Growing up, I didn’t read a lot of superhero comic books or watch many cartoons. I remember most often grabbing the latest edition of Archie from the library or, occasionally, buying it at the grocery store as we went through checkout, and my family would commonly watch the Muppets together. Beyond that, and the occasional Disney movie, most of my childhood memories are of playing outside — rollerblading, swimming, climbing trees, building mud sculptures, running through the woods. Instead of reading superhero stories, I made up my own. Instead of watching comedic routines, I had brothers to entertain me.
But I do remember that my favorite blanket had Minnie Mouse on it, and that I was particularly jealous that my brothers got G.I Joes, which were distinctly cooler than dollhouse dolls. Not that I didn’t love my dollhouse mother and father and daughter and baby, but my brothers’ toys were just better. The legos, the action figures, the building toys, the guns that came with their cowboy costumes. And I absolutely did love my Polly Pockets, my Cupcake Dolls, and the plethora of princess dresses I had. But I also loved the boy things. I grew up a healthy mix of girly frills and tomboy desire to play in the mud.
And in my pre-teen and teen years up until I was about fifteen, I loved dressing up in costumes and wearing a pretty dress on Sundays, but I was equally interested in climbing the tree that was taller than our house, digging tunnels through the dirt pile our neighbors had for yard work, or dashing through the woods and hiding in bushes while avoiding imaginary bad guys. I was not 100% a tomboy, but jeans and a tee shirt usually sufficed much better than skirts. I would never have envisioned myself as I am today, wearing dresses or skirts most days of the week and applying daily makeup. In fact, once I was allowed to wear makeup, I didn’t like the way it looked at all.
This outfit serves as a perfect meld between the little girl who loved frilly dresses and all things girly and the tomboy who would have rather climbed trees and played with her brothers’ G.I. Joes and Legos. I still have an affinity for things that used to be stereotyped as “boy” things — superhero comic books, exploring the outdoors, collecting certain nerdy action figures — but my femininity definitely took over as I grew and I’m no longer the jeans-and-sneakers wearing 11 year old who rarely brushed her hair and only ever dressed up for Sundays.
Well, I still am guilty of rarely brushing my hair, but I attribute this bad habit to my years sporting a pixie cut, when brushing was unnecessary.
I love that today, girls can love nerdy things and it’s no longer a gender stereotype to be into superheroes, Doctor Who, or Lord of the Rings. I love that we can mix super feminine with incredibly geeky, and it’s considered cool. I hope that my daughter grows up with a love for the nerdy and the feminine, for playing outside every bit as much as she loves dressing up in princess costumes, for comic books and Minnie Mouse.
But if she doesn’t, that’s okay too. I want her to cultivate her own interests and loves, and not just be a photocopy of her mother. Because, as the daughter of a woman who grew up a tomboy and rarely wore makeup, I love that I was almost the polar opposite of my mother, yet we have rubbed off on each other over the years. She wears makeup more now, and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.
Shirt, Target | heels, belt, scarf, and vintage skirt, thrifted | earrings, c/o Oasap | glasses, c/o Firmoo
What about you? Were you totally different as a kid, or did some essence of your child self grow up with you?
On a totally different vein, I realized the other day that I very well may be able to wear polka dots for at least a week and never repeat a polka dot garment, so this week that is my goal. And when my husband saw this skirt, he said “what are you, Minnie Mouse?” So if my whole Cinderella-for-Halloween idea doesn’t work out, at least I have a backup plan.
I hope you are all having a lovely day!