I got my first pair of high heeled shoes when I was 12 years old. They were black, chunky heeled shoes that were the perfect accessory to my outfits.
I consider this as one of my many rites of passage into femininity because I felt like a grown woman. I had always wanted to look as pretty and womanly as my mother and older female cousins, and I felt like I was a step closer to looking like them with my heels.
Experiencing femininity during my adolescent years wasn’t the greatest. I learned that terms and conditions apply when it comes to being a woman, mainly that men older and young are above and more important than me, and sadly, I learned that being female was associated with many “can’t do’s”, weakness and hyper-sexuality. I was tired of being catcalled while walking home, and I was irritated with the expectation that I have to be dainty, sweet and visually appealing all the time.
So in my university years, I rejected femininity and opted to be a tomboy. I ditched heels, dresses and even lace underwear for sneakers, baggy clothes and no make-up. I wanted to be unrestricted, because let’s be honest, you can’t exactly sit in whatever manner when wearing a dress or skirt, spending the whole day wearing heels takes its toll on your feet and constantly powdering your nose is an irritation. I wanted to be comfortable, to get up and start the day without worrying about my external appearance. I wanted to experience walking down the street without being catcalled because of my womanly appearance.
Being a tomboy helped me re-learn what it is to be a woman. Sure we fight against patriarchy and its suppression of the female voice in all facets of life, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate my femininity. I sure as hell shouldn’t be hiding myself because of a few indecent pricks who think that street harassment of women is acceptable.
High heels, make-up and dresses are just fun aspects of celebrating femininity. It’s okay to want to look beautiful and feel attractive, not for any man (unless you want to), but for yourself. Looking beautiful is an outward expression of the self-love and confidence that you’re experiencing within.
My friend and I decided to celebrate femininity, girl power and beauty by creating High Heels Thursday; a day that we looking extra dashing by pairing a gorgeous outfit with a pair of heels. It’s a day that we stand out and celebrate ourselves, our achievements and who we are as women, realizing that we’ve come a long way as much as we have a long way to go.
We’ve taken the modern symbol of femininity, high heels, and made it into a representation of beauty, power and uniqueness – for females only.
Life is too short to remain under the misconceptions of what you’re supposed to be as a woman. Celebrate yourself on a daily basis by looking as good as you feel 🙂
*image from Tumblr.