Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feminine Pleasures

Hello, Sweet Visitors -

I am back online after another episode of Life that required my full attention. Thank you for not giving up on me when my blog grows silent. Your friendship and visits mean so much!


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I have recently been thinking a lot about what it means to be feminine. Oh sure, we hear a lot about being sexy these days, but scant little about femininity. When I think of this quality, my thoughts turn to my earliest memories. There, my mother stands supreme as my first impressions of what it means to be a woman.

My earliest memories are of my mother's dressing table upon which stood a tray of lovely perfume bottles...
...Some were very old, others were hand-painted. Each one seemed to tell a story of its own. I lovingly admired these bottles, would sample their scents and wish to heavens that they were mine.

My mother's hair was always beautifully coifed and she was never without jewelry. She never wore anything austentatious, but was always tastefully adorned. Oh, how I loved her jewelry box full of different colored, beaded necklaces, especially her tiered pearls. Many woman wore pearls back then.

Homemakers did not dress in jeans and T Shirts, or any old shirt, as I have put on. They always took pride in their appearance. Not the pride that "goeth before the Fall", as the Bible says, but in always putting one's best foot forward. It showed a respect for themselves, for their surroundings and for others.

From the top of the head down to the toes...
..every item worn was cherished and cared for. Articles of clothing were scrubbed, ironed, polished, mended and always in good repair.
There was no frivolity in how one dressed, mind you, this was the generation that withstood the Great Depression and war. But people cared what example they reflected to others.

Men and women seemed to relish and celebrate the difference between the sexes. I have been thinking much about this recently. My church teaches that God created the sexes as separate and distinct in wonderful ways. How separate and distinct am I when I grab old pants and tops all of the time?
When I was young I relished my womanhood. I wore mostly skirts and dresses, even on non-work days. I loved the way they made me feel and look. But over the years as a married woman, I have somehow let go of all of that for what was quick and "practical". My feelings about myself as a woman have slid along with my appearance. Recently, I have begun to think again of my mother and what a wonderful example she set for me of womanhood and I have begun to ask myself, am I setting a similar example of femininity for my daughter? H.m.m. I am a little ashamed of the answer.
So, when it came time to get some clothes for myself recently, I focused my thrifty mindset on obtaining more feminine tops and skirts which bring out my femininity. I still shop thrift and outlet stores (as well as ebay), but I have opted for more ladylike attire than before.
The affect that this has had on my behavior is remarkable. I find that I behave in a softer more refined manner when dressed a little less casually. I feel better about myself and my family has noticed a change.
I know that I am walking against the wind of societal opinion that would have us be seductive, but not soft and refined. We are equal to men so we are the same, right? Well, I don't believe so. I want to be different in wholesome and lovely ways.
My mothers example created in me the belief that womanhood was a mysterious and glorious thing. She taught me that one can be industrious and also careful about one's appearance. With her netted petticoats and modest pearls, she exemplified that being refined and lovely was wholesome and something to be desired.
If we are truly daughters of our Heavenly Father, as I believe us to be, then shouldn't our appearance and demeanor reflect such a heritage?
Food for thought.
...And a fond remembrance of a generation of women who believed in putting their best foot forward.
Have a great day!
Elizabeth


6 comments:

Alexandra said...

I'm glad hats are coming back. My daughter is a "hat" person, and she always gets compliments. We wear skirts as well. I feel much more comfortable and feminine in them.

Myrnie said...

I love this! I need to remind myself to take some extra care in my appearance right now!

Sybil said...

What a wonderful Mother you sure had. And she lived in a very different era from the one we now live in. However I do think that we have become very careless in our attire. I know that on the rare occasions when I do waer a dress I do feel different...Maybe I should be doing it more often.
Thanks for making me think !
Much Love Sybil xx

What I Did Today said...

This is an awesome post! I was just thinking about this. Because I just don't think the sexy, glamourous hollywood star look is completely realistic for most of us (nor desirable). I love the styles from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Thank you for a great post. :)

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Well said! I remember my grandmother in much the same way. She wouldn't be caught without her nails done. Even for her funeral, we made sure they were painted.

Returning to our feminine roots would certainly be a good thing! I, too, have thought about this a lot lately, although I still love my jeans and t-shirt (although I always try to wear a very feminine t-shrit). I recently tried to find some skirts that were appropriate for around the house and was surprised at how few were out there like the ones I had in mind. Might need to get the sewing machine out.

And ask any guy - they love their women to be feminine!

Eva said...

Here is a great site for affordable skirts.