But mostly, I'm very curious about what "highlighting [your] femininity" might entail! ;-)
- my friend, belsum's, response to my post, "Mixed Reaction"
In the last year or so I have gotten more compliments on my appearance than I got in the previous 30 years combined. Though that may be an exaggeration since I can't really remember all of my childhood, certainly none of those "oooh, que linda!" that I'm sure my mum got when I was first born.

Why has this happened?

Because in the last year my self-confidence about my appearance suddenly bumped up from about 3.5 to an 8. Why? I have no earthly idea. It may have something to do with the very difficult (internal) personal growth I went through the year before. Maybe not. It may have had something to do with an attractive male pursuing me briefly (but persistently enough it got through even my thick skull). Maybe not. Some of the changes began before that. Maybe it was my sister coming to live in the same state and starting to help me shop. That certainly helped, but it's only a symptom.

Whatever the cause, I have been feeling lots better when I look in the mirror. The result is that I take more care with my appearance, with the image I am projecting. I learned how to put on a little makeup that accents my beauty. I trusted a doctor enough to treat my skin so that it's lovely and clear now. I learned how to dry and dress my hair quickly and attractively. I wear clothes that are not so shapeless and baggy. I take that little extra time in the morning to be a little more creative and thoughtful about my appearance.

So "highlighting my femininity" is simply emphasizing what I feel is feminine about me -- my curvy body, my long brown hair, my confident and generous attitude, my blue eyes and long dark lashes, and my smile. Doing this has garnered me more compliments than I know what to do with, but the most important person who compliments me now is myself. Even in the morning, in my pyjamas with my hair uncombed, I can look in the mirror and smile because I like... I love myself.

(Thanks for being so patient, bel. Does that answer your question?)


belsum said...

That's wonderful! It takes a long time to figure out what to do with curves. I did the baggy clothes thing for a year or two after hips unexpectedly appeared. And yeah, confidence makes the rest of the difference. Good for you!

Anne C. said...

I think my issue was a subliminal put-down problem. I first noticed it about 10 years ago when I looked in the mirror and thought "I don't look that bad." Then I was surprised at myself for thinking that. THEN I was surprised at myself for being surprised. I think it was mainly a self-confidence /self-appreciation issue.
I also have a suspicion I was afraid of portraying myself as "a girl" because I wouldn't know what to do with the attention it garnered.
Now that I'm an adult, I feel confident enough to be able to handle most things.

Oh, and I forgot to add that I wear skirts and dresses more often now, as well as heels (which if they have a reasonable heel are not impossible to get used to).