I was asked in the Raising a Man post to write about raising a daughter. I find this much more difficult to write about because there are far more details for me to describe. As far as raising a man, much of it is out of my hands. Not so here. I believe there are three different aspect that we need to teach our daughters. Outward skills, inward reflection and the confidence to embrace her nature (this sounds dangerously close to the feminist trope of “you can be anything you want to be” I know, but that’s not what I mean). Given the three difference aspects, I am going to break this into three different posts for your sake and mine.
These are the skills that she is going to need to be her best in facing the world.
1. Teach her how to dress.
One might think that this is reserved for teenage girls, but in my experience it’s not. Even little girls can pick up the subtle and not so subtle cues of what is “cool” and what is going to get them noticed. My girls are young and they have both asked for me to buy them belly shirts and they will try to walk around the house with a shoulder bare. I remember doing the exact same thing when I was a girl. It’s not sexual in nature, but girls are intuitive enough to understand that the girls who do dress like this are those that get attention from others, men and women. Enforce very pretty dress when they are young and elegant and sophisticated when they are older. As they get even older, attempt to teach them the difference between promiscuous dress and subtly sexy dress (I’m thinking late teens with this, but I do not have personal experience). Men will absolutely pick up on the difference. Promiscuous displays, “you can take me home tonight”. Subtly sexy/elegant displays femininity. Ask most men whom they will actually respect and it is that women who embraces her femininity and displays it outwardly.
- Elegant and sexy
- ~ Sophisticated
- 2. Teach her to wear makeup
- This ties right in with her dress. There is promiscuous make up and then there is elegant and natural. She can make it more showy for special occasions without it looking trashy. Most department store makeup counters will teach a woman how to do this and what colors will look good on her. If you tell them what you are looking for they will help you with it.
- 3. Teach her how to care for her hair and how to get a good haircut.
- Again, this goes back to outward looks. Her outward appearance does affect how those around her will view her, whether she likes it or not. Teach her that most men find long hair attractive and that when others might tell her a short cut will look cute, cute is not the same as beautiful. Help her to understand how her hairstyle will work with her face. A good stylist should be able to help with this. If that’s not an option, do some research on the internet to see how different styles flatter different face shapes. It can make a huge difference in one’s appearance.
- 4. Teach her when it is appropriate to dress sexy, elegant, sophisticated and even promiscuous (for her husband)
- There are appropriate times for all of these and teaching her might start very young. We dress for church every Sunday and the girls always dress in a sophisticated manner (for young girls) and they see me attempt to do the same. When we go out for a nice meal, I sometimes wear more sophisticated dresses and they love to see what I will wear. They learn much of it from watching me (this is not my strong suit, but I do my best. Luckily Maritus is quite good at this and helps me a lot). When they get older, I will make a huge attempt at teaching them the difference between these styles of dress and just as importantly, why.
- 5. Teach her how to take care of herself.
- A woman needs to know how to clean, do laundry, iron, wash dishes, et cetera. In short, she needs to be able to keep a home. Again, this is a life skill and one is not empowered who cannot at least do the basics of these things.
- 6. Teach her to cook
- We all know the importance of this one. It’s a life skill whether she intends to cook for others or only herself.
- If you think of anything I left out, please let me know. Girls needs to learn to be beautiful again and I think it starts with these skills.
- ** UPDATE: Things certainly are not changing in the world of raising Men and Women. No more dodgeball (apparently not even with FOAM balls) and Victoria’s Secret for young teens? (With some parents who completely miss the point).
- Find Raising a Woman Part ~ 2 here.
I’m not sure what you mean by inward reflexion. Do you intend to put general feminine demeanor there? I think there’s at least a part of that that could be put in this “outward skills” category. Teach what is feminine demeanor. The only place society seems to teach boys better is what is masculinity, often through movies featuring strong protector-type characters, courageous soldiers, leaders who do not loose their cool. But there has been no good model of femininity for the last few decades.
Beyond the raw physical appearance, there’s the whole attitude that affects femininity. Being overly excited and shrieking various “OMG!” when one sees a pair of pretty shoes is not being feminine. Making snappy and sarcastic remarks, in an aggressive tone and seasoned with profanities is not being feminine. Giggling incessantly during an entire conversation is not being feminine. Yet that’s basically all I see and hear whenever I come in contact with teenagers. And none of it is sexy, in fact, it’s a pretty huge turn off.
As a woman, you’ll probably have an easier time defining exactly what is and what isn’t feminine. As a guy, I can only say what I like. A smiling face, and “smiling” eyes. A soft voice speaking kind words in a gentle tone. A genuine but reserved excitement at every new experience, and really life in general. No false front to hide weaknesses, and a recognition that weaknesses can be sexy in a woman (as long as she is aware of them).
