As a kid, a “friend” shamelessly teased me for liking pink and dressing “preppy”. It’s silly and this was in middle and high school. On another note, I would never define my style as “preppy”. It’s nice on other people- but not my thing.
Regardless, it plagued me for years. It sounds harmless and stupid but, I never fit into a box growing up and still don’t. I’ve always been traditionally feminine- I’ve always loved dressing up, was rarely seen without make up, and naturally had a soft, feminine spirit that is finally coming out of hiding. I’ve always loved anything creative, whether dance, writing, music, or cooking.
On the other side of the equation, I played hockey and was a goalie who usually played on boys’ teams. I was also into boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Joy Jitsu. My dad also got really sick while I was in high school and eventually passed away. I HAD to be tough and grow up quickly.
It’s okay to be authentically yourself. In fact, I encourage it. You will be happier and less stressed. Everything will flow easier.
At first, there be may be pushback. Just ride it out. Trust me- the right people always stick around and the wrong ones fall away.
Also, be kind. It’s okay to be curious. But, tearing down someone else is never cool. There’s a difference between playful teasing and being mean. Before you shame someone for their expression of gender, femininity or otherwise, you need to step back and examine yourself. Why the heck is this bothering you?
If they aren’t hurting someone, get over it. As someone who has had to tame my own temper and learn to keep my mouth shut, it isn’t easy. But, it is necessary. If you want to learn how to be less of a jerk, read “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Over the years, I’ve cared less and less. I’m very much of the mindset that you should live to make yourself happy. There seems to be this notion that we, as a society, should conform to make others comfortable. We should adopt a masculine personality, dress like a slob, and stop taking care of ourselves.
Here’s the thing- it’s not okay to shame someone for being authentically themselves. This is true regardless of gender, as well as any other constructs. It’s totally fine to be made up, ladylike and lovely. It’s also fine to be a woman who eschews traditional gender norms and lets their body hair run wild and free. While I won’t be joining you, I won’t be judging you either.