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Femininity in the land of Glass Ceilings
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Femininity in the land of Glass Ceilings

Here I share the vision of the figure of what ‘la bonne vivante’ has become for me. She is the lady I work on becoming every day…

“She is a driven, passionate intellectual who is not afraid to break glass ceilings
whilst embracing the small joys of day-to-day life.

La Bonne Vivante’ is a figure and a reminder to live your best life.”

Growing the Figure of La Bonne Vivante

As with many bloggers,‘La bonne vivante’ and I have grown together over a few years. What began as a simple idea has now become a reflection of my experiences and perspective of the world.​ In particular, I think my perspective of life has changed from the notion of ‘finding yourself’ to ‘becoming your best self’.

However the imaginative figure of La Bonne Vivante that I created has become something far more.

Femininity & being Career-focused

My younger self wondered whether femininity was at odds with being career driven.Hence the birth of my writing,  a welcome escape for my more feminine interests that were in no way a part of my ‘medical student’ hours.

Personally for me, there were two ‘versions’ you could encounter on any one day:

But are we encouraged to be our true selves in high flying careers?

Respected, Feminine Leadership

I remember sitting in the student chair in clinic with a notoriously difficult consultant (the kind that can make you want to cry  on interrogation), when a registrar came in just before the ophthalmology surgical list began.

She was stood in the usual blue-green scrubs, her hair tucked into a chignon in her surgical cap, with subtle blush tones on cheeks and a distinct pink lipstick. TWO things struck me in that one moment:

1) She was a female in a competitive surgical field at a respected level of training… She DID it & She was OWNING her field.

2) She was wearing makeup, actually feminine pink tones of makeup AND she was still respected

Later that week I sat in her clinic, listened as she carefully explained conditions to her patients and absorbed as much teaching as possible.  She was powerful,  respected and knowledgeable.  She was again distinctively feminine in how she presented herself. There was no need to compromise in her career or herself.

She wore the most gorgeous navy embroidered a-line skirt that flowed out to just below her knees, a tailored white blouse, black kitten heels and allowed her blonde hair to flow to her shoulders.  She was a remarkable doctor. She was also balancing being completely herself in the opportunities that allowed her to be beyond the obvious restrictions in surgery

It was only then that I realised quite the impact representation has.

We NEED feminine leadership

We NEED to be seen & heard, &

We WILL become it.

©Beyond the White Coat 2021
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