In addition to what constitutes femininity, it is a good idea to explain what femininity can be used for, and how it should be for the benefit of everyone. That part may go into your second section, depending on how you want to break it down.
Those are great points and I hadn’t thought of them yet. I have to run out now so I will have to explain later, but I think those ought to go more into the inward reflection part even though the world sees it as an outward expression.
It’s a hard thing to tease apart, but I think the properly feminine behaviour zykos is describing should occur naturally if a woman is well-developed in her femininity. Without a doubt these things should be reinforced as a girl is growing up, but it feels to me like a natural expression of the feminine state.
It is true that there are no recent models for this, and this means that society will not teach our daughters how to be truly, properly feminine. But look to the past and you will find plenty of models. I was raised on a steady diet of folk tales (excellent, concise lessons in proper morals, attitude, and male/female relations), followed by pre-20th century literature (mostly 19th, but that was just my preference, any is good), where women acting and thinking in feminine ways is a given. From this I learned:
– the beauty of a well-developed feminine nature and the depth to which it can affect a man
– the various ways in which a woman can go awry in her development and the consequences of this
French and Italian movies can be excellent lessons too, although I would consider them supplementary to the reading.
Two bonuses out of this approach:
1 – the child grows up with a decent feel for history, something our educational system is most appalling at.
2- the child grows up somewhat (or very) independent of modern culture as a whole. When you’re quite familiar with other cultures and other values, you see clearly that you own is not Reality or Truth, but only the example nearest you.
Regarding feminine demeanor, it is hard to tease apart and I think part of that is because women will behave more feminine when they feel more feminine. Yeah, I know the feeling thing might put up some red flags, but we all know that we base a whole lot off our feelings.
Dressing in a feminine manner with pretty makeup rather than having to use a spatula to apply it makes a women/girl feel pretty. It makes her more vulnerable and therefore, more feminine. Cake makeup and promiscuous clothes are armor. As is snark, OMG! and sarcasm and aggression. It is a protection from that vulnerability that helps make us feminine. When one is not used to it, it can be quite scary to make oneself pretty or beautiful. There is not protection.
This is why I think it is an inward reflection. We often have to feel vulnerable and feminine to be able to act in the way you described, Zykos. In some ways, this is girl game as we can learn to manipulate our feelings to put the femininity on for time to try to learn the skill. A sort of “fake it till you make it for” women.
Yes, I think you see where you are coming from with this (like I said, this is something you women will be better at defining and analyzing, we guys just care about the end result 😉
Here’s how I see it: femininity in general, and that encompasses appearance and demeanor, is the female equivalent of male game. There won’t be exact parallels, but it is loosely speaking a strategy to get others to like you, and to get to your means. It’s a tool, a very useful one, and it extends beyond the romantic sphere. Just like guys will tell you Game can be used to bargain for a raise at work, be a more successful salesperson, or earn the respect of your peers, so can femininity.
In this post, you touched on all the components of the appearance part, which is obviously essential, and even more powerful than demeanor, since so many guys end up going after good looking shrews. Ok, you didn’t mention body weight and fitness, but teacher your daughter how to cook strongly implies it. They are all skills, practical steps that you can teach, demonstrate, write on a piece of paper for them to remember. With demeanor, it’s not that simple. It’s body language, and we don’t learn body language from textbooks, we learn by reproducing what we see.
But it’s the same with Game. Guys don’t see masculine models of female interaction often, and textbooks and blogposts are the next best thing. And it absolutely is a “fake it til you make it” type of situation: we aren’t confident because we don’t feel confident, but we recognize that one promotes the other, and when you start from nothing, artifice becomes necessary. Eventually, if everybody does their homework, the more girls act feminine, the more guys will act masculine and vice versa, and we all get to live happily ever after!
Like with any tool, it’s not only important to know how to use it, but where and when, and especially understanding the safety precautions. And that’s the difference between teaching this stuff to your friend and to your kid: you can assume your friends will be responsible for their actions, but your job as a parent is to teach responsibility to your kid. So if you teach your son about Game, also teach him to not use it to bang all the girls at school and knock up a few of them. Likewise, if you teach femininity to your daughter, you should also tell her not to use it to get a pass or trick guys into buying you things or doing things for you. Not so much because it’s bad for other people, but because irresponsibility has a tendency to get back at you in the most unpleasant ways.
It took me awhile to figure out this was just about outward skills.. I get it now. Looking forward to the next two!
