Be You.

Circa 1996

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was the day the boy I had a crush on actually noticed I was alive and said something to me. He said ‘You’re a girl? I thought you were a dude!’ And he laughed and walked away.

When I was in my early 20′s I ‘threw in the towel’ and shaved my head. It was sort of my declaration that I was done trying to force myself into a box I just didn’t fit into.
I kept my head shaved for much of my 20′s, and have revisited the style now and then in my 30′s. I tended toward steel-toe workboots, wallet chains and flannel. What can I say, it was the 90′s. A lot of people assumed I was gay. I didn’t mind, it’s not like being thought gay is an insult or anything.

Do you know, one thing I NEVER lacked for was male attention. And the men that were attracted to me and who I had the pleasure of dating were intelligent, confident, generally very good looking men who treated me with respect and as a partner, not as an object or possession. I am still friends with many of them. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, he has treated me with absolute love and acceptance from the day we met. He is THE most amazing father you can imagine. He is funny and intelligent and handsome and has a rewarding career.

One thing my non-traditional appearance has done for me is weeded out a lot of douchebags. That’s a win. A big one.

Be you. The people who matter will respond positively. The people who don’t matter will weed themselves out very effectively.

Be you.

23 thoughts on “Be You.

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  4. have an identical twin and we have always had opposite hairstyles. I have short pixie hair and she has long long hair. Every time i cut mine off my husband says that he’s sad but he acts like he’s not! I don’t even feel like myself when it’s longer, to the point of not looking in the mirror even when it’s growing out. For me my hair is really part of my identity. I agree that whatever you do, you have to own it. I wear kimono also and was told often that i look great, but really i have the worst shape for kimono, way too hourglass. It’s all about the attitude.

  5. In that picture you look like a girl I used to know…. She was strong and brave and I really admired her. And I think the same about you :) We should never be afraid to be what we are.

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  7. Fantastic post! Good for you for getting healthy and being you! And you’re absolutely right, when you just drop the act and be yourself, it weeds out people that wouldn’t mesh well with you anyhow. :)

  8. I have fond memories of my 25 year old skin, but it took until my mid thirties before I decided that I was good enough as myself and stopped trying to appeal to the masses. It’s a lot less work to just be yourself, but it comes more easily to some than others.

  9. I really appreciate reading your posts of self-acceptance and encouragement. I’ve always been reasonably attractive though sometimes somewhat overweight, but what is making self-acceptance hard now is aging. I am 61 and things just aren’t the same–the things that I always thought were me, defined me. I work at good health, but time just takes a toll and it is disappointing, especially when I see that it is likely to be a trend rather than a plateau. So, your posts help me to stay positive, keep working at it, but accept reality for what it is and who I am. Thank you.

    • Aging is rough. We’ve got some great role models though. Are you familiar with Diana Nyad? She’s becoming one of my role models as I enter my 40′s, she is providing such a vibrant model of staying active and positive and embracing the changes of age.

  10. I have always been the conventional pretty. Long Blonde hair, blue eyes, boobs…you know, typical. Before marriage I had a string of boyfriends that always started out great and turned into royal dickheads. AND my husband also stepped out during our marriage a few times. Being “pretty” isn’t all that. I always envied girls/women that had their own look, they didn’t seem to try all that hard yet it worked for them. I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup & hair done. Why? Because that is what was expected of me. The “pretty girl” should always be pretty. Leave the house in your natural state and people ask if you are sick.

    • ::hug:: I was almost cursed with that too. Was fortunate enough to be pretty and was super girly (and encouraged to be) when I was younger, but moving around a lot and always changing schools kept me far away from the “popular” set – which I used to covet. Eventually rebelled against it, went all out goth/punk/tomboy until my early 20′s when I eventually just found myself and stopped trying to fit into any sort of label, whether it was “girly” or “outcast” or whatever.
      Amusingly enough, it was actually harder to transition back into wearing “women’s clothes” than it was to rebel. After so long, there was kind of an expectation and I got teased for awhile. I remember feeling extremely embarrassed after putting on a pair of those low-rise women’s jeans and walking out and having relatives point and say, “Look at that! Lisa’s actually got an ass!”

    • I think it was just youth. I smoked and drank then, and it was one of the few times in my life I’d been able to diet down to a near-healthy weight…but I didn’t do it in a healthy way (and of course regained it and more shortly thereafter). You can get away with a lot when you’re 25!

  11. That is such an amazing testament! You GO GIRL! I have always had non-traditional jobs for a female. Paramedic in the very beginning and then Welder. My husband of 12 ys as also an amazing man, with nothing but respect and caring for me. When I was myself, not trying to be what others wanted, I met and have great ppl in my life!

  12. Beautiful post! Being you is the best thing you can ever be! People who find themselves and embrace that person will find themselves so much happier!

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