This thesis explores modern concepts of femininity and feminine identity, as explored through a series of creative nonfiction essays that reflect on my own experiences as a young woman. Every essay contains a braid of perspectives and stories, with the following three braids present in each: personal narrative, (feminist) theory, and biological content. The narrative serves to provide a tangible representation of the essay’s themes, including motherhood, physical embodiment, sexual pleasure, and more. These themes are reinforced through a conversation with feminist theorists, such as bell hooks and Judith Butler, who provide greater context and applicability to these discussions since my own reflections cannot encompass the whole of feminine experience. And the final biology strand either contributes non-human metaphors to which we can compare our human decisions, or it provides information on the physiological manifestations of femininity and womanhood, which are not limited to a cisgender or binary understanding of biological sex and gender.
Through this project, I hope to emphasize that “femininity” must be defined personally, as it differs for each person who identifies with it. We understand it differently, we feel it differently in our bodies and minds, and we express it differently as a result of our unique experiences and intersecting identities.