How to Be Girly and More Feminine
Girls are a diverse bunch. We come in all shapes and sizes, and we all have different personalities, hobbies, and likes and dislikes. There is no such thing as a "typical girl."
Almost everything that is traditionally considered to be feminine is taught to us by society from a very young age. You can see it in all the movies, magazines, and TV shows: Girls are expected to look, dress, and act a certain way. And, though none of us have to follow these expectations that are set by the media, sometimes we want to paint our nails or wear winged liner, and that's ok!
A Guide to Embracing Your Femininity
So, if you'd like to embrace a more typically girly image, this guide will help you navigate the complicated expectations that woman are often encouraged to meet. Whether you're preparing for an acting role, exploring gender identities, or just want to portray a certain image to your friends and family, this article will go into the ways you can adopt this image by doing all the "girly" stuff that you possibly can, such as:
- Wearing makeup
- Removing body hair
- Taking care of your skin, hair, and nails
- Wearing girly clothes and accessories
- Using the right fragrances
- Using "feminine" body language and speech patterns
- Avoiding undesirable situations
- Staying true to yourself!
From tips on your wardrobe and accessories to tips on how to behave, read on to find out how to be more stereotypically feminine.
How to Look More Feminine by Changing Up Your Style
For years, caring about your appearance has been traditionally associated with being more feminine. While this isn't necessarily true, you can choose to embrace the stereotype and make a big effort to adjust your appearance. Keep in mind, however, that caring about your appearance can be time-consuming. Choose the steps that give you joy, and skip the parts that seem like a chore!
1. Use Makeup and Cosmetic Products
Call it stereotypical or a result of popular culture, a girly girl never leaves the house without dabbing some makeup on and adjusting her appearance with a cosmetic product. Lip gloss, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and powder are a few basic makeup items that you might want to carry in your handbag to touch up throughout the day. Wear more—such as eyeshadow, lipstick, foundation, and concealer—if you so wish!
Whether you are stepping out in your leggings to buy groceries at the supermarket or are hanging out with friends at the mall or park, take a quick look in the mirror and dab on a bit of makeup—it's the ultimate girly girl activity!
Remember, however, that you don't have to wear makeup. Make sure you do what you feel comfortable and confident in; if that means going out barefaced, so be it!
2. Facial or Body Hair Is a No-No
Traditionally, facial or body hair is an absolute no-no for girls. It may be impractical to be spotlessly clean every single day, but to embrace the stereotypically feminine image you have to do everything it takes to mask unwanted facial or body hair.
From your brows to lips to arms to legs, being free of body hair will help you look the part of the traditionally feminine girl. This can including tweezing, epilating, waxing, threading or shave—do what you have to do to get the look you want! Or, if you're feeling lazy, just cover up your legs when you don't want to shave. No one will know the difference.
Again, you don't have to shave if you don't want to. It's totally cool if you want to skip the razor and wear shorts. As they say, long hair, don't care!
3. Pay Attention to Your Nails, Hair, Skin and Everything Else
The most important thing you can do to help your appearance is take care of yourself. Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, managing your stress, and wearing sunscreen are everyday things that everybody, men and women, should make a habit of! Luckily, doing all these things will also positively affect the appearance and strength of your skin, hair, and nails.
However, if you're looking for other ways to tweak your appearance, wearing makeup and removing unwanted body hair aren't the only things girls are expected to make a habit of. The stereotypical girly girl also has to obsess over her nails, hair, skin, lips and other beauty-related aspects of her body.
To play into this image, you'll have to pay more attention to the nail color you wear, keep your skin moisturized at all times, style your hair, and look at all the other minute details that contribute to your overall look and make you feel sexy. Don't be shy of experimenting with bright and peppy colors for your nails, and don't back away from trying the latest hairstyles or dying your hair a daring color. There are many different ways to subtly change your appearance.
This can be a lot to take care of and can become quite expensive, so if it's not your thing there's no need to make a habit of it. Do what makes you feel good.
4. Wear Bright and Preppy Clothes
From short skirts and tight leggings to skinny jeans and hot pants, from frilly tops to shrugs to frocks, fill your wardrobe with clothes that are stereotypically girly and feminine.
Throw on a pair of skintight leggings for a quick visit to the mall and switch them up for some cute skinny jeans for a preppy, "going to the movies" look. On a sunny day at the beach, you can try wearing a bright-colored bikini, and try incorporating a short skirt into your outfit for a fun date or outing. An oversized shirt is perfect for those lazy Sunday mornings. And, of course, a black dress is a must for formal evenings!
