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On being a girl…

February 6, 2012

As a little girl, I was kicked out of ballet class for being too disruptive and talking too much. I soon ditched my pink tutu for a different kind of leotard and spent the rest of my childhood flipping backwards and doing dozens of chin-up drills in gymnastics. I didn’t see the movie Sleeping Beauty until I was twenty-two years old, however, I’d seen all Star Wars and Indiana Jones films before I was eight. I didn’t know how to use a curling iron or eyelash curler until I went to college (to be honest, I still don’t own or operate the former).

I’ve never been good at being a girl. This is somewhat embarrassing and almost comes off like I’m somehow snubbing my own gender, but that is not what I intend to do. In college, I tried to explain this to a male friend and mistakenly said, “I’m a bad girl”, which created a slight misunderstanding that hopefully was dispelled quickly through mumbling apologies and claiming poor speech patterns.

So what does all this mean as I approach my late-twenties (oh, no…when did that happen?)? I’ve always been a little bit too proud to own up to my “girly-ness” being so surrounded by strong role models has made this all the more difficult. My very independent, tough, motivated, practical mother, and my similarly so father, and then my two, very athletic, masculine younger brothers were my behavioral guides, but now I find myself wanting to, well, enjoy being a girl. I like nail polish, I like high heels, and I definitely liked The Notebook, isn’t that what being a girl is all about? How do I embrace this identity without losing my quirk and disdain for all things pink*?

What does it mean to be a woman in 2012? Why would I want to let go of so many amazing, enticing qualities? Buying an apron for myself doesn’t have to be a sign of male dominance, we’ve moved past that. I can enjoy baking cookies without rolling my eyes and I should be okay with wanting to appear feminine. To be feminine does not mean losing one’s “edge” or identity, not that anyone has ever told me that it did, but somewhere along the way I came to believe this without even admitting it to myself. I used to think that burping loudly and in public was a way of asserting myself as unconventional and maybe even, ugh, “cool”. Now I see that it is actually just disgusting. I don’t want to hear anyone’s burps, man or woman; bad manners are just bad manners, not an identity.

So, I’ve decided to let go of my need to appear a certain way to the outside world. A bit of ego needs to be thrown out the window here. I’m not the coolest girl on the planet, and I never will be, and I’m okay with that, because it means absolutely nothing. All of the women whom I look up to have embraced their feminine side, without letting go of their snark, their brains, or their Han Solo in carbonite ice tray**. So I am going to talk about how hot I am for Ryan Gosling, even if everyone else is, I’m going to ask you if you want to go get a pedicure with me, and I’m going to buy a curling iron. Just don’t ask me to un-ironically read US Weekly or wear my five-inch heels in Ikea, a girl must draw the line somewhere.

*Okay, I don’t really hate pink. I have pink jeans.

**I can only assume that Mindy Kaling has dorky ice cubes, too.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2012 7:17 AM

    I hear ya. I have an eyelash curler but I never use it…it scares me.

  2. February 8, 2012 12:48 AM

    Fuck eyelash curlers. Once I ripped all of my lashes back. Try coming back from that. It’s tough.

  3. February 8, 2012 12:01 PM

    Ah! You ripped your lashes!?? No fun. No fun. I keep it around to scare men, they’re completely freaked out by a metal apparatus near your eyes. It’s hilarious.

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