I bought a book off the sale rack today called “Girls, Helping Your Little Girl Become An Extraordinary Woman” by William & Kathryn Beausay. It looks promising.
All I can say is, absolutely yes to everything you said. Both girl game and guy game are tools. They can be used however the user chooses and as a parent, I think it best taught through emulation. Kids want to be their parents when they are little. They will watch you and they will copy.
I think we are at the beginning of seeing masculinity and femininity return, for just the reasons you stated. More men are learning to be masculine as are more women. I don’t know which came first, but I suspect it was the Men who began this shift. I certainly hope it continues.
Thanks Sis. Let us know how that book is. Those can always be a catch 22. Some are excellent and others are terrible. I hope you found a good one.
Great post Stingray, and thank you for answering my question! My only issue is this:
My husband is old-fashioned and does not believe in wearing makeup (not for me, and not for my daughter when she gets older either).
Also, you’ve labeled this as part 1. I’m assuming that part 2 will be more about character development/demeanor?
You say “I don’t know which came first, but I suspect it was the Men who began this shift.”. Gender interactions are complex, so I don’t think we can draw direct causality one way or another. But if I had to put down, in a very rough way, what happened and is happening, it would go something like this:
A) environment is difficult -> men have to tough it out and survive in harsh conditions -> bring out the masculinity
Simultaneously, women are more dependent on men AND men are masculine -> brings out femininity
B) men tame the environment through ingenuity -> no need to be as masculine -> sloth makes them loose it
In parallel, the reverse of A happens: women are less dependent on less masculine men, start exploring masculine traits
C) Feminism happens along with the sexual liberation, we get the 80-20 ratio, some very happy people at the top ratio but mostly everyone is frustrated. This goes on a few generations
D) Men, again thanks to ingenuity, pick up on it and turn it to their advantage. They formalize the principles of Game (which was just intuition up to this point), marriages decline and women need to work much harder.
I think we’re right now at phase E: an increasing number of women take a more pragmatic look at gender relations, figure out, free of ideology, what seems to work and what doesn’t. Ultimately, everyone realizes that what fuels attraction is the gap between confident masculinity and submissive femininity. They further realize that by expecting men to do all the work, they reward a class of alphas who have options outside them, and that working on their femininity, they can render a beta provider more attractive, and that this will bring them happiness in the long run.
So you tell me, who started it? I’m not sure we can tell, but I think the ball is in your court, ladies. And we stand ready to catch.
well, not much i can add here. lol. how ’bout……teach them not to be a ho. my adolescent escapades made my sister LOATHE sluts.
Your thoughts mirror what I was thinking, especially in regards to formalizing Game. This is why I was thinking that men started it and then women (who in my opinion need and want men, no matter what they say) are attempting to change in relation to Game and men becoming more masculine again. I think there are going to be, loosely speaking, three groups of women, the feminists who will double down on their attacks and attempts at regulation, women, who you now see in the sphere, whom wish to learn to be feminine again and learn those arts because they know exactly how much they want a man in their lives, and those in the middle (the largest group) whom instinctively know they want men, but are so entrenched in the culture that they can’t openly admit it to themselves and tend to fight this instinct. Actually, that’s pretty much where we are now. I think it is the second group who will do the most growing in numbers.
Yep, that will be coming in one of the other parts.
As regards the no make-up, I was thinking about this and an alternative might be teaching her how to adorn her hair. If I remember correctly she is still a baby, but when she is a bit older she could start to wear things like this even if it’s just around the house. Other ideas might be barrettes. And this one she can make herself. Or hats. Obviously all of these are for young girls but as she ages she could get more sophisticated with it, but still remain pretty and beautiful while respecting her fathers wishes.
Yes, this is just part 1. It would have ended up being too long of a post to write and to read if I had combined the whole thing. I suspect I will end up with 3 parts. Time is not on my side for writing posts these days.
This is all good, and I especially agree about vulnerability being feminine. But I’ve been hurt really badly by being vulnerable, more than once. How do you avoid putting on that armor, even subconsciously? I’ve seen friends do that after a bad hurt, and it’s not a pretty sight. I hope I can avoid it.
Love the lady lessons 🙂
Laurel (if I ever mix you up with Lauren, I apologize. Even your avatar’s came out similar!),
It’s not an easy thing to avoid, but I can tell you this. In my experience, a certain kind of feminine vulnerability will make you stronger than the false armor of makeup and clothes. Let me see if I can explain.
