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Trying to resist being pretty, witty and gay
Pretty. It’s hardly a compliment. At least that’s how I felt for most of my 20s. When mum would say, “Your hair looks so pretty” I’d immediately scruff it up knowing I’d failed in the bathroom that morning.
I’m not sure what I was hoping for. Handsome? Not really. I think the androgynous “cute” was okay. Just.
These days I’m more chilled out on the pretty front. If my girlfriend tells me I look pretty I do a twirl and say “Why, thank you”.
I think pretty made me uncomfortable because I wasn’t totally comfortable with who I was. I was trying so hard to be a cool, tough dyke that I associated a word used to describe feminine qualities with weakness.
It’s only now that I’ve started to really unpack this stuff. It’s kinda silly that someone who considers themself a feminist could only see the negatives in a word predominantly used to describe women, or “pretty boys” who possess feminine traits.
Without realising it I was buying into all that sexist, misogynist crap that puts penises on pedestals.
Sure, I like boys and I have a lot in common with them, but I’m also pretty girly. I’m sentimental, afraid of spiders, and spend way more time in front of the mirror than my girlfriend. But on the other hand, I like boxing, beer and secretly watching porn. When it comes to gender stereotypes, I’m a good mix of both. Well, at least a mix of both.
I do wonder if my anti-pretty stance was a result of feeling uncomfortably “pretty” as a teenager. The days of wearing make up and dresses to attract boys whose attention I eventually realised I didn’t want anyway.
Perhaps pretty was just a cold reminder me of all the lesbian fun times I missed out on in my youth? *Shakes fist*
Whatever the case, I’m no longer afraid. I’ll never be as pretty as the girls in the Femme Guild, but I recently started wearing my girlfriend’s pretty floral sarong when we go to the beach. I just tell my mates it’s a man-skirt. Baby steps. Baby steps.