WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE AND CAPTURED BY ALLEN STEWART
So while I was preparing for this shoot, my makeup artist and I were talking and she asked me what I would be wearing. Upon me mentioning that I was wearing a skirt, I told her how much I love skirts (anyone who truly knows me, knows this) because they make me feel really feminine, lady-like and chic. She then added "and so empowered, too!" I've never related to something so much in my life. Our conversation drove me to start thinking about the different perceptions that people have of what it truly means to appear and "behave like a lady".
I'm usually the one who shows up and hears a comment like "why are you so dressed up?" or "It's not that deep, you didn't have to wear a skirt." I always find these comments funny because as someone who explores self expression through style so often, it comes so naturally to me so I never really think of it as "over dressing". I enjoy getting dressed up for life so much for several reasons, one of them being because when I look good, I feel good. I feel like I can take on whatever comes my way. Though there is soo much more to me than the way that I dress, expressing myself through dress actually does make me feel both feminine and empowered, all at once.
By definition, "lady like" means "appropriate for" or typical of a well-bred, decorous woman or girl. But to me, it's interesting how as fashion and society evolves, our standards of what it means to be "lady like" has evolved with it in so many ways. Some may feel that you have to dress modestly, have a certain set of manners, or perform certain tasks to be essentially valued as an authentic woman with a sense of class and integrity. This idea is often pushed on women in society. However, in today's world, I am so glad that so many of us (myself included) are creating our own standards and embracing whatever truly makes us feel good as women.
When someone suggests that one needs to increase value, strength, or power in a stuation, we often hear "Man up!" Well I'm hear to tell you that there's nothing more powerful than a lady who is authentically herself, and who feels free enough to express that in whatever positive, inspiring way that she can think of. I believe that when a woman feels free to be herself, she is then best able to live her best life and add value to the lives of others. Whether it's wearing a skirt, speaking up for yourself, spreading love and light to others, or all of the above, do whatever makes you feel "lady like". Woman up.