I grew up always wanting to be in a relationship. Even back in middle school and high school, I was surrounded with people ‘dating’ and holding hands, calling each other the titles and the labels they’ve been waiting for to be called the whole time. Even after I moved to Puerto Rico, all I could hear is about how hot one should dress to get the attention. I learned how to walk in heels because by all means, you’d be a loser if you went to a party in sandals. Fashion No-No for the junior mini-house parties in Puerto Rico.
Couples were everywhere and so was the dating scene and yet I couldn’t stop shaming myself. What kills me most about my thoughts back in the day is how I felt bad , not just for myself but for the people around me who would look at me. Too fat and too ugly. I looked in the mirror and blamed myself for being overweight, having a certain nose, having flabby arms and thighs. I somehow accused myself for being the way I am because no boy expressed their interest in me. No one asked me out, no one talked to me as the ‘hot’ girl. I was always that ‘one of the guys’ type and even so, distanced. I was that girl.
No man would want to date you because you’re so strong and masculine.
My self comments began to eat me up in a way that I didn’t see myself worthy enough for anything. I doubted a lot of things. I wasn’t capable of being that la femme type of a woman. I was too manly. I even remember how my sister-in-law mentioned how ‘no man would date me because I’m so strong and masculine’. I don’t blame her for telling me that, however she was one of those la femme girls who worried about her hair, make-up, and where her clothes were from. I, didn’t care. I, wasn’t la femme. I was that girl.
Why should a woman be called masculine and too strong in a way that’s unacceptable in our society? Why should a woman who knows what she wants in life, drives toward it, and doesn’t take the whole la femme shit serious, needs to change the way she talks, walks, and speaks in order to be considered acceptable. My mother even pitched in and said I walked too manly. I needed to do the whole sway thing. I needed to walk like a woman, the woman every girl wanted to become and every man apparently waited to fall in love with.
I rolled my eyes while writing this. How horrible can this sound?
I couldn’t wrap my head around the whole idea and I have yet to understand the whole concept. I used to wake up early in the morning, look into the mirror and just be disappointed. I wasn’t that girl that I’ve always wanted to become. I looked at myself in disgust, remembering the different instances where I heard a disgusting remark, being chosen last in school, not being picked to dance in school dances. Was I scarred? Maybe. I was scarred at not being that girl or I was just foolish and blindsided.
I realized that there are many different types of women…
After beginning university, my views changed. I was inspired by the different women that surrounded me not only on campus but also wherever I went. It was as if I noticed something that I never noticed before – confidence. I was still that girl who would wear sweats and sandals with no make-up yet this time, I accepted myself. I realized that there are many different types of women and yet, each and every one is unique and beautiful. I began comparing myself to these beautiful, curvy women who walked around with such pride and confidence and yet, I was this girl who couldn’t find the courage to wear shorts. I slowly began building my confidence. I began building the girl I wanted to become and be. That unique and original woman who is beautiful and majestic. #Amen
I quickly realized how attentive I became. My confidence out shined myself even though I still had the tweaks and the holes. I’m still not as confident as I want to be. I still look into the mirror and think I could be better. Before I would shame myself continuously and now however, I stop myself and notice ‘me’ in a brighter and a different way.
I began wearing make-up not to feminize myself but to use myself as an art piece. I have never seen a woman who’s ugly or fat. I see them as unhealthy or healthy and there’s a difference. I don’t look at myself as someone who’s overweight, I see myself as a curvy woman. I work out and take a better care of myself not because I need to in order to keep up my la femme status, but to become healthier and a better me.
I’m no longer in the urge to become that girl that people used to not want to date. I am on a journey to become the girl I want to love and care, because no love can be as strong as the love you have for yourself. And if I end up dating someone, I’m going to make sure I’m the truest, meanest me I could be. I don’t want the title, I want the acceptance of me.