Does it mean breasts and hips? Long, lustrous hair? An hourglass figure with a defined little waist? Enviable eyelashes for flirtatious fluttering? Manicured nails and pedicured feet? Smooth, hairless skin? A sassy walk on long, slender legs?
Does it mean youth? Beauty? Sexuality? Softness, voluptuousness, and pliancy? Grace and poise? Posture and composure? Wisdom, maturity, and responsibility? The capacity to nurture, the desire to mother, the instinct to protect?
Intellectually, I know that being womanly encompasses all of these things, their opposites, and a whole universe of traits, preferences, behaviors, styles, and quirks that I haven’t mentioned and may not even have dreamed. Womanliness is everything that women are, do, and want to become.
And yet, I am still waiting for the day to come when I feel like a woman myself. I look at all these images and see endless, inspiring portraits of womanliness. I see the ineffable womanliness that infuses females everywhere. But I feel like an outsider, waiting at the kiddie table for an invitation to dine with the real ladies of the world. And I wonder if I’ll ever feel like anything other than a girl-woman hybrid
Images courtesy kk, kptyson, Jasper Gregory, just.Luc, OlsenWeb, kaseymarcum, Jasper Gregory (again), sean dreilinger, modenadude, happyshooter, ftbester, vestitoverde, KungFoodie, loungerie, watchsmart, philippe leroyer, zeiss66super, puck90, uneduex. Man, I hope I got all those credits right …