I’m not sure why the term tomboy irks me. Everyone has called me one since I was tiny (like 4) and I told my dad when he picked out a pink frilly flower dress that “I’m not that type of gwirl daddy.” Heck I’ve called myself a tomboy plenty of times. It’s like self-deprecating humor that you actually believe.
See people look at tomboys as those girls who don’t quite fit the girl mold. Tomboy’s play sports, and maybe feel more comfortable without makeup. Tomboys might rather wear a sport shirt versus the latest trendy outfit with heels. Jean’s and tee-shirt girls… well they are probably tomboys too.
But wait. What if tomboys are really girls who just know what they like? What if they are independent, and unique? Just because you wear a packers jersey doesn’t mean you don’t like to paint your nails!
See the problem I have with Tomboy is that people never really say it like it’s the highest compliment you could be paid. Rather it is more of a… well you aren’t really a girl, but your parts make it that you are not a boy either. So lets slap this label on you and make you feel “other.” Then when you have the title tomboy given to you, you try to wear it like a badge of courage… “heck yeah, I’ll kick your ass in flag football!” But on the inside you wonder where you belong.
I want to understand girl culture. Granted growing up under the home school rock I can’t say I was exposed to it much before my 20’s. I absolutely love being a girl. I like to curl my hair for picture day at work. I would get my nails done every week if I could afford it. But I will totally set you on your ass if you push me when playing hockey. Does my fierceness make me less of a girl? Does my utter despair at understanding fashion make me less of a girl? Does my awesome collection of jerseys for hockey, football, and soccer make me somehow close but not really in the man category?
See tomboy is just another label that I’m kind of sick of wearing. Do you know how many labels I’ve lived under my whole life? Christian, grew up in a cult, girl, submissive, feminist, republican, democrat, socialist… goodness, I’m too much or too little for just about everyone.
But aren’t we all the same? Don’t we all want to be truly known for who we are and not some label that gets slapped to our back unaware? Part of this journey I’ve been on is to throw off all those labels and just be me. Be Sarah. Be enough for me. And really, shouldn’t that be enough for everyone else?