A term that gay men used in the late 1990s and early 2000s to describe absolutely everything that was of “exceptional quality”.”How was that circuit party? Oh my god, it was fierce.”
being bold, displaying chutzpah, especially relating to fashion, clothes, hair or makeup. “Girl, work those heels! fierce!”
the combination of a positive mental spirit, bold words and unapologetic actions used collectively.
Is difficult sometimes to assess how the others will perceive us if we are more fierce or stubborn in our convictions or defending what’s right and what kind of sassiness they are willing to handle and tolerate. It can make us wonder what kind of fierce is the right one and if we should adapt depending on which country and with what kind of people we are with.
Sometimes being fierce, standing up for your beliefs or argue passionately a certain topic can be taken into being bossy, rude, have a temper that we shouldn’t loose or simply that we don’t know our place and get taken for being arrogant. For a woman in all aspects of her life, from private to work, she is expected to behave more candidly, sweeter, helpless and more lady-like.
If that woman is black is then a whole different story. She is taken as an angry black woman. The sassiness disappears from mostly non-black people’s perception and goes straight to rude and that’s how black people behave, instead of considering cultural factors, nationalities, personalities, different childhoods, heartbreaks, hardships or even astrological signs, like any other woman…
The perception of how fiercely somebody behaves is going to depend largely on cultural factors. Being latino or Mediterranean and being British for example you will have different ways to express yourself, different ways gesticulate and argue what we are feeling and also different levels of being loud and bold might be more common and acceptable than for example latin Mediterranean countries.
Being Portuguese I express myself differently, I speak louder, when I argue I am more passionate, more direct, while a British person might be more reserved, with a lower voice, less intense, fewer gestures that help convey a message and can they be more passive aggressive.
Just because someone is being passive aggressive it does not mean that they are less aggressive or fierce than the girl talking louder and gesticulating too much. Is just another type of aggression, a more quiet and calculated one, sometimes even more deadly because it plays with people’s mind more
Taking away the cultural and other factors what are the defining factors that make someone fierce?
- Being unapologetically your true self. First and foremost is being comfortable with who you are with your identity, your sexuality, your style, your hair your relationships
- Being kind to yourself and to others. A true acceptance in loving yourself and others by who they are is essential to being fierce. Loving yourself and fighting inner battles and failures, sometimes takes more work and strength than anything you could ever do
- Being assertive I struggle with this sometimes, not speaking up more when I should, for fear at times of being labeled “an angry black woman”, even in relationships or work speaking up as articulate and with as much kindness as you possibly come up with is a must.
- Being fierce is not being aggressive. The two are not synonyms. Being fierce is simply saying you are not walking over me. NOT TODAY. That “you” being the patriarchy society, racism, sexism, stereotypes, relationships, family, work. If it is time to walk away from something or someone that is not making you happy, you are being fierce. If people at work underestimate you, take advantage of you or take credit of your work and you speak up. You are being fierce. “Girl, work those heels! fierce!”
- Following your dreams This is maybe the hardest thing to do. In the back your mind will always play the part of what’s the point? Why I am doing this for? I can’t do anything right. Following your dreams, even when you already failed 1000 times,it can be soul crushing. It is so hard to stay positive and stay focus and then having to rebuild your confidence again and do it all again. When this happens and I fail…hard…it hurts but I try to think of Denzel Washington whispering sweet things in my ear as my Hype man, saying: If you fall, Fall Forward