I haven’t had a haircut in months. After several years of systematically making it shorter and shorter, it’s starting to grow out again. I think I look like Kelso from That 70s Show. Hubs mentioned out of the blue the other day that he likes my hair this way. “It’s more feminine” said he.
Last week on Twitter I had an intense discussion with several ladies about personal style, clothes shopping, and makeup hoarding. Makeup hoarding? I hoard the few pieces of makeup I have, forever. And ever and ever. Want an example? I still have the lipstick I wore on my wedding day. Sometimes I still wear it. I’ve been married for seven years.
My new clients are all girls, and much younger than my previous crop of kids. I’ve started looking for more age appropriate toys. A friend said she had toys to sell, and asked if I wanted “girl” toys. I knew what she meant. And I do. But I cringed anyway.
Lots of words have been spent on the Lego Friends line of toys. I was highly irritated when I first heard of them. I mean, Lego is Lego, right? But it isn’t. It was pointed out to me by friends with daughters that most Lego kits are specifically aimed at boys, and that themes around cops & robbers, aliens, spaceships and Star Wars are very limiting. I saw some young girls at the toy store going into raptures over the Lego Friends and while I still wish Lego were gender-neutral, I have to concede that it is not.
I was born in 1978. My mom could be pretty intense about gender politics and feminist issues. She didn’t model what I would consider “traditional” female behaviours. She didn’t wear makeup, ever. If she did wear dresses they were of the hippie-peasant-skirt variety. She tells me that as a toddler I expressed a longing for flowery dresses, and pink, and sparkles. Had there been Disney princesses then I would certainly have been a fan. I myself remember for years wishing hard for the pink frilly canopy bed that used to show up every Christmas in the Sears Wish Book.
She never gave in. And over time I kind of lost the desire to be a Special Princess (except on my wedding day, when I went full on. The only thing that stopped me from having a tiara was my very tight budget).
One of the toys I bought is a talking, singing purse:
It comes with keys, money, a mirror, a bracelet, and lipstick.
This bothered me.
Then I saw Pixie play with it yesterday. For a solid hour. She loves it. I showed her how to put on the lipstick, and I felt guilty for doing so. Like I was somehow betraying something. And then I wondered why I felt that way. The wearing of makeup is not two steps from going full-on Duggar, right? And how I wish my own mother would have shown me how to put on makeup, because lord knows I have no idea, and as I age I start to feel like it would give me more confidence when I go out in the world.
Same thing with my greying hair. My desire to say age is only a number and I’m determined not to be mutton dressed as lamb is totally at war with my wish to not look older than my husband, who is actually four years older than I am and can easily remember the last time he got carded because it wasn’t that long ago.
I am struggling with gender identity, suddenly. Maybe it’s because every living thing in this house is male except for our elderly cat, and since she’s a going-senile scrag who shits in the bathtub mere feet from the litter box and can’t remember what doors are for half the time, this is not comforting. But I realized that my ‘wardrobe’ basically consists of things that are practical, which is fine 99% of the time but I’d love to have some things just because, things that make me feel pretty and good about myself.
I want to not feel this weird sense of letting down the side because I want to spend time on my appearance.
I want to know how to dress for my age.
I want someone to nominate me for What Not To Wear, if it’s still on TV.