I used to have a certain armor, a bit with clothes though never the heavy makeup. It was some feminist ideals, though I would have never called myself a feminist. I could never see the truth through this armor as I was too scared to. The armor was brittle and would break very easily. It was no safe haven. As I work to become more feminine and I learn more about myself and the world, I have a new kind of strength. It’s a bending strength like that of a read or a building that will bend with the wind. In my vulnerability I can search for the truth and not hide from it. I can allow myself to gain knowledge that I can hold onto for strength and it will not break. I can also hold onto my husband for strength and never, ever be ashamed of this because it’s part of my femininity. It gives me a strength I never would have thought possible. That armor is a defense that will fail you and shatter in many pieces when you try to use it. When you learn and accept hard truths and become vulnerable in your femininity, people can never rob you of that and your strength grows.
Does that make sense?
I should also add, that being vulnerable does not mean being wide open with everyone. Especially strangers. One can appear vulnerable and still take great care with those around her. Appear vulnerable, act feminine and dress feminine be be guarded. Work on your poise and don’t let others in until you say you are ready. I have found it is best to let others in in stages. Only a few people in this world get the wide open Stingray because they have my full trust. Poise and vulnerability also mean being smart and vetting those people you let into your life. Take a chance if you deem one worthy, but have a care as well.
It’s a systemic problem. Our culture used to afford women to be weak by making sure they wouldn’t be hurt. But with the demand of being treated equally, women must now play by mostly the same rules as men. There’s still a lot of stuff you’ll be shielded from, but in terms of feelings, welcome to the life of men.
The reason you get hurt is because you let your feelings run loose, which isn’t bad in itself, but you need a guard. An emotional armor is such a guard, but like you say, it’s not pretty. What you can do however is rely on your friends and family, people you *know* only have your best interests at heart and won’t betray you. If you have a brother, I would say he would be the best person for that role: enough emotional distance, but cares about you. Otherwise, friends you’ve known for a long time, and who you know you’re not competing in any way (women can get jealous). Seek their judgement about the character of the person who are about to get involved with emotionally.
Also keep in mind two things: one, that you’ll inevitably be more attracted to people who will have less scruples about hurting you; and two, that most people don’t hurt those who are weak and helpless. That last part is encoded in our instincts, that’s why we are extra cautious with children, even if they are not our own. Most men will be revolted at the thought of harming a child, and they will also be revolted at the thought of harming a truly vulnerable, submissive woman. Understand that weakness can be a strength, and you will feel much better.
Zykos makes a good point. If you have a man in your life that you can really trust that would be a very good thing. You know how women can spot another woman who is up to no good a mile away, but the man she is with won’t see it until it’s too late? Men have that same radar with other men, even when we can’t see it ourselves.
His point about being submissive and others wanting to protect that are also good. Men especially, seemed hardwired for protecting those who are weaker than them and who are submissive. This does not make you weak, it makes you a woman. Even those women who think themselves very strong are weaker than men, only they will not show it. Guess who will inspire far more men to her side, the feminine one who is not afraid of being submissive or the one wearing the armor? There is strength in vulnerability and submissiveness only it’s not overt. One has to pay attention to see it.
I love the idea of flower crowns and beautiful hair ornaments. My daughter is almost one and she has the most long, beautiful silky hair that anyone would ever want.
I (and many others, I’m sure) very much appreciate you taking time to share your wisdom.
March 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM
(*EXCELLENT* discussion deleted for brevity.)
@Stingray — may I suggest that what zykos posted be referred to simply as
Irresistible to masculine traditional men.
(Unfortunately, also to players and PUAs. Women must also be taught the self-respect to not allow themselves to be physically isolated with a man until long AFTER initial attraction…to avoid being overcome by tingles and losing their chastity;
and they should also be taught by older women the importance of saving oneself for marriage, and the difficulty in bonding to one man after intimacy with another.)
Along the way they should be taught “girlfriend game” which is applied femininity:
cheerful support of their man, to include what used to be called “home economics”:
cleaning, cooking, frugality, a contentment mindset rather than a consumption mindset.
The man-haters will counter with their calumny that “A man of quality is not threatened by a woman of equality” which is merely a lie. The man is not threatened;
it just that he’s not *attracted* by masculine traits.
The real saying is “A woman of quality does not try to become a man.”
Finally…dare I say it: how to scratch a back *just right*.
Oh, and I almost forgot, because it goes without saying: honest devotion to Christ.
I love the above dresses. Here are some casual ones I admire. Don’t know the quality as I haven’t bought any yet, but the fashions are old-fashioned.
I love those dresses, too. I did not go beyond Google images as I did NOT want to know how much they are. Depending on the designer the price could be insane.
