Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Make-Up Matters

I have a saying -- I know, you're thinking, "How many stupid sayings does this woman have?" -- that I use quite frequently. "I was never a girl." That's what I say when fellow women make comments such as, "Oh, these stiletto heels are so fun!" Or "I just love how she's done her hair." Or "You should really start dying your hair to cover up the gray." Or "Isn't that dress divine?"

Yeah, I was never a girl. I never did the doll thing. I never played with Barbie dolls. I never ached to be a model. I never did the shopping thing. I never tested make-up. I never did my friends' hair (or vice versa). I never stood outside the high school boys' locker room after the football game, giggling, in hopes of being spoken to by a jock. I never played dumb to get a boy.

I did have a doll once. She was one of those new-fangled talking ones. Stupid Michelle up the street broke it the first day I had it. Stupid Michelle.

My mom didn't start wearing make-up until she was about 35 or so, when a "friend" told her how much better she'd look with some blush, mascara and lipstick. So it wasn't there when I was a kid to mess around with. Just as it isn't there for my daughter to mess around with.

Except...now there are all these make-up kits for little girls. Barbie- or Bratz-stamped make-up kits so girls of 5, of 6, of 9 can practice putting on make-up. There's a role model I want my daughter to have: a Bratz tramp. Ick.

I was never a girl. That's why I'm ill-at-ease in dresses. As soon as the dress code was busted at the elementary school level and pants could be worn, I was so there. Until I left college for the hellacious working world, I'd worn a dress approximately four times, all for formal dances.

I was never a girl. That's why there is gray in my hair. And there will be more and more gray as each year passes -- knock wood -- and I'm still around.

I was never a girl. That's why I spend $16 for haircuts at SuperCuts. And I don't really care what it looks like. I don't bemoan bad haircuts. What's that?

I was never a girl. That's why God has seen fit to give me a daughter who plays with dolls and little toys excessively, who has plenty of make-up kits, who loves to paint her fingernails and toenails, who loves to dress up.

I love little girls. I was just never one.

22 comments:

bubandpie said...

When the Pie was born, I got the anthology of essays, It's a Girl, edited by Andrea Buchanan. I had loved It's a Boy, but I was disappointed in the second volume - it seemed as if all the essays were about exactly the same thing: "I'm a feminist, and I'm worried that my daughter will like pink!" The horror, the horror.

I'm a girl. I don't think it's mandatory, but I don't think that girliness is the death knell of feminism, or the precursor to a life of oppression.

Steph said...

My daughter loves all things pink and does ballet... but practically hits the cieling when a firetruck or a harley drives by!

I thought Id have a hard time raising a girly girl, as I am NOT one... but Im loving it.

Amber said...

Well written, my dear! I was a veritable tomboy/jock with a closet Barbie obsession. It was a tough existence.

Gina said...

I was an interesting combination of tomboy who liked to wear dresses. I was super-atheletic, but would primp before all the games.

Josie Two Shoes said...

I am so with you Patty, we'd get along famously!

chichimama said...

I was a girly girl wanna be. Which means that I was too lazy to do all the things that required being a girly girl but always wished I wasn't.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I was always more of a tomboy. The kicker came as a teenager when my mom told me that I wasn't pretty unless I wore makeup. That pretty much clinched it that I never would. Just as a f-you to her. I actually do use mascara and lipstick on occasion. But you will never see me with a bottle of foundation any other such mess in my drawer.

I also have an issue with manicures. And ironically, my 2 year-old LOVES to have her toenails painted. LOL It cracks me up, and I feel it is harmless for now. Especially as her favorite color for her toenails is blue. Bright, shocking electric blue.

WorksForMom said...

Ahhhhh payback. First of all, I love your stupid sayings. I was such a tom-boy growing up. I played football and basketball and baseball with the neighbor boys. And loved it. I get you. We'd so get along Patois.

Jeni said...

