I’ve never been a particularly girly girl, unless you count the fact that I would only wear dresses til the 2nd grade because I thought jeans were the worst thing ever (maybe this explains my current aversion to pants as an adult?). I love make up, I love having my hair done, I’d have a full set of nails all the time if the student loan debt wasn’t real…hey, maybe I’m girlier than I thought…but I’ve realized recently that I’ve embraced a lot of seemingly “masculine” hobbies and traits, and I’ve sure as shit noticed people treating me differently, or at least being a bit judgy.
Cursing Like a Sailor
This is certainly not a new occurrence, if you’ve been keeping up with my potty mouth. I like colorful language, what can I say? In all honesty, I can turn it on and off. I promise you that when I’m in a meeting with a student, I don’t look them dead in the eyes and say, “What the actual fuck were you thinking, you dumbass?” The thought’s crossed my mind, and I might vent in that way to my boss before or after, but I would never actually do that.
I’ve been told as my language got more and more colorful that it’s not ladylike or classy. How? How so? Because I talk like a man? Why can only a man talk that way? I call complete and utter bullshit. The social constructs that say men can talk however they want and women need to be prim and proper can kiss my ass. Now, if foul language isn’t your thing, cool. No judgment here, and if you want, I’ll try to clean it up around you, but the words coming out of my mouth aren’t a measure of my girliness, I promise.
This is the big one, if you ask me. I’m up to 7 tattoos; 5 small, and 2 quite large. The tattoos on my feet? “OHMYGOSH THOSE ARE SO CUUUUUTE!” The small one on my right thigh? “OOOO IT’S SO PRETTY!” The big piece on my left thigh/hip/butt cheek? “IT’S SO BADASS! AND LOOK AT ALL THOSE COLORS AND DETAIL!” The arrow on my right wrist? “AWWW I LOVE THOSE COLORS!” The family crest on my right forearm? “Oh…that’s big.”
Don’t get me wrong, most people have expressed abject praise over my family crest. It’s easily the most meaningful tattoo I have, and the artwork is impeccable. Not to mention, how are you gonna talk shit about the crest of someone’s family? That hasn’t stopped some real side-eye glances over it’s size, colors, size, placement, size…you get the idea.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pee a little when I saw how big it was going to be in that location, but it was the place that made the most sense. Why those side-eyes have decided that all of sudden, 7 tattoos later, this is some kind of blasphemous shot at my femininity is beyond me. In the same breath, I’ve been accused on being a lesbian because of this tattoo placement, as if 1) Being a lesbian is some kind of bad thing and 2) Like a tattoo placement will tell you who I’m attracted to. Bye, y’all. Miss me with this nonsense.
StrongMAN. I could probably leave it there. Nah nah, I’ll save the feminist rhetoric about the gendering of words for another day. Really though, I’ve chosen a sport that started and often still revolves around men. Now, that isn’t to say that women aren’t on the up and up in this sport and that the federations aren’t supporting us. Shit, Strongman Corporation’s CEO and President is female, and United States Strongman hosts Pro Women’s Worlds and has been steadily increasing their female representation in recent years. Even still, more often than not when I tell someone what I do, there’s a moment or “…but you’re a girl…” whether they say it out loud or the look on their face says it.
Until you’ve been in a gym or a competition surrounded by women who are trying their damnedest to beat you while simultaneously cheering you on, you won’t get it. I think it was Girls Who Powerlift that started the #WeDontOweAnyonePretty movement on IG, and it was super powerful in breaking this idea that we have to look a certain way to be seen as womanly. I love when I see a woman competing with a full face of makeup; props to you, sister! My makeup doesn’t look that nice on a date night, much less when I’m pulling a U-Haul, but you look damn good! It’s just as much an expression of womanhood for her to do this in full makeup as it is for me to just do it.
The most recent personal attack on my own femininity…or whatever lol. If you haven’t seen, I shaved the entire under side of my head. I’ve gotten lots and lots and lots of questions about why. Well, first and foremost, I have a shitload of hair. An actual shitload. Taking out the under layer has made the mop much more manageable. Second, I was bored, and if you’ve known me for…I don’t know…more than a year, you’ll know that my boredom gets taken out on my hair more often than not. Third, and most importantly, because I wanted to. I love the look of an undercut, and I got daring enough to do it one day. It’s that simple.
Like I said above, I’ll try to save most of the feminist rhetoric for a different post, but I think it’s important to acknowledge who and what tells us what it means to be masculine or feminine. Like why do these four things somehow equate to me being manly? Or lacking femininity? Who gets to decide that?
I don’t give a shit who, howboutdah? LMAO but really, I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin in the last 8 months than I ever have been in my entire life. One of my friends from high school told me a few weeks ago after I cut my hair, “I feel like you’re totally finding yourself!” and she’s so right. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the perception that I’m not feminine enough stop me. I’m happy to be femininely masculine or masculinely feminine or whatever you want to call it. So who’s with me?
Til next time,