Me, My Gender, and I

I could never call myself ‘girly.’ In truth I probably never could again, seeing as the description seems to be falling out of style—along with most gender ‘subtitles’ that have become somewhat suffocating over the years. In the same vein, I can’t call myself a ‘tomboy’ either. Honestly, I’ve never been too sure where I fell in the spectrum of my gender—and that’s likely because I’ve never really given too much thought to my gender in general. As I’ve grown older, the importance and significance of my being a female in line with the problems and dangers that come with it has become more apparent. With that, it has become more apparent just how little I’ve actually worn my gender.

I find that I baffle my mother, a woman prone to learning how to pretty herself in her free time when she was younger. I’m not one for primping or playing with makeup, spending any longer looking at myself in the mirror than I absolutely have to. I’m not dressed to the nines at all times. I’m lucky to reach the fours or the fives at any given moment. It’s never really been something I enjoyed—dolling myself up. I’d be hard-pressed not to call it a flaw of mine, really. Sure, I know when to dress up. I’ve been told I clean up rather nice when the occasion calls for it. But otherwise, it’s an expenditure of time and energy that could be spent on other, no doubt less important things.

Beauty is something of an art and a science. There’s something mesmerizing and intimidating in watching someone put on foundation ‘the right way’ as opposed to my haphazard slathering to quickly conceal minor unpleasantries. There’s no outlining involved in my eyeliner, I messily sketch along the lid in thick strokes and stop only when the visual distance between myself and a raccoon has been thoroughly closed. Even so, my usage of cosmetics seems to have dwindled ever further as I’ve gotten older—with the exclusion of my work and meeting visage.

I haven’t much been one for choosing clothes, either. Certainly I have my preferences—mostly black, as it doesn’t take much doing to get black to match with other colors. I’m not a fan of frilly and am impartial to polka dots or plaid. I do enjoy dresses, but in the simplest sense—nothing very showy. I’ve always found the process of shopping draining— pick it out, does it fit, no, put it back, try again, why is the belt purple—and for the effort of the few hours my spoils are two shirts and a pair of pants. I can’t even begin to discuss my hatred for shoe shopping. There aren’t enough words in the allotted count for this piece.

Even then, though, I supposed I can’t say I’m completely averse to all general ‘staples’ of my gender. I carry a purse. I like hot pink. Kittens make me cry. Romcoms aren’t my shtick but if he gets the girl, of course I’ll smile. There’s a certain kind of expectation that comes when one thinks of a woman, and I’d like to think I meet maybe half of them, not that gender necessarily should be generalized.

I’ve no really aversion to more ‘girly’ values, they just simply aren’t my foundation.