Bright colors like pink, lavender, yellow, lime green, shades of orange, blue, mustard, and red are traditionally considered feminine. Unless you are looking for evening or formal wear, avoid dark shades like navy blue, black, burgundy or brown—since these are stereotypically must-haves in a man's wardrobe. However, if those are the colors you prefer to wear, have at it! You can totally be a girl and wear all black every day. What matters most is what you like!
5. Carry a Clutch or a Tote Bag Instead of a Backpack
Regardless of whether you need a bag to carry your books from the dorm to class or you want to take a few things for work, to be more feminine you will have to ditch the backpack for a tote bag or a clutch.
Avoid satchels and briefcases. Unless you are traveling, replace your backpack or duffle bag with a chic tote or handbag. Sometimes briefcases and backpacks are more practical though, so do what makes sense for the load you're carrying.
6. Avoid Wearing Flats: Girls Like Their Heels!
Wearing heels will give your height a boost, lift your torso and accentuate your body lines in all the right places. To look more feminine, heels could possibly your best friend.
If you can't handle stilettos or are used to wearing flat-soled shoes, start by wearing heels that are just an inch high. Even a small lift will add definition to your legs if you step out wearing skinny jeans.
That being said, don't let anyone make you feel like you have to wear heels. They're often uncomfortable and are not good for your posture long-term, so make sure to stay in your comfort zone!
7. Wear Accessories or Jewelry
It is difficult to picture an image of a girly girl without fashion accessories or a piece of jewelry like a bracelet, necklace, ring, scarf, brooch, pin, wrist band, colored pantyhose, earrings, bangles, sunglasses, a watch, or more. There is a wide variety of accessories that you can choose to complement your style and personality. You can even have a separate jewelry box where you can carefully store your jewelry.
Apart from these, incorporate girly colors in the items that you use all the time. For example, buy a pink cover for your iPhone or get yourself a brightly patterned handbag. Or, you know, you could just go without accessories. They're called accessories for a reason after all—they're not necessities.
8. Use Mild Floral and Fruity Fragrances
There are certain fragrances that are traditionally associated with men and women. For example, musk takes a strong note in men's perfumes, whereas tea lavender, tree oil, chamomile, orange zest, and sea-buckthorn are common notes in feminine fragrances.
"Masculine" perfumes usually have quite an earthy smell. Traditionally feminine scents have light, fruity or flowery notes, such as Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy or Britney Spear's Fantasy Perfume. If you do decide to use a fragrance, just choose something you like—you'll be smelling it the most, after all!
How to Be More Girly by Using Different Behavior, Body Language, and Attitude
Besides the way you look, there is a wide variety of behaviors traditionally associated with being feminine that you can incorporate into your day-to-day. These stereotypical behaviors are perpetuated by movies, tv shows, magazines, and more. If the image of being a girly girl is what you want to portray, adopting some of these habits will help you get there.
9. Sit With Your Legs Crossed or Knees Closed With Good Posture
One of the classic traits of a girly girl is that she sits with her legs crossed. Women who sit with their legs wide apart may not appear as feminine as those who tactfully cross their legs. It is more "womanly," it feels sexier, and it's much more graceful.
There are many advantages of sitting with your legs crossed. It can make a woman's figure look more curvaceous while also preventing an unwanted flashing when she's wearing miniskirts and short dresses. Don't sit like that if it's not comfortable for you, though. Girls can sit however they want!
10. Play With Your Hair
The typical scene of a Hollywood-crafted girly girl is not complete without a pretty lady sitting by herself while she twirls her hair. Playing with your hair is a clichéd feminine trait which basically conveys that a girl is fragile and sensitive yet very beautiful. Simply twirl your locks with your fingers or maybe even sweep your hair from one shoulder to another.
Again, this is a stereotype, not a fact. Girls don't have to twirl their hair if they don't want to.
11. Shield Yourself From the Elements
Regardless of what you look like, it's important to stay warm and dry during harsh winter storms or cold blasts. Wear gloves and mufflers in winter to shield yourself from the icy cold breeze! Accessories like gloves, mufflers, hats, umbrellas, and more can both protect you from the elements while also keeping you chic and stylish.
If in your quest to appear like a girly girl you have already put a lot of effort into your appearance, it would be a shame if the rain ruined all of your hard work. However, if it doesn't bother you, skip the umbrella and let the wind blow in your hair!
