As I began to get ready today I had a two-second moment of panic. I could not find my Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer. After the brief moment where my heart stopped, I found it under my boyfriend’s hat. I laughed at myself for getting to momentarily worried over primer. Who knows what would happen if I misplaced my foundation. I smirked a bit to myself and mentally called myself “such a girl” as if that was a bad thing.
I have been super girly all of my life. I only wanted to wear dresses when i was younger and my favourite colour has always been pink (except for grade 3 I think when all I wanted to wear was turquoise, weird year for me.) I get distracted when I see anything glittery, my nails are always done, and I’ve amassed a sizeable make-up collection. As I write this, I am wearing pink polkadot socks with cats on them. For some bizarre reason though, I feel slightly ashamed of my glaring female-ness. As if somehow there is something wrong with being a girly girl.
Why is this?
I think part of it has to do with identifying as a feminist. I have read countless posts on various fairly feminist websites (xojane, bitchtopia etc.) about the inner struggle women have around wearing make-up whilst being a feminist. It is generally accepted that women’s beauty has been a tool for the repression of women in our society. For anyone who is familiar with The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (if you aren’t familiar, go read it NOW), she explains this concept quite convincingly. For me to wear make-up and behave according to the societal norm for women’s look, it feels like I’m being complacent with the “beauty myth” (go read the book.)
Another reason I struggle with being a girly girl is because I am told (by society and by peers) that I am too girly. Funny enough, girls who dress more like tomboys are told that they are not girly enough. What is the perfect level of girly-ness? I think I am right in ascertaining that there isn’t one. No matter what, I will be told I am too this or too that. While I am incredibly girly, I will always be told I am too girly. Welcome to being part of the female gender.
One of the biggest issues I encounter with being more “feminine” (wtf is femininity supposed to look like anyways?) is that people assume I’m less intelligent. Yes I carry a huge purse to school instead of a backpack, and yes my pencil case is pink, no I am not dumb. I do really well in school, I excel at writing essays, and I read historical non-fiction for fun. I will debate with anyone about anything and usually I win using logic, relentlessness, and an aptitude for sounding convincing coupled with whatever information on the subject I have access to. Sadly, people often exclaim they are surprised I am so smart or knowledgeable or whatever.
Join me soon (sorry for sounding like a talk show host) for my next post in this series on sexual assault.