Going shopping with my female friends is a nightmare. Every time we hit a mall, I feel like a bored boyfriend who finds a chair and sits waiting for the agony to be over. It seems as if the employees, shoppers, and even the mannequins look down at you if you don’t fit in with their newest catalog.
Recently, my friends and I made a stop to makeup metropolis, ULTA. I ran my stubby fingernails over a spectrum of nail polish, inhaled the smell of perfume over my men’s deodorant, and watched women get their hair done in the salon as mine slid from the lousy ponytail I threw it in. I would fit in at the local Menards much better and, yes, that’s a lesbian joke.
I may not live up to the beauty standards put upon women, but that doesn’t mean I should be ostracized. It seems more and more lately that being a woman means competing with other women. If you don’t wear makeup, you are lazy and unkempt. If you do, it better be perfect otherwise you’re sloppy and untalented.
But what is the point?
Fighting over feminine characteristics will never gain a winner. Being a woman doesn’t mean wearing high heels and eyeliner wings. It’s being strong enough to do whatever you want and support other women in the process.
And yes - a lot of women are definitely supporting others. The boom of beauty gurus has created a platform for femmes to learn, yet it doesn’t make up for scrutinizing those who choose not to wear makeup. Women need to find community right now more than ever, so that means recognizing that butch and androgynous women are just as valid.
You aren’t more of a woman if you curl your hair, wear dresses and do your makeup before heading out for the day. Underneath all of it, I’m identifying with you just as much. It doesn’t matter if I wear a more “masculine” attire, or don’t shave under my arms. If you judge other women for not living up to your beauty standards, you are the one who ends up losing.
I am definitely not trying to start a war here, but the holiday season brings back the nauseation of shopping and feeling eyes heat my face when I enter a mall shop. I applaud those who are willing to put the effort in to do their makeup everyday, it is an amazing feat. However, we need to recognize that femme people can be bare-faced too. Doesn’t mean we are any less of a woman because we don’t fit the gender norms.