Author: Bailey Banwart
March 27, 2020
What does it mean for someone to be “ladylike”? If you look up definitions of the word, you find things like “polite,” “socially acceptable,” “morals,” “well-mannered,” or my personal favorite “well-bred.” Want to know what else is well-bred? Dogs.
Ladies have had the expectation that they are to be gentle and virtually invisible since long before my time. But what do these definitions of ladylike really mean? For a lady to be polite, they must be quiet and not interrupt the men. For a lady to be well-mannered is for them to be obedient. Being a lady essentially means sitting down and shutting up.
What does it mean to be a woman then? Definitions for the term “woman” are much more generic. I find this encouraging. It means that being a woman can essentially mean whatever you want it to mean. More than that, though, being a woman means that you are worthy of the title, “woman” just for being who you are.
If you identify as a woman, the title is yours for the taking! It’s not something you have to earn through trials, and it is nothing you need a man’s approval for. This notion of the “ideal” woman is a man-made concept. There is no “ideal” woman, there are just women. Women who love themselves and their bodies and accept themselves for who they are.
I encourage every female reading this to be as unladylike as you please. Embrace who you are as a woman and make your own definition. Be bold, speak up for yourself and your fellow women. There is no mold to fit, so embrace who you are. Whether that be a stay-at-home mom, a college student just trying to find their way, a single twenty-something chasing their dream, or a happily married woman with a job she loves. The only person you have to impress is yourself.
Let’s all be a little less like ladies and a whole lot more like ourselves.