Monday, February 6, 2012

I enjoy being a girl

I can't remember a time when I haven't been ridiculously ultra-girly. I almost believe that I came out of the womb wearing a tutu and a pair of heels (ouch, sorry Mom). It's just naturally ingrained in my brain, etched in like "I must not tell lies" except it reads more like "I must not wear pants."

When I was very young, probably around three or four, I used to like to stand on my dad's bathroom countertop and copy him as he shaved his face every morning. I would steal a razor from his unused value pack, pat shaving cream all over my own fuzzless visage and scrape away with the plastic cap still poised carefully atop the sharp blades.

But one morning not enough attention was paid. I grabbed a razor as per my usual routine, slathered the Barbasol foam all over my lower face and proceeded to scrape away the remnants. Screeeeeeeeech. If the pain of shaving off part of your cheek had a sound, that would certainly be it.

Somehow I'd accidentally grabbed an uncapped razor from my dad's bathroom drawer, proceeded to partake in my daily routine of imitating him, and discovering much to my chagrin that this was a little too much like actual shaving.

So maybe that's when it happened.

Though I can't be sure of the origins of my fear of lack of femininity, I can be sure that at that moment I was glad not to be a boy. Glad never to have to shave my face. Glad never to have to scrape the skin off my cheek. Glad to wear dresses instead.

I always wore dresses. In preschool, elementary school, with a brief interlude in middle school and beginning again in high school, I was rarely seen wearing anything other than a skirt.

I don't know what the appeal was. Perhaps I felt pretty being the only toddler running around wearing a dress with Esmeralda on it and my legs bare so I could show off all my impressive Hunchback of Notre Dame Band-Aids.

But, as the saying goes, old habits die hard and to this day you'll rarely catch me in pants. And when you do, you'll probably say something annoying like "oh my gosh, you're wearing pants today!" Why yes, I know, I put them on.

If anything, I take pleasure in the fact that I have the ability to withstand temperatures below freezing wearing tights or (even worse) absolutely nothing other than a skirt. It gives me a sort of distinction amongst my friends. As a loon, yes, but a distinction nonetheless.

The truth is - and I'll leave it up for people to heartily contest - wearing skirts is just a comfortable alternative to jeans that people aren't always open to accepting. As much cover as jeans provide, the pairs I have are not made of thick enough fabric to constitute the necessary amount of warmth to make them such a great improvement over any other form of bottomwear. In fact, I will make the case that they're even less efficient because in the event of a rainstorm, they actually maintain their wetness and so keep my legs freezing once I've found an indoor place to take shelter.

I make concessions for situations when standing outside for a long time is a necessity. As much as I love to play liberator from the shackles of puritan pants to the openness of beautiful flowing skirts, I admit that in the event of a winter snowstorm, a walk may be better handled by wearing clothing from head to toe.

Yet my argument still stands. After years of practice I've learned that fear of the cold and ineffectual bundling up is the weak man's solution. And while my friends may still call me one of the "hugest girls," at least I know I'm happier in my wardrobe than in anyone else's.

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