i have struggled with feeling feminine since i can remember. i grew up with an older brother and spend most of my childhood around his friends. i would ride bikes, roll around in the dirt, and chase them around the backyard with our laser tag sets. i loved being "one of the boys" because lets face it; guys are much easier to spend a lot of time with. they are simple and easy. the perfect recipe for a good time.
as i got older and into my teenage years it was always my best friend, her boyfriend, his friends, and me. we were always hanging out with the boys, playing mini golf, getting into some form of trouble, and driving around hitting trash cans in the wee hours of the morning. i think its then that i realized i had a struggle with feeling feminine. i had been so use to being around the guys and being "one of the guys" that i completed neglected all actions of being a girl. i farted around anyone (especially the guys during a game of doorknob), burped, laughed unnaturally loud, and made inappropriate comments all the time. i was obnoxious, in your face, and didn't show any signs of being "girly". not that there is nothing wrong by any means with being a tomboy but i realized that when the guys in the group i had feelings for didn't like me back it was because they thought of me as just one of the guys. i was put in the "friend zone". i had always prided myself on not being like other girls but in the attempts to be cool around the guys and fit in i denied myself the rights of being a girl. which i desperately wanted to be. and in all reality guys don't wanna date "one of the guys", they want a girl.
i have also struggled with feeling feminine because my association with what "feminine" truly means is horribly distorted. my best friend is well liked by the male sex. guys just like her. and who is to blame them?! shes cute, funny, smart, and feisty. shes also five foot nothing and weighs about 100 pounds. she is in all means of the word dainty and petite. and guys love that. on the other hand i am 5'7, definitely not 100 pounds, and very rarely, if ever get attention from guys. in my mind i thought in order to be considered a girl and be treated like one i had to look like her. dainty. petite. small. and lets be honest...those are things i could never be no matter how badly i wish that would change. because my genes are different and unfortunately even plastic surgery cant really change that.
i also realized that the two of us are treated differently because of our size differences. like when we would go on trips with our guy friends and we had to cross the river. they could simply just pick her up and carry her across. me? ha that's a different story. i would fumble across the rocks and end up with my feet soaking wet. i wasn't able to be carried across safely and dry because in all reality, they couldn't carry me. but in my mind i was telling myself that she is being treated like a lady because shes small and girly and i was treated like just another person on the street because i am big and not worthy of that treatment. for a long time i was truly jealous of my friend because i felt like she got the royal treatment everywhere we went because of how she looked. and in all reality, that's probably mostly true. but then i realized that being envious of her and letting that destroy my self esteem wasn't her fault and it wasn't getting anything accomplished.
to this day i still struggle with being feminine but in a totally different way.i abandoned my farting and dirty joke telling self years ago but i still do get treated different because of my size. now i try to not let that effect me as much. but i wont wear vans anymore because i feel like they make me look manly. i wont wear certain colors or styles of clothing because they accentuate my swimmer shoulders. i stopped wearing band tshirts or any tshirts for that matter because they weren't girly enough. i cant stand baggy pants because i have no butt and they make me look like an overweight thirteen year old boy. i have so many self proclaimed rules that i lead my life by that getting dressed is completely exhausting. i constantly think, "will this make me look pretty, feminine, and girly?" and i constantly compare myself to every girl i meet. its overwhelming and draining. but i feel like i have to work overtime to gain back those years i lost in the in between phases of my life.
then there's the hair. my latest struggle.up until two days ago i had been growing out my hair for the past two years. i had long, curly, chocolate brown hair and i loved it. its what i had always wanted. but i got to the point where i needed something new. i hang out with a huge group of boys so i decided to get their input. most of them ignored my question but a few were adamant about me NOT cutting my hair. they kept saying, "long hair is feminine and girly". which is great because hey look! i have long hair! so that should mean i am feminine and girly right? the exact confirmation i have been dying for for the past twenty two years of my life. i spent hours online before my hair appointment looking on discussion boards and yahoo answers to see if guys like longer or shorter hair more and about 99% of the answers came back long hair.i was in a dilemma because i wanted to cut my hair but i felt guilty that by cutting it i would be denying myself that feeling of femininity i have been so long dying to feel.
but as i was sitting in the chair at the salon i had a realization. even if i have hair down to the floor and its gorgeous and healthy and wonderful and everyone praises me for it that wont make me feminine. because being feminine comes from inside of us. from that fragile place in every girls heart that longs to be a princess rescued in her tower.
so, i chopped it off and dyed it a redpurplebrown color. my long, curly, chocolate brown hair is now gone. it wasn't a huge drastic moment but i took off a good seven or eight inches. even typing this now my hair just resting on my shoulders makes me feel a little anxious. i keeping thinking, "where is the rest of it? where is my hair!?" and to be honest, i mostly cut it BECAUSE i was told by so many not to do it. and surprisingly, i am happy with it! last night the boys i hang out with saw my hair and i was so nervous they were going to call me ugly or some awful name but funny enough they didn't even notice! i asked them what they thought and they said, "its not that short." one guy asked me, "why did you do that?" but other then that they didn't seem to notice.
how stupid can i be that i thought they would be effected by my hair cut. but i wore it confidently and proudly and that is the thing that guys notice.
and sure, rapunzel threw her hair down the castle wall for her prince to come save her and unfortunately i cannot do that now with my short, layered, brownishred hair.
but i guess that just means i might have to wait a little bit longer.
or he will have to find another way to come find me :)
my struggle with feeling feminine and beautiful is a long road that won't be ending soon. but i feel like making decisions for myself like i did with my hair are the stepping stones to loving the person that i am. i can't expect to be treated like a feminine lady by others if i cant even treat myself like i am one.