Growing up I was taught what being “ladylike” was:
- crossing your legs when you sit down
- keeping a sufficient amount of dresses and skirts in your wardrobe
- not using certain language
- painting your nails
- wearing your hair a certain way
…and there’s way more to add to the list.
My mother and many other people around always told me I should be more ladylike, and I struggled with accepting the fact that I had to change my appearance and preferences just to become more of a “lady”- something I assumed I already was. As I got older, I realized that though being a lady can be all those things I mentioned, but it’s also way more than that.
Being a lady is exhibiting strength. It’s facing the constant battles that are thrown at us, but handling it with poise. It’s the being the best you that you can be. It’s basking in the ambiance of your femininity no matter how you care to express it. If you google “How to Be a Lady”, I guarantee almost all the articles that will come up speak on one’s physical upkeep. Yet we all know being a lady is much more than external. The woman who wears chipped nail polish, comes out in sweats everyday and doesn’t sit with her legs crossed, but supports and uplifts and advocates for women is definitely showing “lady-like” behavior, right? No matter how you look, what you identify as, or how you speak; you’re as ladylike as the next woman.