I thought elegance was out of reach for me.

by Amadhia Albee

I was raised to be somewhat of a “militant feminist” -- trained by my parents to "compete" as “successfully” as possible in a "man's world."


But... after reaching what many would define as "success," my insides felt so hollow -- like that which I had always cherished and valued were forgotten in a long-lost childhood.

At a very cathartic time last year, I stumbled across a site that rekindled hope again. I don't even remember what I had been searching for, but I found a site that explored the possibility of classical feminine elegance that once held women in high esteem.

From the way in which I had been raised, I had thought that these kinds of values were either things-of-the-past, or out-of-my-reach as a “working-class-girl.”

The site http://www.elegantwoman.org/ nurtures an ongoing exploration of elegance, past and present... and it helped me to see that I don’t have to be affluent or wealthy to bring elegance into my life in a real and genuine way.

Over the course of the last year, putting little elements to the test in my own life, I found that I _wasn’t_ taken-advantage-of by men when I was true to my innate femininity, but rather that I was respected, appreciated, and treated with a kindness I’d never, ever really experienced.

I have experienced “Gangstas” turn into _gentlemen_ in the presence of a delicate Lady... gallantly stepping to the side of a staircase to let me pass. And it made me wonder... if the “negativity” I have experienced in my own life, (and that which I see in the world-at-large pertaining to the treatment of women,) if that negativity is not from fighting being “feminine,” rather than embracing the harmonic balance that men and women exist to fill in the world.

I do appreciate what feminists like my own mother have fought for in terms of Women’s Rights. But I am beginning to see that one polarity, (women as competitors/threats in the business world, is likely as bad as the other, (women as objects).

I feel like I am just at the barest beginning of peeling back decades of fighting-against-my-innate-nature and instead actually embracing femininity and elegance... and I am so glad that Eunice (the curator of ElegantWoman.org) has chosen to share her own experiences and discoveries along her own search for feminine elegance.

I hope she continues... and that her findings are used for good by those who discover them.

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