I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I wore a lot of skirts. I was a tomboy growing up and always favored t-shirts and jeans over dresses. I was in my late 20s and decided–well, the Internet probably told me–that I should start being a woman. I should wear skirts and pretty shirts and heels and embrace the conventional term of “pretty.”
I liked it. I liked feeling pretty. I liked feeling feminine.
But… I didn’t feel like me. I felt like an imposter.
People would compliment me on my outfit or on how long my hair was getting because, you know, short hair isn’t feminine. My husband liked it, which is always a perk.
Still, despite the positive reinforcement surrounding me, it just didn’t feel right.
Since having children I’ve discovered my true self.
My true self wears her hair super-duper short and dyes it an unnatural red color. In the summer it is styled as a faux hawk.
My true self prefers to wear blue jeans and black tank tops whenever possible, despite the fact that it makes my already pale skin look even more pale.
My true self prefers dark eye make-up (when I choose to wear it) even though the “no make-up” make-up look is in… I think.
My true self prefers knee high black boots to heels.
My true self says “screw you” to anyone who thinks I should look and dress and act a certain way simply because I have a vagina.
My true self wants to feel like a badass and these things – hair, fashion, make-up – help me to feel like that.
When I feel like a badass, I feel empowered. I feel like I can get stuff done. I feel strong and confident and that I look good. If I look good, if I see myself in the mirror and can say, “You look awesome,” I’m more apt to be happy. And if I’m happy, I’m more likely to be happy around my husband and kids and friends and family.
I don’t know if I’m actually a badass, but I know that when I feel like one, I feel like the most amazing woman on the planet.
I’m not saying you should ditch the dresses and heels. What I’m saying is that you have to do whatever it is you need to do to feel like you. I know that’s a confusing sentence so I’ll say it another way.
Do whatever it is that allows you to feel at your core that you are a woman warrior capable of opening doors, cleaning house, taking names, and being your most awesome self.
For me it’s a red faux hawk. For you it’s something else. Whatever it is, do it without shame or fear of what society will think. Society is full of wannabes trying to fit in and, as a mom, I don’t have time to mess around with those people.
Be a badass.
Related post: Losing Yourself to Motherhood