10 Things Every Woman Should Know (But Probably Doesn’t).

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shhh woman quiet girl silent

Rejected? That’s okay.

Let’s get right to it.

Here we go.

1. Unpainted toenails are the bomb-diggity.

Seriously. They are.

I understand having stained nails from former polish experiments (and why this might prevent us from going bare), but trust me when I say there is almost no better feeling than wonderfully cared for and pedicured feet with unpainted piggies to gaze at as your yoga practice drishti. Try it.

2. I like my grays.

When I tell people that I let my hair go natural for several reasons—one of which was that I had no idea if I even had any gray hair—only to discover that I have several, I get the same reaction nearly every time: looks of sad empathy.

Then this switches to puzzlement when I relay with a sincere smile across my face that I love them.

To me, they are marks of my life aging perfectly along with my spirit and mind. To me, they are sexy and womanly and the funniest thing of all? I’m so proud of my grays, but, most of the time, no one even notices them.

3. Confidence really is sexy.

Okay, to be fair, we probably have all heard this one, but many of us still need to put it into practice in our own lives: finding the joy and love for the bodies we inhabit—in this moment, right now—is not only liberating, it promotes confidence, which is damn sexy.

4. We might be able to rock kids’ shoes.

This one is for the ladies who wear a size eight or under: we can wear some kids’ shoes.

I just discovered this when taking my daughter for a new pair of tennis shoes—even New Balances in the kids’ shoe stores will fit a woman’s size eight or less.

The best part is that the shoes are exactly the stinkin’ same—but the price isn’t (that’s a lot less).

5. It’s okay to like sex.

Alright, this is another one that hopefully we know—but do we really?

Our society wants to make women who enjoy and seek sex appear as something shameful or sinful—well, I’m here to let all women know that it’s okay to be into sex.

6. It’s okay to have never read 50 Shades of Grey.

It’s also perfectly fine to have read it, but I’ve never read this book and, guess what? I don’t give a damn.

7. Being single is awesome.

I’ve been in a relationship since I was 14 (I’m married to him now). I’ve been told before that I don’t have the ability—coming from this place—to say that it’s awesome to be single. However, I disagree.

Yes, being in a relationship is amazing. Yet, being single because we haven’t met the right partner—what the hell is wrong with that too?

Nothing, that’s what.

8. We can be feminine feminists.

Yes we can wear red lipstick and frilly dresses and still hop up onto our soapboxes to sing the power of the female.

Here, read this.

9. We don’t owe anyone emoticons, apologies or exclamation points!

My college minor was in sociology and one of the most fascinating things I studied was that women often belittle themselves and make themselves appear less superior, even in their writing styles.

So we want to use an exclamation mark? Then use it!

At the same time, it can be empowering to pay more attention to how and where we use language—both verbal and written—to appease others or make ourselves seem less aggressive.

10. We should “stand like a man.”

Men often stand with their feet planted firmly hip-width apart or wider—and this is a stance that not only conveys confidence, it encourages it within your body. (It’s a science-y, physiology thing. Google it.)

Taking note of our postures—and how they can be used to make us come across as smaller (and I’m not talking about actual, physical size)—is one huge way to get in touch with personal power and confidence.

For one day, try standing with feet apart and arms to the sides. (And see how it feels.) 

Bonus: It’s cool to like Disney princesses.

At least, it’s absolutely stellar to like this one: Princess Merida from Brave.

Watch it if you haven’t already.


Relephant reads:

How to Love a Strong & Complicated Woman.
 8 Tips How to Love a Woman, From A Woman.
Date a Woman Who Knows Everything (& Nothing). 

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr




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About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


23 Responses to “10 Things Every Woman Should Know (But Probably Doesn’t).”

  1. @itsbetsyh says:

    love this. especially the part about exclamation points. !!!

  2. catnipkiss says:

    Great stuff, but I will cover my greys until I'm at least 70, and I will always paint my toes……. 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    Love this article! I’m with you… I wear my grays with pride.

  4. karen katz says:

    great article-I already embrace pretty much everything you said-not sure about the grays-my family grays late and at 57, I still had my natural dark brown hair-until I started highlighting it a year ago…I go to one of those very cheap franchises, had found a good operator who kept my hair short and sexy, and after she implored me to try the highlights, I did-and I love them!

    that being said, at some point, when the gray starts coming, I will gradually lighten up on the highlights and let them come….I totally understand women wanting to color their hair, but at some point, unless you have a lot of plastic surgery, it starts looking a little cognitively incongruous to have a pleasantly lined, aging face and jet black hair.

  5. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Thanks for sharing "Brave". I feel like I need a grandchild to go to a Disney cartoon movie! But I enjoyed this sneak peek!

  6. Kat says:

    I always said I would stop henna-ing my hair when I got greys, because I didn’t want to cover them out of shame. But now that I do have greys, I’ve had to reconcile that I just love dyeing my hair and I don’t have to stop for that reason! I like the greys and I like the red and I can do what makes me happy as long as it makes me happy, not because I’m hiding anything.

    • jenniferswhite says:

      It fascinates me that some readers saw within this post things that were never stated. (For example, I never said that I won't color my hair again!)

  7. inbtwndreams says:

    It's a fascinating time to be a woman. Two hundred years ago we couldn't have property in our name or divorce a husband, but now thanks to science you don't even need an actual man to have a baby anymore – crazy.