Thanks for the ModCloth link. I need to check to see if they have winter clothes. I did not do well this winter getting out of my jeans at all. It was too cold and even after looking a whole lot, I never could find some pants that I really liked that were not jeans, but not overly dressy for the house and kids. With summer coming though, I am fairly set and can soon wear some dresses again!
I am glad I could help. If she has hair that beautiful (at a year! My girls still had very little hair at that age) you can also get online and look for some very different up styles. Hair really can be a woman’s crowning glory.
Catnip, I love it. I got into relationship game some here and definitely intend on getting into the self respect and womanhood in the next post. Though, I have to admit, the term womanhood kind of gives me the heebie jeebies because it has been hijacked by the feminists. It reminds me of that movie PCU where the the feminist demanded to be called WOMEN!!! And they were . . . something else.
Keep in mind for next winter, thick knitted pantyhose and a thick woolen skirt are way warmer than pants, and way more comfortable than pants+long johns. An extra pair of socks inside your boots, a merino or cashmere or other warm undershirt tucked into your skirt and you’re good to go into sub-zero weather. For super-cold days find some little knitted shorts to go over your pantyhose. Invisible under a wool skirt, but they enable you to go out in the coldest temperatures.
So no excuses!
For the best wool skirts my suggestion is to go on Etsy. Figure out your skirt waist size (I buy my true waist size for the best definition and the next inch up for when I want to be able to eat comfortably in it) and search away. You can find tons of high quality skirts for $20-40 in all colours, in beautiful checks and tartans. Nothing beats a fitted waist, knee-length, A-line skirt. You couldn’t screw up the styling with it if you tried.
Sweater dresses can be pretty warm too, but I find them hard to find in decent quality (without paying a ton), and they’re not quite as warm as a wool skirt, because the cold air can pass upwards unimpeded. I reserve them for mid-fall.
Thank you very much! I looked, and looked, and looked, and . . . .
I couldn’t find anything I liked that fit and wasn’t way too much money. I never looked at Etsy though so I will definitely check them out. I’m not easy to fit as if it fits in the waist, it doesn’t fit in the hips and if it fits in the hips, it doesn’t fit in the waist. I love A line skirts, so I am excited to look there. Thanks again!!
I normally have that problem as well, which is why vintage works. (Etsy is handmade + vintage stuff)
Good quality wool doesn’t really age, so you run little risk of receiving something shabby looking.
If you like vintage, you will love the dresses that Kate linked to this morning. Here is their homepage. I am lucky to find one dress that I like on any given website and on this one I found a whole bunch. They are what I have been looking for for years for summer dresses.
Thanks again Kate! Etsy is my next stop!
They do have very pretty things, but the reviews on Modcloth suggest their quality is very spotty, so I’ve always been afraid to risk it. Being in Canada, returns always incur an expense, plus I often get whacked with duty charges.
My go-to for online ordering has been ASOS because their size 2 actually fits me perfectly and only about 15% of their stuff is made in China. You really have to comb the site though because their stock is huge and a lot of it is not at all what I’m looking for. Nevertheless I’ve built up a good closet base from them over the past few years.
How have I not heard of these websites?! Bluefly is one that I frequent and I have had some good luck there.
I was afraid that modcloth would be iffy quality. It almost seemed too good to be true. I’m still going to keep looking there and may buy something as living in the states might make the shipping worth while. If I do I can let you know how I like it.
Glad you like them 🙂 It is like dress heaven, and I’ll buy something for spring and see what the quality if like. The other site has some artistic stuff too! I too had trouble with the pants ban in cold weather. Year two: we shall conquer winter!
A Northern Observer said:
Lots of good stuff here! A woman reveling in her femininity is a force to be reckoned with!
Matthew King said:
You forgot the section on shoes.
I have cracked the code of the enemy’s playbook, and I am now a believer in the cult of footwear. You cannot fathom how difficult an achievement this is for a straight man.
Before, I was happy to think heels were mere accessories contributing to a vibe, rather than the foundation of comprehensive beauty. Men are so distracted by the clouds that they underestimate the significance of what’s holding everything up, especially when that everything rests on two, delicate, stiletto points that can either snap in an instant or stab to kill. Who denies feminine power?
I will write poems. The vulnerability, the clacking, the hint of nakedness, the improvement of posture and gait. The female perfection which comes from her knack for balance. Art to walk on.
In the meantime, teach your young ladies how to walk. I’m not sure the proper gait is teachable to men — it must be a manifestation of an inner confidence that cannot be faked*. But as for women, the sashay is their silent artillery, perfectly acquirable. A girl can’t go wrong with a Major in Shoes for finishing school. Call it the Department for Peripatetics and Pulchritude.
