I have so often been told, "You are a true Southern Belle." I love that. Feminine, classy and secure in our womanhood...inherently understanding just how powerful that is. I get that. And I am so proud of that. Growing up down South, we Belles are privy to the secrets, the mysterious, magical stardust sprinkled over us at birth... of being a Belle. And honey, we are the luckiest of all of our sisters. We get to be powerful women, without EVER losing our femininity. Why, lose our femininity??? We'd never dream of it! The deep South might as well lose our ability to fry things! Or take pound cake to a funeral! NEVER! It is the very essence of us. Our secret weapon. We embrace it, cherish it, and understand how to use it. Don't get me wrong, even my Northern sisters can be a Belle!! It's all in the knowledge we possess and the power we wield.
Nearly Fifty years have passed since the days of Betty Friedan, and then Gloria Steinem, and all the bra burnings. I have to say, I have common ground with both of them. And I think most Belles understand that a REAL woman encompasses the powerful elements of the stances of both Gloria and Betty. Women of today's generation understand this too. A Belle basks in the sweet scented glory of both the simplicity and the complexities of being feminine. I came of age in the 70s and 80s and I am certainly educated and have been exposed to women in the work place making equal money for equal work and having equal opportunities. I was raised by a single mother. I whole heartedly agree with all of that. But I don't need to burn my bra or toss my perfect red lipstick to prove that. That is just nuts! I love having red lips and I like my breasts securely snuggled in lace and silk, thank you very much!
I guess that's just it. I never felt a need to prove my worth, to fight for my rights simply because I am a woman. I am for EVERYONE'S rights. And a man who thinks less of me because I am a female, well I just pity him, the poor fool. He certainly does not matter.
I KNOW all of this because I worked in an almost totally man oriented world: TALK RADIO. This industry is filled with men and very few women, all with old attitudes. It is a men's club, but I never felt the need to light a stogie or dip snuff to fit into it. I was young and cute and I knew from the start they would not respect me but I never worried. I had my secret weapon, tucked inside my designer hand-bag. My femininity would soon be wafting through the halls, and into the studios and seep into the microphones. And I had my pearls dangling from my neck. I was confident. And I was right. The men accepted me and soon loved me. But my work stood on it's own. Managing to secure interviews with Oprah, Bob Hope, and Monica Lewinsky, my tenacity, delivered with feminine charm, pushed me quickly into the spotlight. Of course I ran into a few, ahem, asses, both male and female, but I always wound up with all the publicity....and I never had to leave my perfume and mascara at home.
While I agree with the feminists positions, I have nothing to prove, and I am not angry. Not angry at men...because I never feel insecure because of my femininity. I love men ...why in the world would I want to fight with those precious honeys? Women have all the gifts. My sister Belles understand this as a birth-right. I LOVE for a man to open my door, and offer me his coat! To be held in the arms of a REAL man is a gift for sure! A REAL woman KNOWS how to make a man feel like a man, and she gets the rewards of that. Think about it! To tell a man, "I can do it all without you" just castrates our men. And is that what we want? Men who aren't MEN! A Belle would never ever want anything less than a Prince! To be swept up into someone's arms and carried off to the castle....oh don't get me wrong....we Belles can OWN the castle...but we want to be CARRIED there by our prince!
AND, a Real man is never ever threatened by the success of his smart, ambitious wife. He loves her and encourages her as she does him.
Maybe it's because I was raised in the South. I grew up mostly at my city grandmother's house and no doubt, she was one of my influences. I saw my Nanny care for a huge family, a very sick bed-ridden grandfather, cook all the food, make all the money, all while wearing her red lipstick, her perfume and her pearls! Being a woman meant I could have it all, do it all and always be a Belle. My mother did it all too. They were smart, powerful, classy, and feminine.
So, women need to relax and embrace being a woman. We are unique...soft yet powerful with an awesome ability to lead from an exclusive rare perspective. Let your feminine light cast a glow over your life and it will illuminate everyone around you.
That, my Dears, is the rich secret of being a true Belle...Do it all.... and never forget to wear your pearls!