Exploring Resistance to your Image Identity From chapter 5
Nearly every woman I've worked with over the years has expressed some resistance here or there. Perhaps it comes up in the very beginning, when she finds out she's not the Classic she thought she was, that she's really a Flamboyant Gamine (or whatever). Perhaps she's thrilled to discover she's a Dramatic, until she learns she must trade in her perms (which were originally undertaken because she felt her naturally sleek, straight hair was extremely unfeminine) for a geometric hairstyle that will show off the beauty of her silky hair as well as her finely chiseled bone structure. Or perhaps everything's fine with my Romantic friend until i point out how her tailored suits make her look extremely dumpy, and that she needs to showcase her luscious figure with curvy silhouettes (that little observation nearly always is good for a few moments of major upset!).
Here, also, is where your "fantasy essence" comes in, maybe you have discovered that your chiseled bone structure, exotic features, and bold physical presence don't directly jibe with your inner longings for lacy frills and ruffly flounces or your girlhood dreams of growing up to be a fairy-tale princess!
Underneath these surface reactions is something far more deep-rooted. Our society or upbringing has taught most of us that we are not enough, that whatever we are needs to be changed or altered, and that if we coudl only alter this or that about ourselves, we would be more acceptable.
Now this isn't a "pop psychology" book of easy answers to complex problems of identity and self-worth. But there is no other way to convince you to accept the fact that you were created perfectly-- exactly the way you were meant to be, and don't need to "change" or "correct" anything about yourself-- without at least touching upon some of the more common difficulties.
The irony of the statement "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" has certainly been my observation of the way a great number of women view themselves physically. Tall women long to be small and delicate; petites would give their eyeteeth for several extra inches of height! Women who are exotically angular would give anything to be "soft", while voluptuously curvy types will starve themselves to the point of anorexia in pursuit of a "willowy" figure and "cheekbones"!
As I've said, there's more to this than meets the eye, and I don't want to dismiss what seems at first to be simply "physical discontent" as something superficial. I've seen too many women become extremely emotional, and held to many hands while my clients have undergone dramatic physical changes to undercut the importance of looking beneath the surface to the area of self-dissatisfaction.
Therefore in this chapter, I'll go through a few of the more common examples of resistance to embracing one's physical self. While there are undoubtedly more examples possible, there are the themes that come up over and over again. I'll simply try to shed enough light to encourage you to look deeper into the roots of the particular resistance you may find yourself experiencing. Please take time to explore it thoroughly so that you can overcome it and open yourself to a deeper self-acceptance, so that you can embrace with joy all that you are![/quote]
Here are some of the "common questions" and answers:
Q: What if i look too masculine?
A: Nearly every bold Yang woman seems to have a "thing" about softness and femininity. (This includes Dramatics, Naturals, Flamboyant Naturals, Dramatic Classics, Gamines, and Flamboyant Gamines.) One of the basic reactions is the fear that the open expression of the dominant Yang side will lead to a loss of femininity, sensuality, and allure! It doesn't matter when I point out that some of our most alluring and glamorous celebrities come from the Yang-dominant side. There is still a deep-seated fear of the loss of feminine identity that has to be confronted and reckoned with when you find yourself frightened by the power or strength of your Image Identity. The simple truth of the situation is: your strength and power are extremely feminine and terribly exciting! You must always remember that the specific type of femininity Nature blessed you with isn't fluttery or soft-- it's sultry and sophisticated!
Q: But I'm frightened to cut my long hair! Won't I look too boyish if I give up my perm?
A: It is quite common to see strong Yangs trying to hide the prominent bone structure of their faces behind hair that is simply too long for their majestic features. Even if the hair is very straggly-looking, it is frequently next to impossible to get such a lady to stop perming, curling, and setting her hair in an effort to make herself look "soft". However, you must remember that your hair needs to be connected to your "total look". The combination of sculpted hair, architecturally shaped clothing, geometric accessories, and smoky, chiseled makeup is definitely not boyish! On the contrary, long, shapeless hair or a messy perm will make you appear far plainer and therefore much less feminine than you truly are!
Q: I'm afraid of looking hard! Won't my makeup and haircolor look too harsh? Isn't my nose going to seem enormous?