Know any good shoe blogs? I may leave the manosphere for them. No homo. The scales have fallen from my eyes.
** “A slow step is thought proper to the great-souled man, a deep voice, and a level utterance … while a shrill voice and a rapid gait are the results of hurry and excitement.” — Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, IV, 3
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I can’t believe I forgot shoes! What is it exactly about shoes that we women like so much about them and that men find so fascinating? I love shoes, but I don’t own too many. The ones I tend to fall in love with are obscenely expensive and I won’t do more than look. There is something visceral about a beautiful pair of shoes.
I agree with you, too, about the ability to walk. Though I have no idea how to teach it. It can be demonstrated and practiced but teaching it is beyond me. (And it is a skill I have noticed I have lost with age. I noticed it a few months ago and have tried to bring it back again, but it is more difficult than when I was young. One of the more memorable compliments I have received was in college when an old women stopped me and told me I walked like a movie star. I let becoming a mom get in the way of things like this and it is a bit of a struggle bringing them back.)
What’s brought on your sudden penetration into the beauty of the stilletto, Matt?
Indeed, few things can make a woman feel and project femininity like a pair of heels she can walk well in.
Unfortunately, a sea of badly made shoes and little prior training mean that I see a lot of women hobbling or stomping about most unappealingly. You can’t cheap out on heels too much or you condemn yourself to failure. On the other hand, price is no guarantee of comfort. Louboutins are notoriously uncomfortable because their arch seems to match very few women’s. No-name Italian or Spanish made heels are one’s best bet.
Matt, for viewing women in high heels, the best bet is fashion blogs. The most heel-intensive is:
Stingray, I think maybe walking too much in flats and too little in heels is all it comes down to, not age. Because flats don’t require hip movement for balance you can start to lose the natural sway and then when you put heels on again the walk becomes more awkward. I had a period between ages 21-23 or thereabouts when I didn’t wear heels and it was really hard to come back. Even now I have a hard time forcing myself to wear them if I know I’ll be on my feet for a while.
As for teaching it, I think there’s really nothing more to it than hip movement. If you tell a girl to put one foot in front of the other in a straight line and use her hips to make it possible, she’ll figure it out pretty quickly. Telling her it should feel fluid will help her autocorrect any kind of stomping/horse-trot tendencies. What else is there?
I think you’re right about the heels and not the age. It’s just in my increasing age I wear heels far less. 😉 Maritus would love for me to wear them everyday but wearing heels to teach my kids and clean the house isn’t something I can wrap my head around. I know I should just do it, but I haven’t yet. I do wear them every Sunday and out to nice meals and I love them (I also tend to like them quite high 3 1/2 to 4 inches are my favorite).
As to the walk, I agree. It is just hip movement. In my experience in teaching my girls, they tend to exaggerate any subtle movement (though at there age I have not gotten into anything like this yet). That’s why I find it hard to verbalize teaching something like this. I have found that simply doing it myself is what will help them to pick it up more than anything. Little girls really do want to be their mothers just as little boys want to be their fathers.
I think you’re right, girls will pick up on it from their mothers over the years. Anyway, it’s the sort of thing that, if you want it enough you’ll manage to do it eventually, so just instilling in them a sense of the value and beauty of it will make them eager to learn when the time comes.
By the way, when do you intend to let them wear heels? My parents were very strict about me not wearing even 1″ heels when I was little so as not to compromise spine/foot development, then allowed I think up to 2″ around 12 years old, then unlimited at 14.
I find 3.5″ very easy to wear even if the arch of the shoe doesn’t match mine, but at 4″, maybe because my feet are small, a mismatched arch means I can barely walk in them. I’m going to force myself more this year and see if it has more to do with habit than anything else. Otherwise I’ll be stuck hunting mega-sales of the few brands that fit my arch (Jimmy Choo is one them as it happens :P)
We are very strict as well about our girls not being able to wear even the slightest heel as we think little girls should be able to be little girls when they have the chance. Heels are for young women and women in my thinking. It’s almost as if heels, makeup, and things like nail polish are a right of passage for girls to becoming women in my way of thinking. Little girls who wear these things get the attention from them and relish in it but don’t understand it yet beyond it feeling good and seems to foster feeling good above self respect. So, while I don’t have a certain age yet, we’ll figure out when they are ready for it by watching them and what they understand about the world and themselves.
I love Jimmy Choo’s. I don’t own any but I really enjoy looking at them. Where do you find these mega sales? I have been able to do this with some pants that fit extremely well, but not shoes. The ones in my budget I don’t like.
