Cozy and Strong Can be Synonymous

 

As women, we've been taught from a young age that the way others perceive our appearance will affect us indefinitely. 

 
 
Credit: Nike

Credit: Nike

At school if you're not trendy or outwardly expressing yourself, you’re phony. At work, if you don’t assimilate into the cultural norm of make-up, floral perfume, tight fitting clothes, and heels others may think you have no respect or that you’re lazy.  

These consequences for not conforming to societal feminine norms have led to the current day feminine dilemma — if your outfit of the day isn’t documented on your social media account, it never happened. If the outfit doesn’t fit cultural norms i.e. feminine and frilly, a little sexy, with a recognizable brandname — it’s not likely to communicate to others that you put effort into your appearance. 

This universal definition of femininity has caused a war, a division of girly and tomboy, lady and dude, sexy and dike. Harsh words, friendships lost, and fake representations of ourselves have become our own glass ceiling and its time to break it. 

It is about time that we as women come together and embrace our ability to connect and empathize with one another. 

The foundation of this worldwide female division, depends on what is socially acceptable in fashion or defined as feminine. At times societal norms may entirely dismiss and discredit a woman's true representation of her individual personality. There is a societal war that targets women who don’t conform, especially women who chose to wear streetwear, especially black women. 

Here’s the truth,, wearing streetwear doesn’t mean that you are not feminine or that you are more masculine. Being a woman means that being strong and sexy can be synonymous, regardless of if you’re rockin’ red bottom stilettos or a pair of your favorite sneakers. As strong women we must look past each others differences and connect with one another through our commonalities, our intersectionality. 

Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a  given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. 

Credit: Sophia Chang

In simpler terms if I was to explain the intersectionality in my life I’d ask you to think of me like a street sign: I am the pole that holds the 2 street name signs — except for I have multiple signs on my post. My signs: Black, Mexican, German, Irish, French, Cis-Gendered, Married, Christian, Division 1 Athlete, Cozy Girl, Sneakerhead, Hippie, Singer, Dancer, Artist, Writer, and more!

I embrace intersectionality because it allows me to feel soft when others perceive me to be masculine, it allows me to connect with other women celebrating our similarities. 

Instead of participating in a dysfunctional competition that no one can ever win or benefit from, I choose to celebrate femininity in all of the ways that it is represented around me. I choose to express my femininity on my own terms and celebrate other women as well. No matter what we dress like, we can still connect over our commonalities and feminine traits.

 

 

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”  - Audre Lorde
 

 
Tianna Arredondo