Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enjoy Being a Girl

I have four brothers, which I may have mentioned before. And let's be clear here - my brothers are AWESOME. Really, they are.

However. For me, there was something about being the only girl that made it hard for me to embrace all girliness - or at least to openly embrace it. Sure, there were dolls and tea parties (many of both) and lots of pink and all that, but I didn't want my brothers to know that I thought girly thoughts - had crushes on boys, liked chick flicks, wanted to wear makeup, etc. (I'm pretty sure they figured out that I liked these things anyway, but when you have four brothers you either learn to deal with teasing or you try to avoid being teased - usually a combination of both.)
And to some extent, I convinced myself that these things were true. I'm still not very open about having crushes, I don't love chick flicks and don't admit to loving all of the ones I do, and I still pretend that I don't love putting on makeup every morning. (But can I be honest? Except when I'm running late and wish I didn't care about what I look like without makeup - which is a topic for another post - I love putting on makeup.)
But the truth is, I love many things about being a girl in the very stereotypical sense. Sure, I still have a tomboy side and a feminist side and all kinds of other sides, but I also really love giggling and accessorizing and playing dress up. I offer the following proofs:

I guess my point here is this: you can be whatever you want to be. You can be whomever you want to be. But never let perceptions about what you should or should not be force you to miss out on being something you would enjoy (especially when those perceptions are silly and carry over from not liking to be teased when you were 8). Don't think you can't be silly and squeal just because someone makes fun of you for it, because secretly -- they love it and wish they felt comfortable enough to squeal. And keep in mind that squealing doesn't have to be your thing - but finding exactly what makes you happy and enjoying it does.


Julie W said...

Meg you are so funny! Your shyness and belief to suppress your girlness may have back fired. Your brothers wanted you to have crushes and be girly. They began to think you were a little weird when you did not! That is part of being a family. Teasing meant they loved and were proud of you! This applies to all of us. Like you said, be who makes you happy and dont care about others perception of you. Squeal! You are right, it is much funner being your self, and others, like your brothers, will see how happy you are!

Miri said...

My problem is often that I feel like I should make fun of MYSELF for some of the things I want to do. I, too, have a feminist side and an intellectual side and a cynical side, and sometimes all of those sides make me feel like I shouldn't want to do something that I want to do. For example, I didn't want to read the Luxe books on the grounds that if I would have seen someone else reading them, I would have assumed that they were vapid, silly girls--because I am just mean like that. (Eventually I did read them, and enjoyed them.) So every now and then I have to tell myself to back off a little bit, and just let myself be whatever it is that I want to be.

Lin said...

I think it's good to make fun of yourself once in a while...never take yourself too seriously, but that's another post.

I had a similar experience. My sister is 10 years older than I am, so she was off to college by the time I was 8. Then I was around a lot of boys and I just didn't care about what I looked like. My mom and sister tried (oh, how they tried!) but I was pretty sure I looked just fine (or I still just didn't care). I was girlie enough - barbies and dress ups and dancing and princesses - but I didn't start really wearing makeup on a regular basis till I was 22. Seriously. That was four years ago. I feel insane thinking about that now, but not so insane that I don't still leave the house sans makeup without a care in the world.

Miri said...

There are different kinds of making fun of yourself. I wasn't talking about the taking myself too seriously kind, but rather about the being too critical of myself kind.