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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why Being Ladylike is Overrated.

Have you ever sat around your Christmas tree and marveled at the worst gift you could have ever received from your parents?  I know you've had at least one.  I mean, the gift was just so terrible that it broke your brain?  A gift more tragic than clothes? It was another end to a shitty adolescent year and we just finished suffering through our annual Christmas photo.  (My mom insists we take this photo and it's absolute torture.)  As we began unwrapping our gifts, I couldn't help but keep my expectations low (seeing as though I never got anything I wanted anyway.)  Tearing the wrapping paper to shreds, I uncovered my first Christmas gift of the new year...


"A Guide to Manners: Proper Etiquette for Young Ladies."
I was perplexed and extremely offended.  My face began to scrunch up like someone just let out a huge fart.  It ranked.  Immensely.  This wasn't a gift.  This was an insult disguised as a 'gift'.  A guide like this meant that I must have been embarrassing to be around.  And that my behavior wasn't ladylike. (Both are extremely true.)  Growing up, I certainly didn't fit into the criteria of a pageant girl-- 


Ladylike; appropriate for or typical of a well-bred, decorous woman or girl.
The Origin of the Tomboy dates back to the 1550's in England.  The term translates into a bold or immodest woman.  An article on Bustle had written about the trials and tribulations of calling girls tomboys by stating that the term was applied to those who acted like a spirited or boisterous boy.  If you associated yourself with toys that weren't of girlish fashion, you were considered to be 'sexually licentious and rude'.  Needless to say, you were the object of everyone's ridicule and you were singled out for your rather 'boyish' behavior...


That's exactly what was happening at that very moment but with this book.  I was being singled out for my 'boyish' behavior.  I sat there amongst all the clothes that I got (but didn't want) and now I had this insulting book that was just going to end up in the trash.  (Sorry, not sorry.)  This guide was comprised of content that was targeted to transform a tomboy like me into a proper, polite, young woman.  A young woman that my mom wouldn't be embarrassed by.  A young woman with elegance, refinement and who knew her place. 


 A young woman that I secretly think she wanted me to be instead of who I really was...



I knew very early on that I was---different.  If there's one thing you have to know about my childhood is this; I was one of the boys.  If I wasn't watching the Power Rangers and building towers with my Legos, I was playing video games.  And if I wasn't doing any of those things, I was drowning myself in soda and belching loudly and (quite) proudly.  And for those reasons alone, I identified closely with boys my age.  They were all interested in the things that I was interested in.  It made 'play' time much easier.  And I never felt more comfortable or at ease... 


My childhood wasn't comprised of girly things.  It just wasn't.  (Sorry, mom). In fact, the girliest thing I ever did (and was forced to do) was the Girl Scouts, and even then I was internally screaming. (Read all about my experience here.)  I just didn't belong there.  And it was abundantly clear.  I was singled out because my 'boyish' behavior was frowned upon. The girls and I just didn't click.  


I was the pink Power Ranger in the sea of Disney princesses.

The nights we spent around the campfire, I was usually the one with the remains of fifty smores smothered all over her face.  I was that girl.   I just didn't care.  I was sloppy, crude and had this knack for flying off the handle with zero filter.  (But, let's face it, all kids do that right?)  I had the energy and the overall carelessness of my male friends.  I belched, I sweated profusely, and I had the overall body of a boy.   (Or at least for the time being.)  

When it came to interacting with boys my age, I felt normal.  Conversations were organic.  There was this mutual understanding between myself and my guy friends.  I wasn't putting them up on this pedestal.  They were my equal.  Keeping myself neatly polished wasn't something I cared about (yet) so there wasn't this pressure to be put together.  Girls my age were starting to become interested in boys.  They liked them in that 'special' way (as my mom would call it).  I saw my fellow fellas as brothers, so I automatically thought the whole concept of I 'like like' you was repulsive and weird.  I needed an additional seven minutes to finish the last chapter of Stay Out of the Basement not an additional seven minutes in heaven...

Impressing a boy wasn't on my agenda (yet).  It just seemed weird that the girls my age were getting in pointless relationships that averaged about 14 days.  (We've all been there.  Don't lie.)  The only thing that worried me was my mother telling me to come in for dinner after a long afternoon of shooting cans off the wall with the neighbor boy...


It's not like I wasn't interested in makeup either or the idea of getting 'dolled' up.  The common misconception when it comes to Tomboys is that we don't care for makeup or getting dolled up.  And that's simply not true.  We like makeup just as much as the next person.  Really.  We just don't see the need to go buck wild.  I doll myself up because I want to.  Whether I'm putting myself together for a night out, or wandering the mall without my eyebrows on, I'm happyAnd that's all that really matters.  I dabble just enough with makeup without covering up who I really am...


I know where I got all this from.  My dad is the one to blame here.  And I'm gladReally.  He was the one who introduced me to classic rock music.  He was the one who taught me how to aim and fire off a BB Gun like a pro.  (Don't mess with me when it comes to shooting.  I will annihilate you.)  He would laugh at my jokes.  I was more than just your average 'daddy's girl'.  I connected with him naturally which snowballed into me connected with boys a lot easier.  It made it easier to be myself...




Overall, I am embarrassing to be around.  I am sloppy (sometimes).  I do belch loudly (and sometimes louder than my television).  I do fart (and don't you sit there and pretend that you don't do that shit either).  No matter how hot it is, I'm always wearing jeans.  I could be sweating like I'm in the Old South, and I'd still walk around in pants.  Call me crazy or (self-conscious) but jeans are the epitome of my wardrobe.  They sit side by side with all my horror t-shirts and socks.  They make up for my overall persona of which I've had since childhood.  My jeans are the essence of my tomboy life...   But you know what...


I don't give a fuck.

Being Ladylike means 'giving' a fuck, of which I will not.  Boxing myself into this 'proper' ladylike image means denying who I truly am.  I'm rude, I use profanity and I make sexual references all the time.  That doesn't make me 'repulsive' or 'dirty'.  That doesn't make me any less of a girl.  This makes me real.  This means that I'm giving everything to you at face value.  Regardless of how society see's me--I'm down to earth.  I say what I feel when I'm feeling it.  I'm not afraid to wear boyish clothes.  And I'm not worrying about what I say when I say it (not matter how unladylike it is). 



And most importantly, I ain't sugar coating shit.  



 
Being a Tomboy has taught me a valuable lesson--own who you are.  Choose your friends organically.  Socialize with whom you connect with on a real level.  Don't listen to some book telling you to socialize with refined, proper people.  Don't let it censor who you are just for societal expectations.  In the end, you decide how to respond to certain things.  You shape who you become... 


There isn't a guide to living the 'right' way.  Period.  You learn who you are by being yourself.  You follow your own path.  No matter how 'rude' or 'sexually licentious' you appear.   





Stay true friends,


xx

Meg 

 
 

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2 comments:

  1. Just found your blog and love how you write ! It's always a pleasure to be able to be given a window into someone's life to see how they live so thank you for sharing your thoughts, life and emotions with us the reader ! Keep up the awesome work!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my articles! I'm glad you find them enjoyable. Buckle up, these next few posts are going to be a dousy! Just warning ya!

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