    I love this list and the intention it embodies. I also read your article "From Disney Princesses to the Modern Day Woman" and am delighted you and other writers are shedding new light on the topic (I'm also a fan of Kate's articles).

    My recent reading of "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabel Allende has had me mulling over the global discrepancies of modern-day gender roles for the past few days now.

    There are so many dynamics at play, but I think we as a society are coming closer to the crossroads of having to acknowledge that every person contains both masculine and feminine attributes, and that it is the interplay of balance between the two energies which proliferates in each individual that which can be observed and interpreted by others. We must begin to observe one another without judgement; bringing conscious effort to refrain from projecting our own limitations onto another because of how we think someone should or should not be. The ego is such a complex animal, and yet easily tamed with perspective.

    I've personally struggled with the idea that I can put sincere effort into how I look and it does not mean I'm vain. Or I can like to paint my nails and that doesn't negate my spirituality.

    I've loosely concluded that embracing your femininity (or any aspect of yourself for that matter) is about recognizing the limitations we're placing upon ourselves, and identifying where the ideas originated from.. usually I find my greatest insecurities about myself are rooted in my own interpretations of other people's perceptions of things, as well as my avoidance of not wanting to be viewed as vain or apathetic by them, which I find to be really quite silly in the end, as no matter how hard you try to force or guide another to see you a certain way, they will always create an image of you from their own reality, not yours.

    Apologies for the rambling. Solid article. Thanks for sharing & Happy New Year! 🙂

    • jenniferswhite says:

      More on this later, because this comment is awesome.

      However, I wanted to share this insight while I have a moment: one of my favorite things I began to consider was from studying the sociology of gender.

      For example, when it became popular to be androgynous in music (say, one of my all time favorites, David Bowie), are we really questioning gender or are we further ingraining what it is by saying that *this* is how a woman dresses not a man? (Just one instance.) This concept and many spin-offs from it are what have enabled me to realize that embracing being a woman isn't necessarily disruptive to feminism. Again, more later.

  8. Aella says:

    Awesome article, I gotta say though, the kids shoes thing was kinda my favourite since I totally didn’t know that or ever think that I could fit in kids shoes again and I’m a size 6, I know I can wear the clothes, but wow since I just moved out of home you have no idea how big of a help that tip may be for me! Since I quit wearing kids shoes it’s rare I don’t find painful shoes, to the point of making my ankles bleed sometimes. So I am so happy you shared that! Thank You

    • jenniferswhite says:

      I had no clue either and it's a huge money saver without scrimping on quality. (And talk about fun colors!) At a size 6, you'll be able to wear much more than you think!

  9. I like my gray hair too! I stop coloring my hair many years ago and now am very salt and pepper! Wouldn't change it at all. I also like the fact I am not putting toxins into my head each month.

  10. Eileen Holley says:

    Someone told me yesterday how nice my silver colored hair looked with my silver painted nails and you know I looked again and saw that I too liked it. Seventy plus isn't so bad!

  11. Marie Nicole says:

    I love, love LOVE my gray hair! It's only a splash in the front, and it came out in a growth spurt when I was 24. It came from a growing and learning pain, and it will always serve as a reminder that I will always have he strength to face whatever life throws at me. I also got to nod to every single item on this list… 🙂

  12. JohnH says:

    Gawd! Females as normal humans, what a concept. As a guy you have my vote. I am so tired of the princess, sex goddess, or one of my least favorites — divine feminine! I just want to partner with a normal human female and try to figure it all out together. Yeah, it is alright to be sexy, confident and independent. I hope to be a match for that…

  13. Linda says:

    I like so many of the articles written on this website. I find them thought provoking and helpful. This one definitely missed so many marks and perhaps I have insecurities… pretty sure we all do. Meeting someone for the first time and making a comment that can be construed "inappropriate" rather than a general compliment about her being attractive absolutely can be crossing a line and it doesn't mean she is insecure. It means she was offended..period. Probably a good time to apologize and just move on. Was she right to slap him. Probably not, but neither you or I were there to actually witness what that interaction entailed. What I find offensive is how judgmental and superior you sound in quickly pointing out how insecure she was. Not sexy at all, nor secure….. best of luck in your future writings….

  14. Christina says:

    Being single actually isn't awesome. I get tired of hearing that from people who are not single, who have kids, etc. At 37, being single with no kids is an awful feeling especially because I have always wanted a family. It's scary and not cool and very lonely.

  15. Kim says:

    Being single is awesome……for a time. However when that time rolls into years, it isn't that awesome anymore. I do suppose for someone in a relationship it is viewed differently. It's similar to the mother who says 'this single parenting gig isn't too bad' when their partner is away for a week or two and returns.
    Theorizing the experience is completely different to living the experience!

  16. heather says:

    My grays/whites are my sparkles. It is much more comfortable to stand “like a man.” My body feels centered and stable.

  17. Chandni says:

    I agree with some of the comments… being single can be fun and awesome only for a period of time… its not a bad thing to be single. But human nature- we are always going to want a partner sooner or later. I respect your intentions of making women feel good about their lives… but complimenting singles when you are happily married to the love of your life you met since you were 14 plus kids… kinda hard to take your advice on the whole singles vibes.

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