… yet I’m a girl. I was born a girl and I do identify with my gender. What I do not identify with, and I truly believe no one really does, are the stereotypes. Stereotypes set up in this men’s world by… yeah, good guess, men. Out there are more stereotypes regarding females, and more restricting maybe, but God knows that boys have their own share of stereotypes, which if you ask me is pretty silly for the gender who invented them. We do tend, and I include myself as well because I do it sometimes, to try and cram ourselves in these tiny, narrow boxes of stereotypes. I can not talk in the name of “we”, but why do I do it? Because it’s easier; it is utterly uncomfortable (like waxing, that really hurts), but it spares me the displeasure of explaining why I don’t. I do think it takes a lot of courage to break some of the gender stereotypes, and I don’t know if I have it, but others are contradicted on a daily basis and no one even bothers to observe it.
My family wished for a boy, except for my mother, she always dreamed of raising a girl. I would have been named Sebastian (that if I recall well), if I were a boy, but I’m not. There were a few moments when I wished I was because I really believed life was easier as a boy. I don’t believe this anymore, I am still sure that life is easier for some people, but the criteria is not gender related, at least not in our society. Anyway, my family took it pretty well, considering I was the third granddaughter for my paternal grandparents. Once they hold me in their arms, they could not resist my incontestable and irresistible charm.
I like being a girl, not a stereotypical girl, I don’t even know how a creature of that sort would look like. I like wearing dresses, girly dresses or less girly. I love fashion, I consider it a mean of expression, one of the most powerful, and I like looking just a bit different. I like wearing make-up, not because I want to hide my face, or I don’t trust myself enough to go out into the world with a bare face, but because it’s fun. I love red lipstick, dramatic eyes, I might over do it sometimes just for the fun of it. I like my hair wild, my nails long, rings, earrings, bling-blings. Leather jackets, silk dresses, heavy boots, lace socks, velvet gloves, bring it on. I’ll just wear anything I think fits my self-image.
My appearance is pretty girly, my spirit not so much. And I’d be such a liar not admitting that I do enjoy the small favors which being a petite girl brings with itself. I’ll never refuse someone who offers to carry my luggage because it looks heavier than myself, even though I would manage just fine on my own, I won’t refuse someone who wants to walk me home because it’s the middle of the night, and I, such a frail being, need to be protected, even though I walked home alone so many times… in the middle of the night without a Prince Charming to take care of me and somehow I survived. I can’t deny that I take pleasure in receiving a free drink in a club, thanks to my long lashes and red lips. I am a girl, and I do take advantage of some of the common thoughts regarding my gender.
On the other hand, I can wear a lacy floral dress and still kill bugs, hammer a nail, and paint my nails. I’m not scared of any kind of bug, except spiders. I can unclog a pipe, sleep in a tent in the heart of the mountain, drink side by side with a true rocker around a fire, curse in the sweet Moldavian tongue like a veritable truck driver. And I’ll do all of this in a fancy dress, ripped jeans or a training suit.
I had dolls; when I was little I was scared of dolls, then I started beheading them, and at a certain point, I became really interested in sewing clothes for my dolls. I played with teddy bears, cars, and any other toy which appealed to me in any way. I was fascinated with dinosaurs and greek mythology, and my favorite story was The Wizard of Oz (no princess saved by Prince Charming, just a girl with red shoes wanting to return home). I ran all day outside, climbed every tree I could find with my girlfriends who did the same. I loved fishing with my father and learned to put an earthworm on the fishing hook, without blinking.
I was not educated to be a girl, to like and do only things commonly attributed to girls. I was raised to be a human being, and that is what I am, that is what all of us are. We are not dolls fabricated to act all the same, look the same, dress the same. Not all girls are girly, not all girls are truly girly, not all girls are even girls, and this applies to boys too, but we all are humans, friends, lovers, parents, children, foes, random people on the street, that’s why our gender does not define us in the slitless bit, what we do, our experiences, our memories, our smiles and scars, our favorite film, book, song, our friends, and how we act around them, our decisions, that is what makes us who we are, and not our genitals, or any part of our body.
So, maybe the stereotypes were made by men and this really is a man’s world… but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.