Fat and Not Afraid

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The Practical Tomboy

November 15, 2012
Despite identifying as a tomboy since I was a kid I've found in the last few years I've been evolving towards a softer, more feminine style. I have mixed feelings about this. The strong messages in feminism that I don't need to dress up for anyone, that my body is not on display or public property, are pretty well ingrained, not to mention true. I *don't* have to dress up. My body is NOT public property to be commented on, or worse, touched, without my invitation. No woman should feel like she needs to wear make up, get plastic surgery or breast implants, go on diets or have weight loss surgery.

However, I understand that the counter messages we recieve are much more prevalent and therefore stronger. The ads are everywhere telling us to brighten our lips and teeth, smooth and colour our hair, slim and tone our bodies, flatter our shapes with certain colours, styles and makes of clothing. We hear from our parents and friends from early on that girls are pretty or beautiful (I find myself even saying to Katherine already "Hi pretty girl!" or "Who's a beautiful girl?" I'm pretty sure I didn't say that to Gabriel.) and we see what's beautiful according to the media. People who are *not* up to society's fucked up standards are horribly pressured to change, and even those who are seen as beautiful are still air-brushed and photoshopped to become impossibly beautiful.

So there are the mixed feelings; by dressing more feminine, according to current standards, am I caving to societal pressure? Or am I just broadening my horizons? One cannot wear jeans every day, especially when you've only got 2 pair. One cannot wear t shirts every day, especially in a climate where it hovers around freezing for days at a time. One cannot wear running shoes to every event or venue (like work) because they're not appropriate. Also, runners don't work with most of my skirts.

A part of me longs for dressy clothes and places to wear them, but the sad fact is being on maternity leave means no dressing up for work, and with less income, even fewer instances of going out for fun where I might get to put on something nice. And shoes-I secretly love shoes despite always buying runners or sandals when needed. Partially it's because I'm a bit too practical; where on earth would I wear something like this? Not to work even, they're not safe to wear on the dock. But I love them. I think they're gorgeous. Part of the practicality is also knowing most of the modern world over indulges in these things, how badly we over consume on the planets resources. If everyone on Earth ate, dressed and lived like we did, we'd need four Earths, but we've only got one. While right now I do need some new clothes because a bunch of my old stuff doesnt' fit, I dont' need fancy new things 'just because'.

I'm thinking the new clothes will come from thrift shops and I'll pick up whatever strikes my fancy, society's opinions be damned. Tomboy or femme, I've got to be me, right? And me is definitely somewhere in the middle now, with days where I lean a little more towards one or the other. What's the 'girliest' thing you own? The least? I want to hear from you!

I have feminine clothing, goth black clothing, comfortable clothing and masculine (the most comfortable) clothing, I need clothes I like and clothes I can use easily because of my disabilities. I like using different styles. I like using make up when I can and not using to be comfortable is nice too.

I don't think someone needs to be only tomboy or femme, they are not opposites, you can be both, it can be even more fun to be both. :)

The "girliest" thing I have are my pink skarves and shawls.

I hate society and feminism opinions about being feminine or dressing in a way considered feminine. It's strange how mainstream feminism is sexist about the feminine and being femme, the right message is there, we don't need to look a certain way or please others, we don't have to be beautiful or change our bodies, but today feminism can see feminine qualities as weaker, sexist, against feminist ideals.
I like being feminine, I identify as femme in a political way because is seen as weaker than being masculine and always about pleasing men when it's not, I don't even like men. It's also different to be disabled and femme, I need to make my cane look girly and awesome but no one thinks of it like that.
People should look like they want to look. No one needs to do anything, dress in any way, no one is public property for others to look at.

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