On ‘womanhood’

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I’ve been thinking about this topic for a very long time and have been unsure when to address it. As my 25th birthday is less than 1 month away, I think now is a good time and I’ll try and ramble my way through something cohesive.

Lets talk about the word ‘woman’.

I will never forget the day I started my period. Sorry, TMI dudes that read this, but deal with it. My mom bursts into the living room “Dale! You’re daughter is a woman today.”

I was 12. It was awkward. I didn’t even have boobs yet, there was 0 amounts of woman happening right there other than the worst part of being a woman. Sorry ladies, I don’t think menstruation is beautiful. Quiet the opposite.

I did not feel like a woman.

I still don’t. Well not completely.

Should I?

I’ve been referred to as a woman once. Sure, in a group setting, as a collective the people I have been with have been referred to as ‘women’, but just once has someone stuck the title of woman onto me.

Update: This post has been sitting in the drafts area for over a month. The number of times I’ve been called a woman has increased seven fold as a new man0-friend has called me a woman many times in the last week.

It felt weird. Maybe because I’m not used to hearing it? Or maybe because I’m not completely convinced that it is a label that I feel comfortable wearing. Every time I hear someone comment on how an actress, who is younger than me, is a beautiful woman gets me to thinking.

Am I a woman? Do people consider me a woman? Do I consider myself a woman?

My answer for the latter: I have no idea, but I’m leaning toward no, I don’t consider myself to be a woman.

Why not?

To be completely honest, I don’t feel like one. I don’t think I look like one. The latter definitely effects my views on my womanhood more than the former. When I hear the word woman, I either think of someone tall, slender, and perfectly put together OR a motherly figure. Not that motherly figures can’t be tall, slender, pretty, and perfectly put together.

I’m short [5’2″ barely pushing 5’3″ on good days or when I just get out of bed]. I recently found out that ‘short’ is one of my main identifiers when my friend describes me to people*. I don’t think its a bad thing at all, I love being short. I wouldn’t mind a longer torso (my legs are uber long), but overall I really like being the size I am. Funny story about having a short torso – I was in Tahoe a few weekends ago, and couldn’t sit in the hot tub because I was too short and the water was almost over my head. Moving on. While I’m not overweight, I could definitely exercise more. I don’t dress frumpy, but there are just things I can’t pull off or that I can’t find that fit – dress pants are one of those things. Also I need to buy more flattering dresses.

Another Update: These past 2 weeks I’ve started eating 100xs better and kicking my own butt working out. I feel great.

I don’t wear heels. According to some other women and some guys I know, this degrades my claim to being a woman. Why not? They are fun they all say! No, no they are not. I have sports injuries. They haven’t healed because I’m a dumb ass and never see a doctor. Wearing heals for more than 3 hours means a swollen ankle and angry joints the next day. Plus its just bad for you in the long run. I know, I’m making excuses. Special occasions are different.

Maybe it’s that I don’t photograph well. When I see photographs of me trying to look like a woman, I think I look like a child. When I look in the mirror, I see bone structure. When I see a photo? I have a chubby cherub face.

I still get carded for r rated movies if I’m alone. I have more gray hair than my friends who are 7+ years older than I am.

What is it that makes you a woman? Truly a woman, not just the idea I have in my head of who is and who isn’t. Why am I so scared of holding that title?

Maybe it is because I haven’t really dated anyone that has treated me like a real woman. Maybe its because I feel like my life isn’t put together. Maybe it is because I don’t see the composure that, in my mind, a woman has. Maybe its because when I do appear to have a handle on life, I know deep down that I’m screaming for help in my head. I’m wanting to hop on the next plane to some far away place and disappear. Maybe this is just being human? Maybe I’m the only one admitting it? Or Maybe I need to just embrace myself and start calling myself a woman. Start infusing it into my every day life? Fake it until you make it, they say.

Maybe I really just need to buy a pair of dress pants that fit me.


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