At first I thought it would be easy to write about a tomboy because all my life I have believed myself to be tomboyish, if not necessarily a tomboy. I still do. (Psst… I love being the rebel, the exception, the misfit and the non-conformist) I gave it a sincere thought, putting aside the image I like to portray of myself. Am I a tomboy? Am I an extreme? I realized I wasn’t.
I asked the husband, “Do you think I am a tomboy?”
“Who you? No. I think not.” That reply came in a tone which a husband would have used when a wife would have asked “Am I fat?”
It was like taking a safe zone, unsure of what you reply would ensue. So I prodded him a little more and asked him for his definitions.
“Tomboys are girls who wear guy clothes, sneakers, talk like men do, play sports and fight physically, don’t wear make-up”
“That is still more than 50% if you give me a score, with the sports and physical fights being an exception. Now, my BFF plays cricket, follows almost every sport, and does prefer shoes over sandals, but I still wouldn’t call her a tomboy. I prefer shoes too, dressed like a guy till I started working in a company which MAKES me follow a dress code, have plenty of guys as friends as compared to a handful of girls. In fact, my guy friends always forget there is a girl in the group when they talk about certain things that would be considered rude in female company. And neither do I wear make-up. Does that not make me a tomboy?”
“Hmm…then what in your opinion is a girly girl?” I ask, sneering a little. Strangely my prejudiced mind equates them to bimbos.
“A girl who likes to dress up, wears make up, paints her nails, cares about her hair, prefers skirts/ frocks over pants/shorts, heels over sports shoes, likes gossiping…. I don’t know. Where is this going anyways?”
“Atleast that means I am not girly”, I say, somewhat relieved.
“Well, you can dress up when you want to and play the part of a girl well enough” he said smiling.
“You are a strong headed girl with shades of both tom-boyishness and girlishness. You are willful. You take up the role that the time and situation requires you to. A balanced blend of both.”
So, not satisfied, I asked people. A lot of them, their definitions of a tomboy and a girly girl. You see, the definitions are relative and perspective based and keep changing with the era.
Everyone I asked answered on the same lines as my husband, all 3 questions.
Maybe, in the past, as a kid, I would have hated it if somebody would have called me girly. For a girl who still speaks in the masculine gender, it sounds like an accusation. The older and wiser me knows better. Shuffling between roles and holding my ground, that’s my definition.
I am a shade of grey. And I am proud of it.
What shade are you?