hey, boy... why you didn't call me?
in some ways, i wish i could re-do being a teenage girl, because i SO would've dressed better.
at heart, i suppose i've always been a bit of a tomboy. i grew up without my mom and my sister always seemed really alien to me, wrapped up in her 90's teenage girl world. it intrigued and confused me, the way my sister applied makeup and fixed her hair. i had scraggley, out of control locks from the minute my bald head decided to start sprouting curls. basically, i suffered from dad hair for most of my life, which manifested itself in the form of a single ponytail slicked back with a scrunchie. classic.
i wasn't a hardcore tomboy, though. i connected with femininity. it was foreign, but it didn't disgust me... i just didn't know how to step through that veil into that... world. i thought girls were pretty. they had nice hair, and cute clothes, and always seemed to know exactly what the "cool" thing was. my older sister was a fascination of mine. i would steal her clothes, play dress up, and try on her makeup, which drove her insane, but i never felt confident enough to ask for help. like, haha, for example... i asked her about her period once and she scrunched her pretty nose at me, "ew! don't ever talk to me about that again!" she huffed, before disappearing into the bathroom. i was like, 11, at the time, and she was 16. i didn't know what the big deal was... i just wanted to know the age that she started because the health person at school said i would probably start around the same time as my mother but, since my mother wasn't around to ask i asked my older sister. my mistake. our relationship at the time was strained, to put it lightly. i mean, my sister was not ready to be my mother, answering mommy questions... she wanted to be my snotty older sister. and i get that, so i don't hold it against her, although, idk, i always connected really well with the characters in t.v. shows who have truly evil siblings. my sister was possibly one of the worst.
but w/e, that's ancient history. the point is, i was interested in being "pretty", but i didn't fucking know how to pull it off. i was lost and i was scared. girl clothes felt tight on me, they clung in all the wrong places and made me feel weird. when i got to middle school, people just thought i dressed weird. i didn't even have very many clothes, honestly, because my dad never wanted me to wear anything that i liked and i didn't even really know what i liked, anyway. and once i started knowing what i liked it was FAR too weird for my dad to spend money on, apparently... like, bright green converse. because... what could i possibly wear them with? um... idk dad? everything? literally everything. i ended up acquiring sequined green converse hightops from the goodwill that i strung ugly, neon orange laces through before proceeding to wear them with everything, literally everything. \m/ with bright purple tights and a polka dot knee length skirt, both either hand-me-downs or, tbh, stolen (although i'm not really proud of that fact now but it's the truth). shirts that show my boobs have never been particularly comfortable for me, at first because i didn't have ANY boobs (like, any), and then after because it felt weird TO have boobs. needless to say, i like t-shirts. fucking sue me, you know?
it took me years, fucking YEARS, to learn how to dress myself. i mean... obviously i could dress myself, but i never felt like "me". i was always too poor to buy clothes, too. 2008-2010 i was practically a professional couch surfer due to like... family shit, and mental health shit. as a matter of fact, both of the bras i own NOW are hand-me-downs from friends... friends that i'm not even friends with anymore. my bras have outlasted my friendships, essentially. and the kicker is... i still don't really feel comfortable buying clothes, like, the concept is so strange to me, in a way. i get overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at once. there are SO many choices but... i'm kinda unimpressed by most of it? kindof like when you have 584930580394 channels on t.v. but you can't find anything interesting enough to watch? i guess? that's how i feel about buying clothes.
but the point of this post that i'm trying to make is... i wish i had developed a sense of style earlier on in life, with more femininity. i was a terrible dresser for most of my adolescence (with a couple of rad outfits sprinkled here and there), and the whole being-bad-at-dressing-thing where i was uncomfortable with my clothes but unsure of how to change it was at least partially due to my fear? and confusion? of my own femininity. i didn't realize you could go kindof halfway and still pull it off. nowadays, i dress uber feminine a lot, with makeup and junk, and my hair "done" (i'm still terrible with makeup and hair, and i've never had a manicure, but i've come SO far in the grand scheme of things) but i still feel comfortable with myself. or sometimes, actually, i DO feel uncomfortable but i just power through it because yeah, obviously a tight dress isn't as comfy as a tshirt, but, like, tight dresses are awesome, anyway? i guess you learn from making bad fashion decisions (tell that to my myspace photos, mirite?), and practice makes perfect. so, yeah, i can dress up and be feminine but the majority of the time i still rock awesome outfits in jeans and tshirts and boots and stuff with messy ass hair and a scowl. i'm still me either way. and i wish 15 year old me could've known that. i also wish 15 year old me had an allowance. and 19 year old me... well, maybe 19 year old me could settle for, like, a job.
anyhow..., it boggles my mind, this epic fashion journey i've had. i mean, i make outfits a lot online and most of them are p elaborate but for like a year str8 i literally only had one pair of pants and two shirts so, it's just confusing at times, for me. obviously i had all the potential to be a fab dresser in the WORLD (obvs because i'm so gr8), so why did i have this crazy mental block over fashion and femininity for so long? maybe it was just the way i was brought up? i had no exposure to women, really, aside from my sister, who only allowed me to steal glances of her life through peeped fingers, so girls always simultaneously fascinated me, and scared me, like wild animals in zoos. interestingly enough a lot of my closest friendships throughout my life were with girls, really, super, girly-girl girls... although my two closest friends growing up were both tomboys themselves, and proud of it. it's funny how you determine that kindof crap as a kid. i felt like "tomboy" and "girlygirl" were both so definitive at the time, but obviously now i see that there is a beautiful spectrum and we were all girls, together, regardless of whether or not we liked to do makeup and hair or skateboard or roughhouse or whatever. my friends were girls who thought they were better than other girls because they weren't "GIRLY" girls, and being a tomboy made them feel superior in a way. i think it's possible that we were all just intimidated by femininity, or, societies feminine ideal. it's a lot to ask of a girl, you know, to suddenly hit puberty and know all of the right things to do or say to fit into that "GIRL" box. i didn't even have BOOBS yet, but if i wanted a boy to like me, i had to wear a dress? is that right, cosmogirl? or, like, shave or something? you know? it's so confusing growing up, and i never wanted to, so i wore highwaters and too-small clothes because they were familiar.
and that's a perfect example of how feminism has helped me so much. i always thought growing up that you had to be a type of girl, or a kind of girl. i felt like a "kinda" girl for awhile, somewhere in the middle between a boy and girl, all because i didn't know how to be "pretty". i realize now that just by being myself i am a girl. not a tomboy or a girlygirl... but a woman. and i don't have to fit myself into that box if i don't want to, fuck that stupid box. i'll wear what feels comfy. i determine what i look like and it's so powerful, and liberating, knowing that i'm not crazy, that everything i've been taught about gender growing up is actually the crazy shit. i guess... if 15 year old me had known about feminism, she could've been a better dresser. right? and a better person. but i digress. this has been a super long winded post about how i feel justified still dressing like a tween girl even tho i'm grown. I NEVER GOT TO DRESS LIKE A TWEEN GIRL (when i was a tween girl, at least!) i skipped that. i was the awkward one hiding in a giant, bright orange pullover sweater that was 6 sizes too big for me, chewing on my hands. the whole" teen girl" aesthetic probably appeals to me so much because it's everything that i wanted to achieve as a young, lost tomboy, but couldn't. i envy well-dressed teenagers now, but it also makes me happy. still, i wish i could re-do it sometimes, and be the coolest teen EVER.
oh well. i guess i'll just have to settle for being the coolest 24 year old ever still playing dress up ; ) i have more money now, and i can drink legally, so i suppose it all evens out in the end.