I used to be afraid to be a girl.
I was afraid that if I wore skirts and anything other than the loosest t-shirts and the longest shorts, then I would be a bad feminist.
And, yes, I know that girls who wear loose t-shirts and long shorts are still girls.
But I wore them because I was afraid to be a so-called girly-girl.
I wore that sort of thing and laughed at the jokes I didn't think were funny just to prove that I could, thinking that, maybe, this would make me a good feminist.
But at some point in the last months, year, I figured out that I am who I am. I don't have to change that because I think it will make me a bad feminist. In fact, I think it makes me a bad feminist if I do change for it.
Now, I wear skirts sometimes, and I want them all to stop staring when I do, and stop talking like this is some great miracle. Because I'm still not the most feminine thing, I still don't consider myself stereotypically feminine, but I think I should be able to wear a skirt without people talking about it.
I thought that wearing "girlish" stuff would entail giving up, giving in to society. But I realize now that it's all about who I wear it for. If I wear it for them, I think it is giving up, in a way. But me? I do it for myself. And that's okay.
I don't like using the terms "girlish" or "girly" or "girly-girl," but, for lack of a better word, I have to. I will be the first to contest these terms, to say that just because I don't wear makeup and pink dresses and tights doesn't make me less of a girl than these so-called "girly-girls."