It’s easy to get on a roll and then find that you have gone too far in the wrong direction. It’s even possible to go too far in the right direction. For example, I’ve read plenty of posts on a multitude of blogs teaching/telling/preaching to black women to learn how to use their femininity and/or look more feminine. And the people who write these posts have a point: Plenty of women–white, black, and everything else–are interested in increasing their appeal to men and learning how to practice the feminine arts.
But it’s important to note that there is nothing wrong with being considered a “strong” woman. The term has, in my humble opinion, begun to get an undeserved bad name. Something about black women being “too strong,” er, something like that.
However it is important to note that being a strong woman and being a feminine woman are not antithetical. It is entirely possible to be able to maintain a warm and comforting home, be good to your man (if you have one and want to keep him around), and dress in such a manner that no one who isn’t wearing Steve Urkel glasses will ever mistake you for a man while at the same time being confident, independent, powerful, and opinionated. It’s all about knowing how to comprise.
Being independent doesn’t mean that you never let anyone take of you. Having an opinion doesn’t mean that you make sure anyone within five feet of you knows what that opinion is at all times. Having confidence and feeling powerful doesn’t mean that you feel compelled to wrest control away from others–if they gain an inch you lose an inch. There really are men out there who are looking for equal partners, women who have careers that they love and have goals that they strive for besides getting a MRS degree. And best of all, there are men out there who are looking for those strong women who can be an equal partner in a relationship. I just discovered that Michael Fassbender is one of those men.
When asked what makes him want to get involved with a woman, the actor replied:“I like strong women like my girlfriend Nicole. I like her confidence, she is an equal partner.”
Ridding yourself of negative qualities that you believe may be holding you back in the dating is one thing, altering basis elements of your personality in order to appeal to men who aren’t looking for confident women like yourself anyway is something different. Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself that you can be. And then find a man who likes you for the woman you are and the woman you are trying to be.
Jamila Akil is a senior editor at Beyond Black and White. Follow her on Twitter @jamilaakil or email her at jamilathewriter-at-gmail-dot-com.