When I was 6 years old, I was the only black girl in my very white primary school (a private, Jewish school in South Africa), I was taller than all of my classmates, and I discovered that I was a bit of a Tomboy; I loved video-games and skateboards, but also enjoyed my disney classics and barbie dolls. I was shy and kind of introverted, but opened up once I got comfortable.
From a very young age I knew that I was different from my brunette, blonde, blue-eyed counterparts. I also knew that I had to work extra hard to gain the affections of my then school crushes. It never worked though. I always found myself crushing on a guy friend, only to hear “gross! you’re like…a bro!” or “I like Bianca”. Consequently, the bro I did eventually become. The Tomboy side of me seemed to be the most popular and hey, if I couldn’t get the guy, why not delve into his interests full force? In my disposition, it made the most sense. Guys never really had crushes on me, I wasn’t a soft and doe-eyed Bianca, or a cute and girly Michaela. Why is the above information relevant? because it would shape the girl I became in my teens, and the woman I realize I am becoming now.
In primary, middle, and high school I was always deemed the strongest because of my height and build. I was automatically put into the category of “strong black girl” by my classmates and teachers alike. I loved being picked first for sports teams, I would choose the all boys soccer team over the netball team, and I was just overall more masculine than the rest of my female classmates. On the flip side, I started modelling due to my height, so for once I felt a little more beautiful. That however, was short lived because I had to lose an unhealthy amount of weight. For a while I never paid attention to it, I thrived even. It was go go go and do do do. I got good grades and won trophies and medals for my athleticism. A part of me though, never really felt complete. I was so disconnected from who I really was. I’m not saying all I wanted in life was a boyfriend and to become the girliest girl alive, I just knew that at the core, I didn’t feel like myself. Media/representation/stereotypes had a great deal to do with it as well. Of course, at 14 you expect to have a movie-like high school experience, you expect things to magically fall into place but they didn’t. I felt more and more insecure about my height, blackness, and my body. I hated being called Venus or Serena when I went to play Tennis (P.S. I love it now ). At the time I didn’t realize that I could be a multi-faceted black woman and just a woman in general; I could just be the muscular Tennis prodigy who was also a Tomboy. I would be independent and strong. Never weak or vulnerable. I wasn’t as beautiful or as cute as my white classmates. I was the comic relief, but not the love interest. My role model was (and still is) Lara Croft, Tomb Raider who was played by Angelina Jolie in the movie adaptation. She is smart, strong, and stops at nothing to get what she wants. She is also sexy, charming, and white. I didn’t love myself a whole lot, and it took a toll on my self-esteem, and manifested in my late teens and early twenties. I would give too much, try to prove myself a lot, I needed constant validation about my looks, and would end up bruised, bitter and confused.
After a ton of self reflection and google searches due to experiences with men, and life in general, I came to the conclusion that a) I needed to fall in love with myself fully otherwise I would never be happy and b) I was subconsciously plugged into my masculine energy all.the.time. For newbies on this topic, Masculine energy is about doing, getting it done, logic, structure, reason. It’s rigid but forward. Feminine energy is about being, beauty, receiving, creativity, movement, flow, nurturing, love etc. It IS NOT gender specific; there are feminine men and masculine women. It is about energy, and I felt like mine was way off. I wasn’t living in the moment, I was constantly anxious, and self-deprecation was my favourite hobby. Masculine energy thrives when I am at school or work. I however took that energy into potential relationships and friendships. They all failed because I was doing ALL of the work. I was attracting the opposite of what I wanted therefore I relied on that energy to plan most of the dates/outings. I would be the one doing all of the texting and calling. I took that energy to how I felt about my self. “If I DO this, I will become happier, thinner, wealthier.. I will be loved by him”. Now I am learning to let go, and to receive more. I am learning to become open to numerous possibilities. I am slowly learning to take care of my mind and body for myself first. I am learning about the type of masculine man I would like to attract so that I may complement it with my feminine energy. I am learning to fall in love with every part of myself. I am learning that I can be a 6’2, black, athletic gamer who wants to get shit done, while simultaneously being a woman who is soft, loves to relax, feel good, feel beautiful inside and out, and receive as much as I give.
Things that have helped me harness my feminine energy:
- Movement: I workout more, I dance more, and I have started Yoga!
- Embrace my sexuality: Just feeling good and confident about your allure….feeling like a Goddess.
- Learning to receive: being grateful for anything that is given to me (covers a spectrum of things. My biggest one is relationships)
- Having more “me” time
- Taking care of something: for me it is plants, and making sure I always have a clean space
- Being in Nature
- Shopping for clothes
- Getting hair, nails done. Taking care of “Her” 😉
- Eating Healthy
- Smiling more and being polite, being graceful
- BEING MYSELF
- Allowing to feel something, understanding it and letting it go (especially if it is negative)
- Create: write, compose, sing, draw etc. create something unique or that expresses a part of you
photo credit: pinterest.com