So what makes me a girl – part 2

So what makes me a girl? Yes it’s time to have another think about this. To be honest I’m not sure where I’m going with this post so I might ramble on a bit. 

There’s so much about being a girl that takes so much more effort than being a boy. I think this is true for any girl, not just transgender girls. I think it goes back to societal expectations or maybe it’s the beauty myth. And I think I have those same expectations because as I’ve said before, when I go girl, I really go girl. 

It takes more effort? It sure does, it’s a real time suck. Let’s start with makeup, just the basics right? Eyes, lips and face. So that’s eyeliner and mascara to make your eyes pop. Foundation for your face to make your skin “flawless”, and then lipstick to give you “perfect, kissable, cupid bow lips.”

Boys will tell you that they have to shave everyday. And they sure do, but it doesn’t take as much time or effort. And they don’t have to touch up their shave every time they eat, unlike lipstick. Nor do they need to powder their nose, when they go to um?….powder their nose? 

Getting dressed is extra effort. At the very least we have an extra struggle with our bras. Some of us have the added struggle with chicken fillets as the boob fairy wasn’t quite as generous with us. 

Then there’s the coordination of the outfit. Boys generally go “Which pants? and which shirt?” Us girls have to figure out whether we should go for a dress, skirt and top or maybe pants and top. Then we have to choose high heels, flats or somewhere in between. Then there’s a handbag to choose because we have no pockets. I’ve actually worked this process backwards sometimes because I don’t have many handbags. 

Finally there’s which earring/necklace /bangle to wear and which perfume? Boys will think about a watch but go “Nah! I’ve got my phone in my back pocket. Why do I need a watch?” 

So lots of decisions to make, and lots of time needed to make it all happen so that we meet society’s expectations. More importantly, hopefully we meet our own expectations! 

Now I’m not saying that this is what every girl does. Everyone is different, but that’s what this girl does, and that’s my prerogative. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a gripe. It’s just pointing out the difference in expectations. And the thing is, I revel in this difference. It’s another thing that expresses my femininity and I love it. 

So am I saying that what makes me a girl is that I’ve fallen for the beauty myth? Oh that doesn’t sound good. But it’s most probably true. It certainly explains my cosmetic obsession. But I know that this is just one aspect of my being a girl. And if I have fallen for the beauty myth that doesn’t invalidate who I am. 

So am I a girl? I think I’m a girl when I go girl. But I don’t think I’m a girl all the time. There’s definitely times when there seems to be an absence of girl. I actually think that my default is boy. But there’s definitely a girl in here too, who needs to express herself. 

Are my boy side and girl side mutually exclusive? Certainly I have girl thoughts when I’m a boy. And I also have boy thoughts when I’m a girl. I guess that’s because it’s all me. But do I have girl and boy thoughts at the same time? Or do I flip from one side to the other? I’m not 100% sure but I think my thoughts are totally random. So I guess there is no mutual exclusivity. I must just be me. 

Society has gotten a lot better in allowing my girl side to express herself. So much so that being out as a transgender girl has been nothing short of amazing! It’s also helped that I’ve grown enough to allow myself to be me. 

I am lucky though. I’m only 5cm taller than the average girl and about 5kg lighter. So I can blend in reasonably well. So while society has been good to me, part of it might be because I can fly beneath the radar a bit. However, that being said, every time I’ve needed to show my identification, (I’ve had to do this a lot recently) I’ve only been met with acceptance, kindness and occasionally disbelief 🙂 And that is when you might hear my inner girl sing! 

Photo by Noah Silliman

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