A: If your nose seems prominent, it's probably because you're focusing on it as a separate piece totally unrelated to the rest of your face. In actuality, not only is your nose in perfect proportion to the rest of your facial structure and body type, but it also provides the slightly exotic touch that is the hallmark of your particular beauty.
Therefore, a strong makeup, one that emphasizes the beautifully sculpted contours of your face by using deeper, smoky colors that are applied in a crisp and more angular fashion, is going to provide an elegant finish to your sultry appeal.
The worst thing you can do is to try "soften" your features by using smudgy pastels blended in soft, circular shapes. Not only does this clash with your hair and clothing, it waters down the power of your strong charisma and leaves your features looking extremely out of balance. I realize it's ironic, but "softening" is the technique that is guaranteed to make your nose look ungainly, oversized, and awkward!
Haircolor is the same story, my friend! An intense or vivid haircolor is in keeping with your exotic, sensual look. An overly pale or highlighted haircolor will simply fade you into oblivion!
Don't be willing to sell your soul in pursuit of "softness". On you it only equates with washed-out dull and extremely wish-washy. Your version of softness comes through your smoky, sultry glamour. Your utterly sophisticated confidence, your strength and your power are the most exciting attributes you possess!
Q: Won't I look too sexy? How will anyone ever take me seriously?
A: Women with an extreme Yin influence (which includes all the Romantics, Soft Dramatics, Soft Gamines, and, to a lesser extent, Soft Naturals and Soft Classics) have a different set of fears that nearly always come up, although usually unconsciously. These Yin-influenced typs are nearly always uncomfortable at first with the idea of showing the extremely soft, extremely vulnerable, and extremely sensual side of their personalities.
the most common reason for this has to do with an awareness of sensuality and all the complex feelings it brings up. Frequently, there are early negative associations here (if the extreme Yang was the tallest girl early on, the extreme Yin was quite possibly the first to develop breasts and hips). An adolescent's connection to her mother's sense of herself in this area is also something that becomes integrated into a woman's attitude toward her sexuality. I have often found what I call a "closet Romantic"-- that is, someone who's having a hard time dealing with the fact that she is so specifically beautiful in the traditional female way-- is nearly always wondering what her mother will think of her dressed in clingy clothes with so much makeup slathered on! (No matter that the clothes are very elegant and the makeup is not at all painted, merely shimmering in the most soft and lovely fashion-- we're speaking of irrational fears here, the kind that stop you from realizing your potential.)
Q: I'm curvy enough without flaunting it!
A: The Yin lady frequently hides herself in shapeless clothes sp not a hint of figure is ever seen, or she tailors herself within an inch of her life in order to appear elegant and understated. Of course, the truth is that the former only makes her appear very dumpy and matronly, while the latter only succeeds in appearing exceedingly stark and spinsterish. But again, whatever the rationale, the goal here is hiding the femininity at all costs.
Rather than "flaunting" yourself, think instead of merely gracefully accentuating your softness! This will lead you to a far more positive method of self-expression, always more effective than the negativity of repression!
Q. I'm really afraid of being dull and boring!
A. The last category of resistance comes in the area of Classics (although Naturals sometimes feel a kinship here, as well). Because Classics are so symmetrical, so even-tempered, and so practical by nature, they sometimes feel taken for granted. It's easy to see how this happens if you remember that Classic is nearly everyone else's ideal of beauty.
Since nearly everyone else envies the Classic's elegance and calm reserve, it's hard for anyone to ever think they might have problems, fears, and the insecurities other people have. Also, they always seem to be in command so much of the time that they can begin to feel ignored, as if no one relates to them on a human level. When a Classic has a deep-seated feeling of neglect (usually tracing back to a childhood that perhaps contained a lot of isolation because of her appearance of extreme capability), she can develop an extremely rigid mode of existence that can seem quite self-righteous and overbearing. There can be a feeling of superiority about a Classic that manifests itself in a bit of a snobbish attitude. If you can resist the temptation to overdo, you'll slowly begin to realize that you are enough just the way you are! Overstating yourself in your appearance is tantamount to "gilding the lily" in your case. Simplicity and moderation will go much farther in expressing your innate refinement and elegant sophistication.