ON BEING FEMALE

I started writing about MY BRAND OF FEMININITY (inspired by @chrisfon) and realised that there is a lot of background that travels with my feelings about femininity. So I wrote this list instead.
  1. I remember my mum being criticized for not being feminine enough
    She was told that she was not a good role model for me because she was a single mother who did not date or wear makeup. Anything labeled as traditionally feminine made her extremely uncomfortable. She was told that she was damaging me by failing to provide a strong female or male role model. (Photo of me with my mum and grandma.)
  2. I grew up being really unsure of what it meant to be female
    Not just feminine, but fundamentally female. I like being smart but I also like being pretty...I love love and I don't need a man, but I want a man...I'm getting a pedicure and helping you replace your roof...is that okay?
  3. I've since learned that being female and feminine are things that you can define for yourself
    I give riot grrrl all the credit for this.
  4. This stuff is the foundation of my passion for women's health
    Because it's hard enough trying to figure yourself out without feeling like your body is against you — or feeling like the world is angry that you are female.
  5. Nobody should feel shame for exploring, experimenting, and enjoying their own brand of femininity
    My mother is still so uncomfortable with acknowledging things that are traditionally female. I've stopped talking to her about my work because she doesn't understand why it would be important for someone to learn about and embrace the things in their body that help create their identity, things that they can leverage to help understand more about themselves and how they show up in the world.
  6. My goal is for every woman to deeply understand how remarkable it is to be female, and to embrace her female-ness
    Whatever that means for her.