As folks who’ve been around me for more than five minutes know, I’m really not inclined toward femme. I’m tomboy bordering on genderqueer myself, and most of the women I’m attracted to are at least a little tomboyish, too. Really, the only flavors of femme I can stomach are the costumey sorts—punk, goth, period costume, general goddess-femme, etc. If it’s being play-acted, and not taken seriously, it’s just dress-up, and therefore fun. The serious stuff? Not so much. Most of the “normal” expressions of femme in the modern, Western world leave me cold, not just for what they represent in terms of sexism, but because they’re so screwy in and of themselves. I almost never find myself going weak-kneed over modern-femme women … with a few very, very rare exceptions, such the lovely creature pictured above (Primeval’s Lucy Brown, for those unfamiliar.)
I really don’t know what it is about Lucy’s femininity that works for me, but oh, it so does. She’s not just classically beautiful in an effortless way—though she is definitely that. She’s one of those rare women for whom femme fashion seems to have been made. She looks amazing in lush, pretty fabrics and jewelry. She can go classy or casual with equal ease. And—most importantly—it all seems completely natural for her.
I think the problem I have with so much of modern femme is that the women wearing it are clearly uncomfortable with it in some way. They’re trying too hard, or doing a flavor of it that just isn’t right for them. They do it because they have to, because their culture has taught them that they are useless and unlovable if they don’t buy into the ideals of their gender. They’re stuffing themselves into too-tight clothes, teetering on too-tall heels, wearing garish makeup or flashy bling. They’re plucked and waxed and fluffed and peeled and Botoxed and starved until they look like plastic dolls. Whether power suits or dainty dresses or haute couture or club wear, most of what passes for femme costuming is downright cartoonish, and the people wearing it therefore look like clowns to me—and uncomfortable ones, at that.
Lucy has none of those pitfalls. I’m sure she’s thoughtful about how she dresses and presents herself, but it doesn’t look like she’s trying, and that’s what makes it work. She knows what suits her and what she likes, and goes with it. She is confident in her own beauty, and in her own strength as a person, and therefore doesn’t have to prove anything with how she presents her gender.
I wish more women who are inclined toward femininity could take a few tips from her. Not in aping her style, but in finding a style that actually reflects who they are, rather than what they think their culture expects of them. I’m really quite tired of seeing femme women hurting themselves trying to look like someone they aren’t, when really, most of them would be so beautiful if only they let their real selves out to play.
One size—and one flavor of gender—has never fit all. Be who you are, not what a magazine or designer or even your friends say you should be. If you choose a gender presentation based on hating what you already are, you’re doing it wrong.
Also into: Game of Thrones, Sinbad, Arrow, Vikings, Continuum, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, LOTR, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, Downton Abbey, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, Wilfred, The Borgias, True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl. Among other nerdy entertainment delights.