appearance and identity for a 30-something queer girl

I’ve not disappeared entirely, and I’ve not sunken into a pit of despair. I suppose I just don’t have much to write about in the last few days.

We’re trying to wait until Friday to test. It’s 10dpo today. My period is due to arrive in a couple of days, so I’m just waiting it out without any expectations.

J and I have been doing our part to stimulate the economy by purchasing some summer clothes. Having lived in a climate with temperatures that never were above 75 for so many years, neither of us had  proper clothing to face the heat wave we had last week. Therefore, we’ve been finding a few gems here and there. I still won’t wear shorts, so this leaves me to skirts. Skirts make me feel more feminine, which I’ve needed lately. I rather like them. I’m even growing my hair out a bit to compound the girliness.

It’s not that I’ve ever been masculine or butch or even much of a tomboy. I have had short, cropped hair for awhile, but even that I always tried to maintain in a somewhat femmish style. Lately, though, when I’ve seen photos of myself, I haven’t liked how I looked. In fact, on more than one occasion, I did find myself looking more masculine than I’m used to, and perhaps this has sparked my interest in growing the hair and wearing the skirts. Who knows? I’ve never really been into the butch/femme labels because I’ve got a little bit of both in me. In fact, J and I both do, although crass straight folks still ask if I’m “the girl.” Whatever. We’re both the girls. There are no men in our relationship. That’s the way we like it.

So I suppose I’m playing a little with my outward expression of my identity again, and that’s fun. As I do this, I’m struggling also to avoid that gravitational pull toward the soccer mom look. You know, the high-wasted, pleated jeans and white sneakers and all the rest of the comfortable ugliness. J will tell you that I have an irrational fear of the soccer mom image. I think I just don’t want to look matronly. As someone who used to love nothing more than challenging the fashion status quo (oh how I loved my sequins, my safety pins, and my knee-high docs), the idea of taking on that oh-so-boring image frightens me. And yet, I know I’ve succumbed to it on many occasions. In fact, I’ve noticed lately that I dress a lot like my mom (not that my mom looks bad because she’s really lovely, but she’s also in her fifties, and I’m, well, not). Perhaps this is what happened when I started teaching and felt I needed to look more conservative. Perhaps it was a result of my body type and having to wear ugly plus-sized clothes for so many years. I don’t know, but sometime in the last ten years, I became a little dowdy, realizing some of my worst fashion phobias.

In the past few years, I’ve lost some weight, and with that has come multiple stages of image redefinition. Through all of this, I keep trying to look more my age–because I was starting to look much older than I am, and that’s no good. I still wish that I could get back a little of that edge I had in my early twenties, but I’m beginning to wonder if that will happen or if now that I’m in my thirties I’m just doomed to look like I should be piloting a minivan. Perhaps it’s just time for a new, highly visible tattoo.

People are always remarking that I never look the same from one year to the next. I used to have professors who, while I had taken their classes regularly, didn’t recognize me when classes started up again in August. I’ve always reveled in that a bit, and maybe my problem is that I just need to shed my skin of the last few years and grow a new one. Who knows–it might even be a little pink–but it certainly won’t involve white sneakers.

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4 Comments

Filed under diversions, Hair, Ramblings, TWW

4 responses to “appearance and identity for a 30-something queer girl

  1. tbean

    I hope your upcoming new look includes swollen feet and a very very round belly. 🙂 xoxo

  2. thank you for addressing my number one fear about motherhood – looking like a soccer mom.

    i am going to be young forever! no “mom jeans” here!

    and because everyone needs a laugh –

  3. I just love this post and can identify with so much of it. Good luck playing around with your gender expression. To me, there is nothing more thrilling! I think I put tattoos on my forearms because it let me wear more mom clothes without looking too conservative. I think I look much older than I am too, but the skirts help! My skirt in the summer trick is spanx. If you’ve got legs like me, you’ll need the shorts bit. Thigh chafing in sweaty weather- ack! Much love and pink to you beautiful. xoxo

  4. reproducinggenius

    Giggle, I just discovered that your comment went to my spam folder! It seems that “mom jeans” tipped off some secret spam alarm. Anyway, thank you for the laugh. That was HILARIOUS!

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