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What is your definition of Femininity??

…Do I look fem enough?

“Grab it Danielle!” My brother
hollered over my shoulder as we heaved
the net through the sloshing water.
“Puuuuuuuull!” In another hoist in the wrist
the net finally emerged from the water, the
fish flapping helplessly in our trap and then
placed in the bucket filled with lake water. I
don’t remember which one of us came up
with this diabolical scheme, to spend hours
catching grass-hoppers in the tall grass only
to be used as bait for our fresh water fish
friends. This was merely for our pure
enjoyment as the fish would be released
back into Little Straggle lake moments later.

Pictured above: Young toothless Dani with my bro and my favourite T-shirt.

This is a memory I can always vividly
remember. If you were to look back at my
family photographs as we spend many a
summer at our family cottage the camera
would capture an eight-year old girl with
straggly sun kissed brown hair, skinned
knees, a huge smile with two front teeth
missing and above all-my brothers hand me

downs of jean shorts and a batman T-shirt.
This was my uniform through life for many
years my brother’s T-shirts and too long
denim cargos, and I loved it. Mind you, I
didn’t feel any different about what I wore
back then nor do I now. I’ve been what they
may call a “tom boy” my whole life as I
think many girls are. You don’t think about
what you wear because half the time you’re
too busy getting messy with some
grasshoppers and lake water. There came a
point in my life however, when the
institutional labels and stereotypes of
“female” came creeping up on me. What
does it mean to look feminine? If I don’t
wear heels and dresses with long pin
straight hair will the ninth-grade boys still
like me?

Pictured above: My bro and I fishing ready on Little Straggle

Let’s get something straight, to be
feminine has become such a narrow slot to
fit into based on patriarchal labels and
stereotypes that it is no longer being
tolerated and has been pushed into a whole
new realm, and celebrated. My experience
and journey to get to that point is still a
work in progress, but I can speak on one of
the most freeing influences I’ve had, my
clothes. Fashion is such a powerful tool for
us to become whoever we want to be but
even better, our truest self. To find myself
and my style is something I can hold so
close to me with confidence and stability.

For a long time, I would follow many
trends (as I’m sure we are all guilty of)
trying to find what sticks and what
represents me best. It wasn’t until I stopped
to think what clothes actually made me feel
my best that my attitude towards fashion
started to change. Clothes are a tool we all
can tap into to unlock our best potential. To
be feminine is such a broad term and
should truly only have one definition-
power. To feel powerful and confident in
one’s self should make anyone feel like the
woman they are.

Pictured above: Algonquin Park Summer 2020 Me and my adventure buddy, Bo

My senior prom, a night to remember…I
actually can’t remember if that was the
prom committees theme choice to splatter
in the banquet hall but I hated every second
of it. It was a last-minute struggle to find a
prom dress, nothing seemed to work and I
ended up ordering a dress online last
minute. Poof…white…pink…lace. Anyone
who knows me now, knows I would never (I
cannot stress enough) ever wear something
like that. I felt so uncomfortable the whole
night. I didn’t worry about taking too many

pictures and I was just ready to get out of
there. Above all I didn’t feel beautiful, this
was something I chose to wear because I
thought it would make me look and feel
feminine on a night that is weighted as ‘the
most important night of your high school
existence’. If I could do it all over again I
would or maybe just as best to stay home.
I look back now and cringe at my
obviously horrendous fashion choices.
We’ve all been there mind you, and you’ll
never find yourself without making a few
mistakes along the way (red fedoras and
all.) If this article means anything, after all
the trial and errors, I will still always be that
eight-year old girl with her crocs and holey
T-shirts. It’s important to carry parts of
yourself with you as you emerge into who
you want to be presently. To be feminine is
to be in your power, and to externally show
that you need clothes that make you feel
genuine and radiate self-love. Filthy Rebena
is a place that I am happy to say, celebrates
those qualities every day. Remember those
hand-me downs I mentioned? Thanks to
establishments like Filthy Rebena, that type
of life style choice can be perpetuated
through ethically sourced clothing so you
can feel good about the clothes you’re
wearing. Now get out there and claim your
feminine power!

Pictured above: Little Straggle Summer 2021 Me and Bo

Written by Danielle Nelson, one of our newest employees;
check out more of her style @dani_nelson9
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