Of course being femme also means I get emails like this. Am I so transparent??
I feel like dressing in a “traditionally feminine” way gets a bad rap. By this I mean, skirts, dresses, make-up, jewelry, things you’d find in the women’s section of the clothing store. Of course there is nothing about wearing a dress that is inherently “just for women” because as my Mary Lambert crop top tells us:
We are brought up to think of masculinity as a neutral starting point. You can say “guys” to a mixed gender group and it will be accepted, whereas if you say “girls” it’s an insult to the men in the room. You probably have seen one of the many many tv shows where a women wears a button down shirt and jeans (that make her ass look nice) and the nice guy best friend tells her she’s “not like other girls” and means it as a compliment. She’s not vapid or silly, and she never takes too long to get ready because she’s too busy watching sports! She’s so much better than the evil current girlfriend who wears heels and lipstick apparently.
my everyone’s favorite taco commercial “Why can’t we have both?”
There is nothing wrong with wearing jeans and a button down and liking sports. There is equally nothing wrong with wearing lipstick and a dress and going to see a chick flick on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m pretty over the idea that dressing femme means being more invested in capitalism (did you barter your bowtie and suspenders for a goat?) or somehow more invested in the patriarchy. By devaluing femininity you’re also buying into the patriarchy! It’s almost like the patriarchy wants to pit all the genders against each other so they’re too busy with in-fighting to realize that we’ve all been fucked over.
But seriously there is this myth that people dress femininely to get attention, which is at best kind of a narcissistic belief and at worst victim blaming.
I wear dresses (and crop tops and skirts) because they make me feel good. And powerful. And because the world is sad sometimes and it is valuable to want to put a little beauty into it. Because for so many years I didn’t think I could be beautiful. And because I am a person and I am allowed to take up space.
So shout out to the femmes who dress from themselves, and take intentional time to make themselves feel good, and tell others how beautiful they are. Whether you wear pants or a dress or a jumpsuit or nothing at all, you keep doing you. I think you’re fly as hell.