I am not a girly-girl...but I like glittery things. I'm not a girly-girl but I like soft fabrics in vibrant colors. I'm not a girl-girl, but I used to paint a Mona Lisa level masterpiece on every fingernail in middle school...right hand too. I'm not a girly-girl, but I like to watch reality TV dating shows and drink wine. I'm not a girly-girl, but I used to create wedding level up-dos in my hair just to go to High School. I'm not a girly-girl, but I've been cast as at least two love interests in plays. I'm not a girly-girl, but I love my pink hair. I'm not a girly-girl, but I work at a fashion brand store. I'm not a girly-girl, but I love floral things. I'm not a girly-girl, but I will never give up mascara.
I'm not a girly-girl; I wear work gloves and wear them until there are holes. I'm not a girly-girl; I would gladly throw on some shit-kickers and wrestle a calf...heck, I'd herd the cow. I'm not a girly-girl; hauling wood or ice fishing sounds like a morning well spent, I'm not a girly-girl; my favorite pants are my Carharts with the deep pockets (styled with a flannel shirt). I'm not a girly girl; I have hairy legs...and probably arm pits...and a unibrow. I'm not a girly-girl; I would rather have an IPA than a daiquiri. I'm not a girly-girl; my favorite day is the day I am creating saw-dust. I'm not a girly girl; I don't event remember the last time I wore a pair of stilettoes. I'm not a girly-girl; I love to be in the woods, nose to the ground looking for mushrooms. I'm not a girly-girl; I swear in every fucking sentence.
I am a girly-girl, and I am not. I am both, all at the same time.
The idea of "girly-girl" had a negative connotation for me as a kid and even as an adult in society. I never wanted to be grouped into this entire gender seen as weaker while boys were celebrated as the future strong warriors. I hated the idea that the cool girls were more like the boys. I wanted to be more like the boys. I tried wearing boys clothes, but I didn't want to look like a boy. I just wanted to be treated like one. I wanted it to be known all the tough rugged things I was capable of and did in my day-to-day life but still maybe wear a skirt or paint my nails and watch iCarly.
Now as an adult I am still grappling with my identity as an outdoorsy, farm-animal-lover, power-tool-wielding, former landscaper, tom-boy, as a sales associate at the mall who is on a pink and glitter kick. I am working on accepting that I, and you, too, can be both; can be all and it can all be true. I am working to unpack the stereotypes of the girly-girl and the butch in me to find harmony and to then work on my own biases towards others gender presentations.
I have struggled with the gendered aesthetics that my art has taken on over the years and how I have felt about it. I immediately have valued my art that catered to more masculine ideas far higher than my art that was more feminine even though the time or effort may have been the same. Perhaps it was concept or aesthetic, but these more masculine pieces have sold far easier than more feminine ones. My current art is exploring these ideas as well as experiences of femininity in a dominantly masculine and patriarchal society. Stay tuned for lots of pink. I know... it's a lot for me too, but its a good thing; a healing thing.