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There's A Very Distinct Line Between Being 'Ladylike' And Being A Woman

Now you get to share this with everyone who ever said, "You're not being ladylike" throughout your life.

A LOT of ladylike things were only RECENTLY INVENTED.

Here's a list to get us started...


THE HISTORY OF "LADYLIKE" STUFF

1. MAKEUP AND NAIL POLISH

Have you heard of "kohl"? It's an ancient *eyeliner* that's been used *mostly* by women but also by men and children for thousands of years. But more significantly, this means that makeup is ... THOUSANDS of years old. The term "lady" isn't even 1,000 years old (see #4). Yeah that's right, eyeliner predates ladylike-ness. So wear it, don't wear it ... it says literally nothing about you as a person.

Is this Jack Sparrow wax figure "ladylike" or not because it rocks a kohl eyeliner? Does it matter?*

*It doesn't.

2. DRESSES

As "Stuff Mom Never Told You" reminds us, before pants came into play (and they only really came into play because men needed to ride horses to go fight wars and stuff), loincloths, tunics, togas, and kilts were cool by dudes. Occasionally, dress-y things are still cool by dudes today.

"Looking 'ladylike,' Mr. Sean Connery!" — Something no one has said ever.

3. HEELS

High heels originally started as a dude thing anyway. Yep. According to Slate, "High-heeled shoes were originally worn by men. As early as the 10th century, many horseback-riding cultures wore heels on their boots and on their shoes, because heels help you stay in the stirrups (which is why cowboy boots have heels)."

"The Vision of Saint Eustace" by Pisanello, 1438-1442, rocking a hunting man-stiletto.



4. THE VERY "CONCEPT" OF LADYLIKE

The word ladylike is from the 1580s, when the life expectancy of a woman, according to Wikipedia, was about ... 25-40. I'm not feeling like I wanna relive those days, do you?

So don't sweat it!

AND REMEMBER:

And on the flipside, *being* "ladylike" doesn't mean you're not a man!

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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