Gynophobia – Fear of Women

Attention beautiful humans: I have a question for you.

When do you feel most like a woman?

Is it when you’re in a super fancy dress with makeup and high heels, ready to make that snazzy first impression. Is it when you’re wearing sneakers and a sports bra, covered in dirt and sweat, ready to take that next step to living healthy? What about when you’re casually wearing a t-shirt and jeans, living life one day at a time? No matter when it is, I want you to know that you are “woman enough” for the world!

eliseOne of my favorite Canadian actresses describes womanhood in a beautiful and relatable way: @baumanelise ‘Bites the Bullet’ for shethority and @the_bangbang and says, “I’m biting the bullet and redefining what femininity means to me. I’ve previously muted my more tomboy side, thinking it wasn’t “attractive” or “feminine” enough, but what I’m coming to realize is that often when I feel the most connected to my womanhood is when I’m covered in sweat, pushing my body to the limit. To me, being a woman is full of passion and power and flaws and mess and anger and compassion and so much more.”💪👊 📷 (x)

After breaking out of my shell and experiencing the world, I realize that there is no set way to define femininity because it means something different to everyone. I relate to Elise’s words in the way that I don’t feel connected to my womanhood when I’m all dressed up. Although society believes a feminine person should practically resemble a Barbie doll, it’s an unhealthy image that’s enforced into a stereotype. I don’t feel like a true woman when I’m hiding under the foundation and the eyeliner and the lipstick – I don’t feel like myself. I am in no way similar to the next person, so why is femininity mainly revolving around poise and being “lady-like” all the time?

This question got me thinking, “When do I feel most like a woman?”

As some of you may have guessed, I love to share my art (paintings, drawings, pieces of poetry, etc.) and found that whenever I share that art and receive feedback, I gain a wave of confidence. It’s a type of confidence that either drives me to improve my work, or to be at peace with the creation I’ve made. Naturally, my mind interprets the world in a different light and, for some reason, I feel a need to share that perspective with others. To expand on this a little – I am the type of person who enjoys the little things whole-heartedly. There is so much beauty in the color of fresh grass. There is a sense of joy waiting for you in a cup of coffee by the open window. There’s a whole new world waiting to whisper to you when you stare at the moon. I have found these all to be signs of happiness and it’s made me realize that I need to fall in love more – Fall in love with the feeling of my head hitting the pillow and the color of my nephew’s eyes. Fall in love with things other than people. Be spontaneous and throw away that 5-year plan. My mind has been remodeled to focus on the exact moment I’m living in and nothing else. My ideology for this life is based on the idea that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. When a person learns to live in the moment and find consolation in their aloneness, their mind becomes something uniquely beautiful. When society is able to see what I see (even in the slightest) I feel proud, empowered, and energized. Those feelings then fuel the serotonin and dopamine inside of me, causing me to feel like I’ve made a tiny difference in someone’s life.

It was hard to interpret at first, but I found that I feel most connected to my womanhood when I can influence people’s thoughts through my art. Whether they feel touched by a poem I wrote or inspired by a picture I painted, that sense of influence makes me feel like a true woman. That is where I find real beauty in myself. It’s not in the clothes, makeup, or mannerisms – my femininity shows through my imagination and to be capable of sharing that with the world is an incredible feeling. On top of that, I always feel most like a woman when my shirt is covered in paint, my hands smudged with pencil lead, and my body cramping from the work.

No matter what it may be, don’t allow others to define your definition of womanhood because, as I said before, it is different for everyone and it should continue to be defined in a new way every day. So ask yourself, when do you feel most like a woman?