail - How did you feel? What were you wearing? What were you doing? This is the first and most important step because it reveals what you consider to be feminine, and that's ultimately what matters most. Focus on those details, and work on recreating those conditions and that feeling in yourself.
    Know the difference between being feminine and being girly. Being girly implies being feminine but in a youthful and materialistic sort of way. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not the only way to be feminine. You can be 70 years old and wear a silk bathrobe and still be feminine because ultimately, you can still do the things that make you feel more like a woman.
      Love every inch of your body. The body is what makes you female, so how can you be feminine if you don't embrace your female form? A woman's body naturally has a higher body fat percentage than that of a man, so don't dismiss your curves. On the other hand, part of loving your body is taking care of it, so don't dismiss your cholesterol levels, either. Fortunately, you don't have to look like a catwalk model in order to be reasonably healthy.
   Be graceful. In most societies, women are thought to be more naturally graceful than men. There are always exceptions, of course, and it is totally up to you whether you choose gracefulness to be an expression of your femininity. Generally, however, many women feel more feminine when they make smooth movements, rather than jerky, powerful ones. And, of course, consider the context. You might want to be fierce on the volleyball court or shooting range, and svelte at a bar or in the bedroom. There's no rule saying you have to be graceful (or feminine) all the time.
    Dance. Dancing is an extension of your body, and through dance you can find ways to emphasize your femininity. Belly dancing, for example, accentuates the natural curves of a woman's form. A partner dance, like salsa or the waltz, can also help you feel more feminine because such dances are built upon the traditional differences between men and women--the man guides, while the woman follows and makes more fluid, extravagant movements.
    Be playful. Let's ditch the whole idea that being feminine means being perfect and ethereal. For those times when grace is lacking and you fall flat on your face in the middle of a room, the true test of your femininity is your ability to laugh it off! Because think about it: Taking life too seriously isn't very feminine in most people's books, and it's not very healthy overall. So smile a lot, flirt, tease, and play. Have fun! Ultimately, being feminine is about feeling at ease with yourself, and you can't feel at ease if you're too stiff and somber, so be the opposite: lighthearted and playful.

     These steps can also be followed by a man who wishes to get in touch with his feminine side.

     What is considered to be "feminine" and "masculine" varies from culture to culture. Some cultures even have a "third" gender.