Ok, here comes the old lady (well most likely a good bit, at least older than you or most of your other readers) and back in the 50's I was more tomboy than girly-girl but I also loved to play with dolls and longer than did my girlfriends did that. Make-up and I are not very close friends -acquaintances, occasionally for the years between 19 and oh, maybe 50 but since then, the most I will go with is an occasional dab of blush and a light slick of lipstick. And yet, my older daughter is a makeup fiend, also one for the hair has to be JUST SO, mine is the windblown that doesn't ever look decent with the windblown look. Then, there's the granddaughter -who, just tonight, we were trying to bribe her to do something in the potty (#2-which she refuses to do, but will happily "make water" there) and if she did #2, the prize would be "You can wear makeup!" And for about 2 minutes, I thought she was going to buy that idea but then, apparently had second thoughts about the matter. And she loves to have nail polish on her fingers and toenails -something I always peeled or picked off about 10 minutes after it dried! (Always made my fingers feel to "heavy.") Yeah, I can so relate to you that I wonder if maybe you are the little sister I always wanted in my life!

Alpha DogMa said...

I never felt my inadequacy at stereotyped girliness (as you laid out) until it came to planning my wedding. I was not up to the task- something reinforced by every episode of Wedding Story and every bridal magazine. So we had four guests and my dress was yellow.

I was completely fearful of having an uber frilly over the top girl - I'm much more cut out for the boycentric house inwhich we now live.

tegdirb92 said...

I knew there was a reason I liked you so much!! I can definitely relate to this post--and now I have THREE DAUGHTERS!! I was never a girl either.

I'm adding you to my blogroll if you don't mind....

Have a great Tuesday.

Scribbit said...

I'm trying to think if I was either a tom boy or a girly girl and can't say that I was either. Dolls weren't my thing but I do love wearing dresses and dressing up. Don't care for pink or fussing too much over appearance but love feeling made up and ready to go out.My mom said she used to worry I'd not have any maternal instinct because I didn't like dolls or girl toys. :)

Toni said...

I was never a girl either. Dresses? Ick. The last time I wore a dress was 8 years ago in a wedding.

Her Highness, though, is a girl's girl. She loves barbies, bratz and make-up. Oh, the make-up!

I love, love having a daughter and, like you, I am a girl's girl vicariously through her. It is fun.

Bubba's Sis said...

I'm not much of a girlie-girl - I don't wear much makeup (powder, blush, and ocassionally mascara) and have low-maintenance hair. I wouldn't wear a bra at all if I didn't have to (and sometimes I don't). I've never had a manicure and only had a pedicure once. Daughter seems to have taken after me - she is 13 and has no interest in makeup or hairstyles. Not sure what's up with that.....

mitzh said...

In a way I think I am a girly girl in which my daughter wasn't.

But there are one thing that my daughter and I share, we both HATE dresses and skirts! :D

C. R. Morris said...

I was never much of a girl. I did do make-up and stuff. Of course, my mom was into make-up. I can remember her trying to make me wear a dress to school and I cried over it. I wanted to wear my Dukes of Hazard jeans with the General Lee on the back. High school came and I did wear make-up and I discovered HUGE hair! LOL Then the kids came along and I did less and less.. I still wore make-up, but maybe once a week or so. Of course this led to comments by fellow "girls" stating that I looked so pretty with my make-up. Thanks, what do I look like normally? I mean, I don't use a spatula to put it on. Seriously. Lately I've been wanting to do more. My sister in law is a "girly girl" and has all sorts of cool things I can burn myself with! Here's to girls and those who aren't so much. Who really cares? BTW, you have a hair or two out of place..let me fix that for you *licking thumb*

Linda said...

I was never really a girl either and still aren't. Give me my sneakers and jeans and I'll be happy. Heels? Oh hell no! And as for make-up, sure - once a year at the annual Employee Party!

transplantingme said...

Hi I tagged you.. 7 random things about you.. :-) have fun.. i do fear that tagging might be similar to jamming up peoples in boxes with forwarded emails. but it's the first time i've been tagged and now i feel like i'm part of the cool group. when really, i'm probably part of the dorky group.

Kelly O said...

I hear you. I feel like I'm in drag when I wear a dress. Sometimes, of course, that's the fun of it.

allrileyedup said...

I'm a girl but not a girly girl. I think there's a difference.

Stupid Michelle.

susiej said...

Lovely, Lovely story. I was never a girl either ... however, now that I am Queen of the castle, I feel a need to show the boys a feminine side. I am much more of a girl now than I ever was. I have my boys to thank for that.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting post. In some ways I can be very girly, I love wearing skirts and dresses and I have very long hair but I've never worn makeup. The other day I saw a group of women showing each other their latest make-up purchases - now I just never was that girly!

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...