Being Smart, Powerful, & Feminine!

How do we as women stop hiding and embrace our strong, powerful, & feminine selves?

Over great conversations in late August with friends and family, I realized that in some areas I have been “hiding” myself.

One such conversation was with my youngest sister who brought it to my attention that I tend to hide my body under baggy shirts. Due to my athletic background, I have accumulated a lot of hoodies. They are great to wear at a sporting event or on a cold night to relax. However, they are meant to be baggy; when you put on one, they cover up your shape. As a result, wearing one hides your body.

Photo Credit: Saba Mir

Photo Credit: Saba Mir

So, I took action and donated some of my baggy hoodies and clothes that really didn’t compliment my beautiful self.  This cleansing of my closet sparked some interesting thoughts.

Reflecting on my journey, I discovered that over the years, I have tended to cover up my beautiful body in order to blend in and not draw attention to my femininity. When I was in high school, I remember wearing overalls lots because they covered my curves. I wanted my talents (academic and athletic abilities) to be the focus but not my appearance.

Years later, I’m still working on embracing my smart, powerful, & feminine self in the professional world. For example, under my jacket, I wore a dress and heels to attend a professional event – my normal attire.  When I walked in the room and took my jacket off, however, the comments were something like: “Wow, you look hot.” I noticed that the eyes were not focused on my face – they were gazing at my body.

My initial reaction was to put on my jacket to stop the gazes, as I wanted to be known for being a smart woman not just an object. However, in that instance I took my jacket off when I realized that I couldn’t control how they perceived me but I could control my attitude toward the situation.

Society keeps trying to make me believe I can’t be smart, powerful, & feminine. In order to be successful, I have to remove feminine from the mix. There is this view that showcasing your femininity makes you appear weak and submissive. That is not the case! I know many smart, powerful, & feminine women! I am one.

A woman shouldn’t have to be only smart and powerful, or feminine but not smart and powerful.  I believe women can be all three at once.  With this in mind, I decided that instead of resorting to hiding and covering up, I will be the change I wish to see in the world - by embracing my femininity and encouraging others to do the same.

What kind of a life is that – one where you are always hiding? You may feel as if your presence doesn’t impact the world; so you drift through life – like the early morning mist which can hide the dawn.  Instead, stand tall & embrace your smart, powerful, & feminine selves! Go be seen!

This cleansing of my closet was significant for me, as it made me realize how far I’ve come on my journey of embracing my beautiful self! I don’t have to choose between being strong, powerful, OR feminine anymore. I am all three. I hope you will take a stand to be smart, powerful, & feminine!

Thank you all for reading and for your presence at The Self-Discovery Retreat. You rock! 

How can you be a strong powerful woman, but also be feminine? How can you be taken seriously in the professional world – where the focus is on your talent, not just your body?

Can you relate to my experience? Feel free to share in the Comments section below.  We can all learn from hearing your stories and advice.

As well, if you know of someone who could benefit from this post, please pass it along and share it with them.

See you at the beach!