For some reason, I always wanted to be one of the guys. I don’t know why, I mean, I loved pink, flowers, all things that sparkle, ballet, and tulle; yet for some reason I always wanted to be one of the guys. It never appealed to me to be part of one of those girl groups. Maybe I had seen one too many Mean Girls-esque movies as a kid and decided that it would be easier to befriend guys. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I always had more guy friends than girl friends. “Girly” was a derogatory term. Until I went to college…
In college I lived in an all girls dorm. It was the dorm that was lovingly known as The Nunnery and/or The Ditz Dorm. It was the living embodiment of my worst nightmares. I wanted to be one of the guys! Then, suddenly, my sister talked me into buying a pink satin skirt with embroidered flowers on it.
I thought it was beautiful and I wanted it so badly but I hadn’t had a skirt on my ass for years. I didn’t do skirts. It was so lovely, though.
Shortly after that I met Sugar Muffin and her roommates. They were totally girly and it was amazing. We read Jane Eyre and The Blue Castle together out loud and sighed without shame at all the endearing moments. It felt… amazing.
The next year Sugar Muffin and I met three other girls who would become our other best friends. Each and every one of them was a total badass but in a totally girly way. They pulled off wearing pink and sequins while still being sarcastic, intelligent, and… well… a little badass.
They’re still my best friends.
We did the most girly, silly, and fun things together and Skanky Tuesday was born. Suddenly “girly” was no longer condescending but freeing. I was free to be feminine and I embraced it. My skirt selection multiplied.
In October of this year, I met The Boy and he adored this combination of girly and kind of badass. I loved that he felt that way. I felt free to be myself. Then he disappeared and I met someone else. He was more of a man than I had ever been romantically involved with. I mean, he was the epitome of manly. He too liked the oh so feminine things about me.
Yet, things fell apart and then I fell apart. I started trying to be what I thought would gain others approval and at the time, “girly” didn’t fit into what I imagined that picture to be. I tried to be one of the guys again.
I suppose my thought process was that if I couldn’t be the object of his affection, I still wanted to be his friend. The problem with that was that he was so damn masculine. I didn’t think that he would want to be friends with someone so… not.
So I started to change myself again. I stayed away from the pinks in my wardrobe, opting for the darker colors instead, stopped wearing my pretty headbands, shirked jewelry, and tried to bring back that little tomboy I once was.
Then he stopped coming around. I was still lost.
In February, I escaped the destructive cycle when people who cared about me finally called me out on my behavior. After a lot of introspection and talking things out with a few friends, I eventually felt okay again. I felt like I had regained my sense of self. On the Saturday before Valentine’s Day I even had a fake date with a friend and got all gussied up. It felt so good to be in a dress again.
That night, he came back. Things were different; like they used to be, and he kept coming back.
Then I started to worry. As I was furnishing my apartment I kept wondering if it was too girly, if he would want to be here when it was definitely a girls apartment. Instead of the pink bedding I wanted, I went with a red Indian inspired one. Instead of putting up my favorite and very girly art, I left it in a pile in my closet.
One night as I was listening to Telephone it started to hit me, the parts of me that were missing, the fun parts. Later that week I was walking home listening to The Fame album and it struck me.
I am that girly.
I was worried about him thinking I was that girly, but I am that girly.
My next thought, in my exact words was, “If he doesn’t like it, he can go fuck himself.”
That’s the badass part of me, I guess.
So, I went home, took off my sheets and my bedding, exchanged it, put up my art, and put on a headband and pearls. Suddenly, my apartment became my home and the girl in the mirror became Kendra.
This is how I express my femininity. There are other ways, you don’t have to wear pink and sequins but I do.
And what about the one who came back? I had forgotten that he liked the headbands, sequined tank tops, cardigans, and sparkly shoes. I had forgotten that we don’t have to be the same. He can be a man, let me be a woman.
But still, if he doesn’t like it, he can go fuck himself. That stands true for everyone. And, of course my ladylike tendencies have their limitations… especially when it comes to swearing.
I faught with this for a long time. I thought if I was who I wanted to be (heterosexual grown up tomboy) then no guy would ever be interested. I was miserable trying to choose between being who I knew I was and who guys would like. Turns out, the guy of my dreams loved exactly who I was. After we had been dating awhile, I found myself being more girly. Not overly so, but at a level that I really enjoyed and was comfortable in.
You be exactly who you are. Sooo freaking cliche but just as true.