When you hear the word femininity, what are some of the first traits that might come to mind? Soft, delicate, radiant, sensitive, charming, creative, caring, loving and many other gentle traits, right? Then why is it that we tend to undress ourselves of these powerful (yes, powerful) traits as soon as we walk out the door of our homes, only to put on a poker face and a tough personality to face the world? I agree that we live in a harsh world, but being a woman is exactly what we need to survive and be strong.
A new POND’S campaign, #Weshek_Mesh_Khashab, has gone viral and triggered us to really address the issue and remind us of why embracing our soft strength is one of the most powerful acts that we can do as women.
The POND’S campaign is empowering women and encouraging them to express themselves freely. Women tend to put a facade to hide their emotions for many different reasons, but the moment they let go they allow themselves to be who they really are. The power and the beauty of being feminine by showing their expressions also shows power and strength.
Femininity is not just about looking or acting in a feminine way, it’s not about your lipstick color or favorite cocktail dress. It’s knowing that what you may consider your least favorite traits, the ones you try to hide at work or when you are out of your comfort zone, are actually your strengths.
Ironically, the definition of a strong woman is not what we have been told it is. You are not strong just because of your position at work, you’re married and have kids, or because you’re the breadwinner, you go to the gym and you are physically strong, or because you can do what a man can and maybe even better. The real strength is in your ability to embrace the vital traits of your femininity by not letting life’s obstacles make you feel like you have to hide yourself in order to maintain a strong image. When you are the CEO of a company and still care for everyone and show compassion to your employees, when you’re a working mom and still have it in you to listen to your child’s smallest daily details or requests, when you are not scared to admit that you want to also ‘selfishly’ love yourself and embrace your alone time without feeling guilt, and when you truly feel everything and show it instead of hide it are all examples of what creates your strongest moments, where you’re doing and enjoying everything you want at the same time. It’s not allowing yourself to become a zombie while you lead the successful life that you’re undoubtedly working really hard for.
Many women today “fail to understand that their true mission is to swim against the tide,” Dr. Von Hildebrand, author of The Privilege of Being a Woman writes, and that by comparing ourselves to men’s standards, we’re swimming with it. We put so much effort into hiding who we are, thinking that our emotions are our weakness, and Dr. Von Hildebrand’s insights are great reminders of how women should be confident and comfortable with femininity. Being empowered women should mean embracing our femininity rather than rejecting it.
In essence, “When you are secure in your own femininity, you don’t feel the need to disprove the gender stereotypes by being unnaturally tough and unemotional out of fear of being called ‘sensitive'”-Yasmine Mogahed.