My Favorite Feminine Icons
Hello and welcome back to the blog!
I thought it would be fun to go over a list of feminine icons in film and media for today's blog post. I like to collect images, ideas, and stories of feminine women for inspiration, but also as a reminder that femininity manifests differently in each woman. This list includes fictional and non-fictional feminine women alike, and is really just my personal cache of inspiration! I hope you enjoy it and begin thinking of your special list of women to look up to!
We had to begin with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn! She is of course, one of THE most iconic women in film history, and to me, one of the most iconic feminine women of all time! And she did it all with gorgeously cropped hair to boot. Audrey proves that you can exude femininity just by living into your own personal brand of beauty; her slender figure, cropped hair, and massive doe eyes stand out amongst the crowd of film stars, but her poise and elegant grace from her ballet experience really seals the femininity deal for Hepburn. If you're every looking for femininity inspiration, look no further than Ms. Hepburn herself.
Now we are headed to less iconic territory, but still, total femininity goals with Hannah Simone who plays Cici on New Girl. I recently rewatched a later season of New Girl, and was struck by the gentle femininity of Cici. Hannah plays the character with gentleness, peace, and a maternal demeanor. Cici is always quick to see the best in people, ready to be the peace in the chaos. She constantly draws out the best in people, including her quirky husband. Her unorthodox romance with her husband Schmidt is filled with instances where Cici showcases her generous grace by protecting his reputation, encouraging his talents, and standing by her man, no matter what other people say. I love that she is always ready to have fun and clown around, but somehow also manages to be the voice of reason when things get out of control. I love this character SO much, and will forever be inspired by her gentle maternal demeanor.
Next, we are jumping into more fantastical fictional territory, with the stunning Princess Aurora from the Maleficent films. Elle Fanning plays Aurora with all the femininity one could ever imagine! Her sweet and gentle demeanor, whimsical and innocent attitude, and stunning feminine costumes make Aurora one of THE most iconic feminine princesses to grace our screens in the past five years. Elle Fanning is a serious beauty to begin with, and I cannot help but appreciate that she has chosen to live fully into her unique beauty. Playing into her light skin, foregoing a tan, and embracing her beauty makes Aurora stand out so beautifully. But more than her outer beauty, Aurora's love story, gentle demeanor, and pursuit of kindness showcase her femininity in a stunning way.
Next, we have Gemma Chan, who plays Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians. We are of course, looking more towards the character she plays in the film, as Astrid is one of the most stunning and classic examples of femininity I've seen in a long time. Astrid is equal parts Audrey Hepburn AND elite affluent socialite. Her elegant clothing, gentle demeanor, and care for her son shine throughout the movie, and she is honestly just a SIGHT to behold! I cannot help but sit in awe when she steps out onto the screen. One can only WISH to have such smooth elegance in posture and clothing. Sigh.
Next, we have the very real and very elegant Kate Middleton, well.. more appropriately, Duchess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of the Duke of Cambridge, future heir to the British throne. The Duchess of Cambridge is of course, absolutely stunning in a very British girl-next-door kind of way, but she manages to take her elegance FAR above your average feminine neighbor with her immaculately tailored closet and penchant for a nice blowout. Kate regularly shows her prowess in both stately matters AND matters of motherhood, with her beautiful family and elegant charity work. She has had 3 children and has still managed to stay trim and beautiful. What an icon!
Next, I wanted to highlight the beautiful Jenna Fischer. Jenna plays Pam on The Office, and while one might not assume this, Jenna's character actually exudes a special kind of femininity. Pam is gentle, creative, sweet, and fun-loving. Throughout the show, we see how she encourages her husband, enjoys romance, and brings out the best in everyone, even in the most wacky characters... ahem... DWIGHT. LOL! But even Jenna Fischer outside of Pam's character has an incredible aura of femininity. While her style and beauty may not always be flashy and glamorous, Jenna shows off her feminine maternal instincts with her family AND incredible abilities in the kitchen with her regular production of sourdough bread. Go Jenna!
Would this list even be complete without the iconic Julie Andrews? But honestly... what role did she play that WASN'T iconicly feminine!? Just as Audrey Hepburn exudes femininity with cropped hair, so too does Julie Andrews! Her trim hair, soft voice, and sweet demeanor showcase femininity in the BEST of ways. From Maria in the Sound of Music to even Mary Poppins herself, Andrews plays some of the most wholesome and feminine characters in all of film history. My favorite thing about her characters has to be that they always seem to have a sweet rationality. Never too quick to give into crazy emotions, Andrews always showcases femininity with a level of peaceful logic, tender maternal instincts, and mature kindness. I can only dream of being so rational and balanced. She is seriously my goals!
And now, we are of course heading back into the fictional realms to briefly discuss the BEAUTIFUL Natalie Portman who plays Padme in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Portman is of course, a feminine dynamo in her own right, but I want to focus on the character of Padme because of her incredible outward femininity, and the symbolism of her character. Padme is the mother of Luke and Leia Skywalker, who falls in love with Anakin Skywalker before he becomes Darth Vader.
She is an extreme example of traditional femininity, with her romantic story, motherly role, and even her costumes and beauty. She is often found enshrined in sweeping beautiful dresses, tight-fitting jumpsuits, or even queenly robes. From the time she was a Queen to when she was pregnant with her twins, Padme's regal and elegant femininity was astounding to witness on screen. Sure, the acting wasn't the best, but no one can deny her gorgeous beauty and stately demeanor. And of course, Padme finds herself in one of the MOST feminine states a woman can be in while pregnant, and is of course, absolutely stunning. She is truly a galactic feminine icon!
Next, we have the one, the only, ELLE WOODS. Elle is and has always been one of my role models. She is sheer positivity, gumption, and an inability to fail. She doesn't let what other people think of her define her, and she goes after her dreams no matter what obstacles are in her way. She slays every situation, from wooing a beau to picking out the best outfit, and is in general, TOTAL goals. At a surface glance, one could write this character off, but when you take a deeper look at Elle, you can see her incredible strength of will, intelligence, and kindness. She befriends everyone, creates community, and beautifies everything in her life. Total femininity!
Finally, we have the eldest 2 Bennett sisters, Jane and Elizabeth! I had to add both of them here because I think they represent very different versions of femininity. Jane, in her soft and submissive demeanor shows a very introverted and withdrawn softness of heart. She is quiet, unassuming, but the most gentle and sweet creature to ever have lived. In contrast, her younger sister is quite spunky, with quick wit, intelligence, and a stubborn attitude. But yet, Elizabeth exudes femininity in her intelligence, as well as her deep care for those she loves. Both sisters represent femininity in their own way, and both are absolutely iconic!
There you have it! This list is of course not a list of women we should be modeling our entire lives and morality after, but for femininity inspiration, I think they're fabulous. At the end of the day, it's important to remember that femininity can be represented in MANY different ways, and it's best to live out our own personalities through the lens of femininity, rather than to try to fill a feminine role that is not suited to us.
Exude femininity in your own way, whatever that is, and don't forget to enjoy the journey!