Did you ever stop to think about what makes you feminine?
Let’s be honest: it’s not fun to think about feminism. So, like many other people, I haven’t put much thought into it.
Until a harmless (or so I imagined) TikTok infuriated me.
The video is from Spencer Barbosa. She has 7.1 million followers and chose a lovely niche: body positivity for women. She wants to create a safe space so girls can feel confident although they have curves and body hair.
You’d think most women would love this message, right? Who doesn’t want to feel more confident in their own skin?
Well, that’s not the case.
Spencer shared a video of another influencer (who I won’t name) criticizing her. The influencer says:
“Femininity is dead. Like this whole movement… Girls just don’t want to be attractive for men anymore.”
As if Spencer’s body hair makes her not feminine.
Or maybe it’s not her body hair. Maybe what makes the influence think Spencer isn’t feminine is the attitude. It’s the refusal to meet standards that make her uncomfortable.
I’m not here to criticize the influencer or to defend Spencer (she doesn’t need that). But this behavior shows how we think as a society. The video seems harmless, but it tells you a lot about how you behave and what you expect from relationships.
There’s way more behind this criticism of Spencer’s philosophy (it goes way beyond body hair).
Why are women so critical?
What I thought was interesting about this whole story is that the influencer who criticized Spencer is a woman.
I could imagine men criticizing Spencer. Especially with this new wave of people following Andrew Tate (if you haven’t heard about him, just know you’re better off like that).
But I couldn’t imagine another woman criticizing Spencer.
Women are Spencer’s target audience, and her content is supportive. Why would a woman feel triggered enough to record such a harmful response?
Because women learned to compete against each other.
Women grow up believing that other women’s beauty means they can’t be beautiful. You may think you support other women, but deep down, their beauty can make you feel insecure. It’s like other women aren’t your friend: they’re a threat.
Except beauty isn’t a zero-sum game. Beauty isn’t a scarce resource. Other women’s looks don’t change yours.
The influencer doesn’t mean to harm Spencer. But when she has such negative feelings about someone else, that speaks volumes about herself.
So when you want to criticize someone (especially another woman), ask:
- What are my insecurities?
- Does her behavior harm others?
- Why does this make me feel unsettled?
- Am I trying to help or make myself feel superior?
Don’t get me wrong: you can criticize others when you’re in the right place. People grow with feedback. But how you see others (and what you criticize) is always a reflection of yourself.
What does it mean to be feminine?
It’s funny how the influencer starts: “Femininity is dead.” That’s a childish perspective of femininity because you believe it’s a concept that’s set in stone. Like it was defined one thousand years ago and can never change.
Femininity isn’t dead. It changed.
Gender roles change with time, and that’s okay. Imagine if our perceptions would never change. We’d never adapt to new ways of work, new technologies, and new relationships. We’d be like cavemen, hunting for our food.
Change won’t stop just because you don’t like it.
Sure, one hundred years ago, femininity was different. It meant to stay at home and take care of the children while your husband supported you. Women had to be beautiful and supportive. And if that works for you in modern times, that’s still a nice path to choose.
But today, femininity means being yourself.
Women are expected to work, pay their bills, make their choices, and be independent. If you ask me, Spencer is a great example of a feminine woman. She’s a girl boss who follows her dreams unapologetically (and does that gracefully).
You have two choices. You can complain about the change or adapt and take advantage of it.
Guess which option makes you happier?
Let’s say the influencer is right.
Take a moment to imagine the influencer is right: women should prioritize their looks to please men.
What type of relationship will result from this?
This relationship will put looks above everything else. Now, you’re free to choose your priorities. If you wish to do so, you can only date supermodels.
But here’s the thing with beauty: It doesn’t last.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, the modern beauty standard is to look young. You need a firm body, soft skin, and colorful hair. And when you get older, you lose these qualities. So if your relationship depends on looks, it has an expiration date.
You’ll end up in a cr*ppy relationship.
Don’t get me wrong: looks matter. You have to be attracted to your partner; otherwise, you may as well stay friends.
But great relationships take more than that. Long-lasting couples know they need companionship, admiration, and friendship and enjoy spending time together.
You want a solid foundation for your relationship.
You want to have tough conversations, make plans together, and become vulnerable. You want intimacy (and that goes beyond sex). It’s the hardest path, but it leads to better results.
Yes, you should look your best for your partner. But that’s far from enough: relationships take daily effort.
Spencer is a beautiful woman. But for me, that has nothing to do with body hair or weight. It has to do with her energy.
It sounds cliché, but in every video, Spencer makes you feel like she’s happy to see you. And if you think energy doesn’t make you prettier, think of all the beautiful and arrogant people out there (I bet you don’t want to date them). Looks matter, but so does your energy.
Criticizing a young woman for loving her body is beyond me.
To answer the question in the title: Yes, you can be feminine and have body hair at the same time. Femininity is about your attitude, not about your body.
This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.
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