*could be alternately titled: I’m defending my Master’s Project in 27 days and you can tell I’m trying to keep my mind off it with a bit of reflection and ‘no’ this is not an April Fool’s Joke.
Something no one knows about me. (Well, my sisters do but you get my point).
I’ve never actually hated the color pink.
Are you all there? Are you awake from having passed out? Okay, good. Again, I’ve never actually hated the color pink. As a matter of fact, it’s one of my favorite colors. But since about Middle School or so, maybe starting in 5th grade (?) I’ve said I’ve hated it. Why? The reason I gave was because it was too girly of a color. The real reason? I didn’t like the way it made me feel.
So this is a journey that goes from Lower School to High School. I’ve had a lot of friends when I was younger, able to play with and be best friends with guys and girls. And through that time I found that I enjoyed (and still do love) sports; I loved to run around and play tag and soccer and football and baseball and anything that would have me running around and doing something fun. I liked to play outside as much as possible, ride bikes, go exploring, get my hand and knees dirty. And I was good. I’m not saying amazing, but good at every sport I tried. I’ll admit that there were times where I took PE a bit too seriously, but not to the point where I thought it was the Olympics. Still, I hated to lose and I was one of those kids that particularly liked certain people to be on my team so we had a better chance at winning. I’m telling you, it was bad.
But through my love of sports I realized that I knew I was never too girly. I didn’t like the idea of not being able to swing up and down on monkey bars or play soccer in a dress or a skirt because I might flash my underwear. So when it got to the point I could pick out my own clothes most of them were shorts and pants so that I could continue to play. They were comfortable for me. And through that I started to prefer wearing dresses and skirts less and less. I’m a tomboy, always have been and always will be.
Back then tomboy could not be girly.
So even though I did like skirts and dresses and pink, I outwardly disliked them as a principal. Especially as the attention I got for being good at sports. And then Middle School came and that’s where things started to get hard. Middle School is hard for everyone but I harbored this through High School and until I went to college and had a reality check. I was a tomboy so I had mostly guy friends and that was great all throughout Middle School because we had the same interests…and that pushed my possible relationships with girls out of the way. I wasn’t used to being called ‘pretty’ or anything because I was a tomboy and would roll my eyes at having to get dressed up for anything because I preferred pockets. (I still do prefer pockets; I’m excited when they’re on dresses). I didn’t really like makeup either though I really did like watching how Mom was able to put it on so flawlessly. When in high school she suggested I started wearing some I just shrugged it off.
If I couldn’t be ‘me’ why did it matter?
Going into high school I will say that I have and still do have a good sense of self-esteem. But I’m human and there’s always the time where little things chip at it and my insecurities get in the way. Of course this was exasperated when I really started to like guys. Not that I didn’t before; my oldest memory of a first crush was actually in first grade or so. But that’s not the point. The point is I was always aware that guys didn’t necessarily like tomboys and figured if they didn’t’ like me for my personality then that was their fault not mine. I can admit there were times where I became a bit aggressive (honestly, for those that knew I liked them I apologize for the way I acted. Honestly. I cringe thinking about it half the time) and overly open. But in my opinion if you don’t let someone know you like them and just admire from afar, what’s the point?
Okay, I’m sure you’re still wondering what this has to do with the color pink but believe me, it makes sense. In my head pink = girly, and as a tomboy I did not = girly and so I disliked pink. And I’ll also admit I took out my insecurities with that on other people (guys and girls) in my class and I greatly apologize. However, as I said, I was insecure. I knew it was a time for me to start being girly but I didn’t know the reaction I would get. I had been told, to my face, “I can never see you being girly,”, “Steph is the girly one,” (Which would sometimes be followed up with “and you aren’t” as a way for people to tell us apart), “Guys don’t like you because you’re too much of a tomboy”, and “You don’t count as a girl.”
Yes, I was been told “you don’t count as a girl” directly to my face. I cried in private and I hated the guy that told me that. But I didn’t fully hate him I hated how I allowed him to make me feel that way. I always hated how when I did dress up I heard, “Jacksons in dresses, never thought I’d see the day” and the high-pitched “Oh my God, you look so pretty” which in my head translated to “you never looked pretty before” or “you’re dressing up? You’re acting so fake”.
So most of that is my fault from the way I perceived it and allowed myself to see it in a bad way. To be honest, I always hated how people made it a big deal if I wore a dress or a skirt or makeup because that felt worse to me than someone saying “you don’t count as a girl”. So I’m wearing a dress; why does that have to be a big thing? You can tell I’m a girl. And that made me push my enjoyment of the color pink and dresses and skirts and makeup even further into myself. (Here I should also apologize to my Mom for the times I took my frustration with this out on her. So, sorry Mom! :)). Here’s another thing it did…it kept me from being better friends with the girls in my year. Yes, I may have had different interests but I never should have had my internal frustrations keep me away from becoming better friend with them. Honestly, that’s one of my biggest regrets from high school and I’d like to apologize to you eleven (not including me and my sisters) other women in the year of FA’s class of 2010 that I didn’t really take the time to get to know better. I really wish I had as I know there were (And probably still are) things that we have in common and could’ve talked about for a long time.
But I didn’t. I let my insecurities get in the way. I’m sorry.
When I left FA is really when I started to embrace that I shouldn’t have to hide it and I could 100% be myself. I bought more dresses and delighted in showing my Mom and Dad that I did (also I like showing off clothes, I love going clothes shopping, weird huh?) and getting their opinions. I now regularly talk to my sisters about clothes and makeup and trying out different things I see on the internet to get my personal style (not to toot my own horn but my eye makeup is cool). And I buy a lot of pink and a lot of dresses and wear them when I feel like it. Just not as much red.
Now, do I love pink as much as red and would prefer it? No. As a matter of fact if you had a scale or pink to red and I had to place myself on that scale to choose a color, I’d be over on the red side as quick as a flash. (Ha ha! I’m sorry if you don’t get that joke, but I thought it was funny).
But I’m not going to let it hold myself back anymore.
So here’s my confession.
I like the color pink, I like dresses, and I like skirts.
But I’d still probably be more likely wear a pair of shorts and Vans knowing I can stun a crowd with a dress hanging in my closet for just the right occasion.
Loves anything red. Rock music, playing the guitar, drawing, writing, tattoos, and sports are some of my interests and hobbies. I like to laugh, I like to think I'm funny. I talk a lot...just a warning.