I have never been a girly girl, much to my mother’s chagrin. She tried to dress me in pink and lace and all things quintessentially girly when I was a child, and she succeeded for five years, until the year at Easter I had picked out a very frilly dress. I vaguely remember it–it was white and pink and had a lacy skirt. I imagine I tried it on and twirled around and around, loving the way the skirt flared out as I did so.
But when it came time to actually wear the thing, I refused. Thus was my decline. I also remember opting to dress like my 12-year-old brother. It was the late 80s, so think Miami Vice-style dress. There’s a picture of me wearing white shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt. I wanted to be like Nathan and dress like him. Heck, I just wanted his attention. It’s hard having a sibling that’s 7 years older than you are. All you want them to do is pay attention to you and all they want you to do is go away. This will pave the path for why I seek male friendships as compared to female and why I also prefer dating older men, but that’s a whole bottle of crazy that I don’t want to tap into.
I’ve struggled with my femininity or lack thereof for the last year or so, I guess, if I were to really sit and think about it. Again, I’ve never been super girly, meaning, well, I don’t know what I mean, really. I prefer jeans and sneakers and t-shirts to making much of a style effort. I’ll wear dresses and skirts and like doing so, but I also have (gasp) body issues that makes me feel self-conscious wearing such things. Plus, I’m lazy and wearing these things means shaving my legs and even after almost 20 years of doing so, I still haven’t mastered the art of leg shaving. I also love doing my hair and makeup and painting my nails and wearing red lipstick and trying to dress as sexy as my body type allows. These things work to an extent, but I still feel something is amiss.
I’ve pinpointed two possible causes of my lack of feeling like a woman because when you’re unemployed for five months, you tend to find ways to entertain yourself when not job searching, and thinking about this kind of stuff is how I chose to fulfill my time.
The first reason is my body, namely my reproductive organ issues. My last annual exam and Pap smear two years ago identified problems, one being polycystic ovary syndrome. I’ve discussed this before in previous blogs, so to recap, my ovaries have cysts. This prevents proper hormone production. I don’t make enough progesterone and produce more testosterone than normal, which when you have little black hairs sprouting on your chin, it’s really difficult to feel like a pretty lady. Now you’re all going to look extra close at my chin when you see me. While you’re looking, help a girl out and pluck ’em for me. Don’t just stare at them, get rid of them!
Reason number two is, for me at least, it’s difficult to feel like a woman when you’re taller, larger gal, which sounds like some bullshit considering some of the most successful models in the world are my height–5’11” and plus-sized models (gag to that term. Gag gag gag gag gag) are a thing (oh, big wow. Size 10 is hardly “plus sized” fashion industry). I was watching clips from Seinfeld the other night because I’m cool like that, and came across the Man Hands episode. I looked down at my own hands and then immediately began googling “hand transplants.” The technology is there, I know it is!
So, add my uncooperative hormones with my body frame and height and weight and the fact I take poops in the morning bigger than some men I know, my warped sense of self is made more warped.
Maybe it’s a confidence issue. Maybe when I see perfect, petite, well-dressed, put-together women, it makes me realize I’ve worn the same jeans for the third day in a row and my hair is a knotted up mess on top of my head and my fingernail polish is 3/4 of the way chipped off and I spotted a black arm hair near the inside of my elbow and what?! I have three hairs on the top of my right foot?! and where the fuck is my razor and why can’t I just look how I think I should look, which isn’t what I look like now.
Okay, it’s definitely a confidence issue.
There are days when I feel fine about myself. I like what I see in the mirror. I like my thick, luxurious hair and how I chose a wonderfully complimentary shade of eye shadow to make my grey eyes pop and how my lips are not chapped for once and the bra I’m wearing is holding my breasts up nicely and they look good under this shirt which flatters my figure.
Then, there are days when I want to have a total freak out moment and smash the mirror because my hair is just a heavy, limp rag on my head–like, are you going to be straight today, hair, or do that weird be half wavy/half straight/half fuzzy bullcrap that I just loathe and I can’t seem to apply eye makeup to save my life and really, Erin, pink eye shadow and where did you even buy pink eye shadow and hey there, chapped lips way to be all chappy and I was too lazy to find and put on a bra, so my sassy tits are saggy under this t-shirt that I got for donating blood and while I’m proud to “be the type that gives,” perhaps I should give a little more of a care about myself and not look like this flaming mess of a woman. Oh, and hi there, chin hair, you cunt.
I wish I knew how to “fix” myself in this regard. I wish I had the fortitude to realize I’m okay as-is, that I’m me and that’s a good thing and I shouldn’t compare myself to people, but it’s hard to do. Maybe there are women out there that wish they looked like me…that’s laughable, but a possibility. I also wish I had health insurance so I could take care of my health issues because once I get these goddamned hormones ironed out, I’m sure I’ll feel a little better.
But until then, I’ll keep being me and keep realizing it’s fine to do so, chin hairs and all.
Well, maybe without the chin hairs.