This is very perceptive and true: “it…seems to foster feeling good above self respect”.
Until a girl is actually starting to transform into a woman and can apply those adornments as a natural expression of her transformation, her usage of them can only lead to a stunted or skewed understanding of external adornment vs internal state.
I also think it is beneficial to highlight for girls the differences between how they can adorn themselves appropriately, and how you, their mother, beautify yourself. I particularly remember how, on important celebrations, while I would love to put on my nicest clothes and shoes and put a bow in my hair, I loved even more so watching my mother’s ritual of making herself up, perfuming herself, putting on her best jewellery and finest heels. It was such a powerful and vivid and ever-anticipated experience. A glimpse of the depth of the feminine – my future, yet then still something mystical, of another world.
Aaand, on the mundane side of things: there are a few luxury clothing/footwear stores around here that have huge biannual sales, so $800 shoes can be had for $200. Bergdorf Goodman and Saks have them too, including online. Also, the Outnet, and a few other online retailers.
The right way to shop those is to go in the beginning or mid-season to a physical store that has all these shoes, try them on, note all the styles and sizes that you like and that fit you, and then watch for when they go on sale. The most popular styles wont make it to the big sales, of course, but then how often are you going to be buying yourself $200 shoes anyway? You should be able to catch something once in a while so that over the years you can build a great shoe collection.
Matthew King said:
By your photo example, the “visceral” appeal appears to be its “hint of nakedness” (as I described it in my original post) peeking out from the bottom of her clothes, adorned like lace, and accentuating the telltale curves of the female form. Like miniature bodies in lingerie. Just as strappy sandals resemble bodies in bondage. Add to that the height and posture boost, the sexual-command carriage, and the elegant/voluptuous artistry of the shoe itself, and you begin to understand the source of heels’ power.
This is the internet age!
Also, watch “God Save Our Shoes” on Netflix. There is a great section in there about French heel-walking classes, and that frog knows how to strut. The black lady also gives good pointers, as far as I can tell. Not side-by-side, but one foot in front of the other, fight urge to lean forward, heel to toe, etc.
My heart weeps. Roissy and his bullshit 97%-physical theory of female attractiveness has no room for finishing school and acquired beauty. Get your strut back. Wear heels grocery shopping. Put books on your head.* Walk like a movie star, baby.
Like you, I’ve always gotten compliments about my stride. Which is why I recall that Aristotle quote about the gait of great-souled men. This stuff is ancient wisdom.
* The compleat woman:
Matthew King said:
Excellent inside info, thanks. I am just starting to interrogate my girl friends about shoes, and I am shocked by their ignorance about the importance of the subject.
How did I make the “sudden” transformation? I looked down. Women have minds for particulars and details whereas men are holistic, impressionistic, and abstract. We look at a beautiful woman and cannot deconstruct it — we bathe in the radiance and become tongue-tied, in awe. The idea that women are powerless is absurd. Yes, men can construct and quantify and re-engineer substances and structures, but not when they stand ineffable before a woman’s beauty. Which is why “game” advice is largely, don’t gawk, have something to say to a pretty girl, don’t linger like a puppy.
So, once I focused on the literally foundational element of female beauty, everything clicked into place. Then I investigated a world I didn’t realize existed — a woman’s intimate relationship with her shoes. Sure I heard about it, and made fun of it (Imelda Marcos, etc.), but didn’t give it the time of day to understand it.
You girls are privy to our secrets, laid out for all the world in the manosphere. I am happy to get a peek into yours. Most women can’t write intelligently about what attracts them (most men can’t either, for that matter), but a lot of them can talk smartly about shoes, and love to.
So Louboutins are all flash and branding? From my personal ignorance and distance, they seem like the greatest works of art. Particularly the covered platforms which he apparently brought into style. But what do I know? I humble myself before your stylish feet and profess my desire to learn. Thanks for the blog link.
(No, it’s not a fetish, in case you wanted to ask. I don’t get that at all. Feet are probably the ugliest part of a woman’s body, despite the dignity that designer shoes lend to them. Veiny distorted runners feet? Bad. Pointy tips rather than rounded? Bad bad. “Toe cleavage”? *retch*)
Matthew King said:
As it happens, the cantor at Easter mass, who is plain and “of a certain age,” kept satanically distracting me with her footwear. But with the help of the Lord I transfigured the temptation into an aesthetic appreciation of His handiwork, made radiant in display through man’s artifice. The thrill of the chaste.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God….” (Romans 8)
Kitten heels with training bras. Rule of thumb I just declared. The King has spoken.