In movies, men are often portrayed giving their lady love their jackets when it is cold or sharing umbrellas when it is raining. However, this doesn't always happen in real life, so it's important to be prepared. If you find yourself caught in the middle of a rainstorm, pull out your umbrella or button up your raincoat. Otherwise, run for cover!
12. Work on Your Social Skills
Whether you're a man or a woman, it's really important to be able to communicate with the people around you. This could be something as simple as saying "good morning" to your classmates each day. By creating a small relationship with the people you see every day, you'll learn to be considerate of their feelings and, in turn, they'll be more considerate of yours.
Even if you consider yourself shy or introverted, it can be helpful to share a few words or a smile with the familiar faces around you each day. If it doesn't come to you naturally, however, don't force it! There's no use trying to be someone you're not.
13. Steer Away From Dirt and Filth
Do you scream "Eww!" when you see something gross? Does a disgusted expression cross your face when you walk into a messy house? Do you hate people who score low on hygiene and cleanliness?
If you have been nodding, you already have one of these stereotypically feminine traits. Women are often portrayed as disgusted by the sight of anything dirty, unhygienic or filthy. This isn't always true, though. Some of us love to run in the mud or take pleasure in living in a filthy apartment. Just make sure you stick to what you're comfortable with.
14. Avoid Swearing Excessively
In most social environments, it's important not to use swear words in every other sentence. Both women and men should think before using swear words in front of others, especially in more formal environments like offices and workplaces.
However, in popular culture, women are often associated with speaking more politely all the time. Just be yourself and express yourself the way you want to when you're with your friends and family!
15. Don't Be Seen Chugging Beer, Hogging Food, or Picking Fights
You may have to put a lot of effort into constructing a feminine image, but popular culture has even made certain actions associated more with masculinity than feminity. In Hollywood, a beautiful damsel is not typically seen chugging away on a pint of beer or savagely chomping on a big piece of meat. If you really want to play up the "girly" image (or if you just like the way it tastes), choose a glass of red or a fruity cocktail instead.
That being said, being a girly should not stop you from enjoying your favorite things. If you are a beer lover, be sure to enjoy your favorite brew on the weekends! Chug it, pour it, or sip it—do what you like!
16. Read Women's Magazines
Because the media helps shape what is considered girly and what's not, reading women's magazines will help you find out what the typical woman is "supposed" to be like. Tuning into the latest style, fashion, relationship advice, dating trends and more will really help you know what women are traditionally expected to behave and look like in today's society. Vogue, Elle, Allure, and Cosmopolitan are some great examples of magazines marketed towards women.
As you flip through one glossy page after another, be sure to stay true to yourself and not to take every claim in these magazines as truth—they are designed to advertise, not to advise.
17. Be Expressive and Show Emotion Through Your Body Language
A smile can say a lot about how someone is feeling. For reasons that cannot be explained, a smile sends out the message that someone is approachable and friendly.
Body language is a great way to express yourself when you don't feel there is much to be said. With your eyes, you can look flirty or angry; changing the way you walk can make you appear sexier, or you can give off a quirky smirk to let others know that you like or dislike something.
Don't hold back on communicating what you're feeling though! You can't rely on body language for everything, and it's important that you tell people what you're thinking in a straightforward way in order to avoid miscommunication.
18. Carry a Girly Attitude
Your attitude and personality make you special. If you're a girl, whatever attitude you have is girly, whether that's bubbly, sassy, hyper, or relaxed. Choose your friends wisely and make sure to hang around people who accept you for who you are—you shouldn't have to change how you look or behave just to fit in or be liked by someone!
Connect With Your Feminine Energy
Be True to Yourself, Regardless of Gender
As you can see, being a stereotypical girly girl is a lot of work! Unfortunately, women and girls have a lot of standards they're expected to meet, and it can be stressful to navigate them all.
It's important to remember that this is just a list of suggestions—you don't have to do any of these things if you don't want to. And, though you might think this guide is for women and girls, the reality is that anyone can use this guide. Whether you're male, female, non-binary, or genderfluid, you can use these tips to try a new look or incorporate new habits into your everyday life. You can use all of them or pick and choose the ones you like. Or, you don't have to use them at all!
Despite what the TV and magazines might say, there's nothing saying that you have to behave a certain way if you're a girl or having to look a certain way if you're a boy. That being said, it doesn't hurt to experiment with your clothes or try looking at the world with a new point of view, so don't be afraid to explore as long as you're being true to yourself at the end of the day.