Men have long thought women in uniform to be sexy especially with the possibility of her toting a gun on her side (think Mr. and Mrs. Smith!). Even the idea of her giving orders in an authoritarian way can present images to them of what she's like in the bedroom! However, many women that I have spoken to are not quite as bold and dramatic as that type of woman. As a matter of fact, the ones I encounter want to exhibit more of their femininity or their softer side and express themselves more fully as women which they cannot do in their societal roles.
Specifically, I am referring to women in the military, police and fire departments, security guards, and other male dominated occupations. Understandably, most of these occupations prohibit women from wearing what can be perceived as feminine clothing such as dresses or skirts, high heels and anything that could prevent them from doing their job well. They want them to be the best at their jobs, especially when they are out saving people's lives. The thought is that how effective can you be when someone's life is on the line while you're fixing your skirt?
Now most of these women love their jobs or they wouldn't have signed up for it. For example, society doesn't require women to join the military and she can leave when her time is up. But they are passionate about what they do and can't fathom leaving their careers. They are the forgotten ones for whom society deems as heroes. Their contributions to our society are enormous and they are the reason why we live freely and safe in our communities. We appreciate them for all they do for us.
But working in these occupations comes at a price. Eventually, they start to assume masculine traits prominent in those roles. Police officers have to be decisive, authoritarian and dominant to be able to lead people to safety. Have you ever heard of an indecisive police officer? Military leaders have to be firm when giving orders to subordinates. If you're too soft spoken, you may lose respect of your command. All of these traits play a factor in moving up the ranks in those careers.
So what's a woman to do when she wants to maintain her position but still be viewed as a feminine woman? Well, I've come up with a few helpful tips and guidance that may help you to maintain your "femme fatale."
- Take note of your best feminine assets — Every woman is blessed with assets which are attractive to men. Whether it is your bodacious bust, beautiful eyes, long lean legs, or beautiful lips. Think about what men compliment you on the most when you are with them. When you have identified your best assets, think about how you can enhance those assets to make them more noticeable to the opposite sex. For example, if you have long legs and it is appropriate to wear skirts to work, try wearing more of them so men notice them more. If you have beautiful lips, why not try wearing a really nice lip stick shade to bring more attention to them. Hopefully, you get the point here. You want to find your best features and make them shine appropriately.
- Include as many feminine elements to your wardrobe as possible, but still within the confines of what is appropriate in your role — This may be a challenge since most of these male oriented occupations have strict policies and procedures. But I want you to try to "think outside the box." For example, if your job allows you to wear earrings and you do not wear them, start including them as part of your daily wardrobe. It's simple, but it's a start! If you're not a woman who wears make-up, try buying neutral shades of make-up which will give you a subtle, yet noticeable difference in your appearance. Think about the shoes you wear. Are they normally run down or worse, manly? Consider finding shoes that are a bit more feminine (e.g., low heel, beautiful style, color, etc.). Again, you'll still have to abide by the rules, but be more creative and allow your femininity to shine.
- Maintain a beautiful hair-do and soft skin — I believe this may be an area where you have a little bit more flexibility. Normally, these organizations are more lenient to a woman's hair as long as it is neat and clean. So why not try out a few hairstyles that work with your face. I would seek out a great hairdresser for guidance on which cuts and styles make you look fabulous. And always, have great hair. Men love women with great hair so this should always be your staple for expressing your femininity. Men know when a woman starts letting herself go, it's usually apparent in her hair. Also, we can't forget about good skin care. I think we're all guilty of not maintaining our skin. But men love soft skin. And when you're in a male dominated occupation, you're probably using your hands a lot which can cause callouses or cause you to have manly hands. Using the proper nourishing ingredients for your skin is crucial for you. Make lotions, oils, astringents, cleansing scrubs a part of your daily routine.
- Pay attention to the sound of your voice — Men love the sound of a woman's voice. But, this is wear it gets tricky! Police officers and military women have to be able to project their voice at times to maintain authority. However, think about how you are using your voice. If you have developed a trait of speaking too loudly at people, try to soften it while still making your point. You can actually be soft spoken and people hear you if you are being articulate. Record your voice to hear what it sounds like to other people. Is it too abrasive? Is it too deep? If you were a man, would you be attracted to this person. This will give you a chance to hear what other people hear when you speak to them.
- Pay attention to your movements — Okay, this is getting easier! Most of the women I've observed in the military have developed an authoritarian walk, either by necessity or by being with men 24/7. Observe yourself in a long mirror as you walk. Would your walk be perceived as feminine? You may even want to ask some of your best male friends how they perceive your walk? Are they afraid of you when you walk (in a not so good way!)? If so, try to change it. You want to learn how to move with your hips. A masculine walk is more mechanical-like where a feminine walk is more of a glide. It may be helpful to take yoga or dance classes to become more flexible and more in tune with your body.
- Maintain a pleasant attitude at all times — No one can control how pleasant you are towards other people. There are no strict policies and procedures here. As a matter of fact, it's probably just the opposite. The more pleasant you are, the better your chances of building stronger networks in your career and attracting men! There is no better way to be feminine than maintaining a pleasant attitude. Even if you're in a masculine occupation, you can still shine as a woman by being pleasant towards other people. If the job has made you a bitter, cynical person, change this persona immediately! Think about things that make you grateful, like the lives you save and the people who need your help.
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