I had not taken your words as ‘fetishistic’. Feet are indeed rather ugly things, which perhaps is part of what makes their transformation into foundations of feminine beauty and power through heels so mysteriously compelling.
Putting on a pair of well-fitting heels feels rather like putting on nice lingerie (not very helpful for your understanding, sorry, but how can it be?). In both cases there is a certain psychological shift that happens, an opening up, an unfurling, of one’s feminine essence. It is hard for me to imagine what would have to be wrong with a woman for her to be able to put on nice lingerie or heels and act brash or bitchy.
Accordingly, shoe shopping can be (and usually is) a rather miserable experience. Stepping into ill-fitting heels is not only physically uncomfortable but also causes, if one is attentive enough to notice, a certain internal contraction. But when you try on a pair of heels you like and they are comfortable, that feminine blossoming occurs immediately. This is why women will buy a pair of shoes they seemingly don’t need and say that they just “knew” they had to have them.
As for Louboutins, like I said, for some women that arch matches theirs perfectly and then they are very comfortable, but from what I’ve heard, for most women it doesn’t. I had also long thought them the pinnacle of shoe art, but that knowledge has tempered my ardent desire. Actually, I tried on a pair a couple weeks ago, only a 3″ heel which is a negligible height for me, and I could barely take 5 steps in them. Maybe the higher heel heights would actually fit me better? 😉 Not that Louboutins ever end up at a sufficient sale price anyway.
Matthew King said:
God bless you. If women had a manosphere, this is what it would read like. I wish you both a larger audience for your sake, but I selfishly prefer the cultish arcana all to myself.
If girls are forthcoming, they’re usually not terribly observant. Or if they are prescient, they aren’t artistic or articulate. You have the rarely-occurring, well-rounded, complete package. Phedre is a saint and Stingray an archangel.
Until a girl is actually starting to transform into a woman and can apply those adornments as a natural expression of her transformation, her usage of them can only lead to a stunted or skewed understanding of external adornment vs internal state.
Really well said and exactly why I do not let my girls adorn themselves beyond their age. There is also something to the very excitement of reaching that state where Mom says, your old enough now to wear these and understand why. I will never forget the first day I was allowed to wear pantyhose (I hate that word, it’s very . . . awkward). I had dreams about them running the night before and the dream was so real I woke up mortified and then was thrilled at realizing that moment was still to come. It was wonderful.
I also think it is beneficial to highlight for girls the differences between how they can adorn themselves appropriately, and how you, their mother, beautify yourself.
I need to start keeping my eye out for these sales. I spent some time this evening just having fun gawking over the Jimmy Choo site.
kept satanically distracting me with her footwear
This is really funny. I hope the rest of her clothing matched her shoes! I get quite a few comments about the way I dress at church and the funny thing is, I usually wear very nice dress slacks with a nice top and a scarf. It’s not dresses as much as I would like or skirts, but nice pants. And even though we go to a more traditional church people still wear jeans. Maritus insisted on dressing for church when we first started going here and while I wasn’t very comfortable with this in the beginning, now I look I very much like it and am looking to expand my closet into more skirts and dresses.
Thank you. I hate the internet sometimes as looking at those two words sitting alone on the screen make them seem insincere. They are not.
Thank you for the kind words, Matt.
Being a man who has a 4 year old daughter this post is great! I will follow these rules and teach the love of my life how to be a real woman. Great post!
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Shiva Shakti said:
Makeup is a huge no-no. Particularly chemical makeup. One can make 100% organic and healthy body, hair and skin care products right in their own home.
Clothing should be made of natural fibers, flowy and comfortable.
Shoes – if one is unable to go barefoot 100% of the time due to weather or the need to work for The Corporate Beast, then Vibrams 5 Fingers are the next best thing.
Living a vibrant, active, healthy and primarily outdoors lifestyle will create inner and outer beauty.
Yoga, breathwork, meditation and philosophical study ground a female in her divine feminine essence.
The same does so to ground a male in his divine masculine essence.
Then, when yin and yang, or the divine goddess and divine god unite, it is something deeper and more profound than the types of so called “relationships” I see around me today in “western civilization”.
Shiva Shakti said:
Zykos, “Making snappy and sarcastic remarks, in an aggressive tone and seasoned with profanities is not being feminine. Giggling incessantly during an entire conversation is not being feminine. Yet that’s basically all I see and hear whenever I come in contact with teenagers. And none of it is sexy, in fact, it’s a pretty huge turn off.”
Well they’re not doing it to turn you on, Zykos.