Life > The misconceptions of womanhood

Posted on April 7, 2016

Salon

Serwaa Appiah discusses why she's judged for for liking sports and not makeup
Imagine being called ‘he-she’ or ‘man beast’ when you walk into a room, or being told you resemble a rugby player. Not nice I know, but I get this all the time at school, and sometimes even at home. I try and brush off the comments, and convince myself that people are just ignorant.

But there’s only so much one person can take before teasing and negative comments affect them.

When my friends sit and talk about what dresses they have, the conversation always turns to me and I hear the same line – ‘I’ve never seen you in a skirt’. I’m usually standing right in front of them wearing my school skirt when they say this by the way! Apparently it doesn’t count, as I have to wear it.

If I had a pound for every time someone asked me why I don’t dress girlier I’d be a billionaire

So, picture a girl who loves trousers, doesn’t wear makeup and enjoys sports. You’re probably thinking ‘tomboy’. A ‘tomboy’ is defined in the dictionary as ‘a girl who shows the characteristics and/or behaviours of a boy, including taking part in sports and physical activities’. Some people think it is wrong for girls to be involved in activities typically considered masculine, but why is that?

We are all taught to believe in equality, that women should be able to do whatever men do. Yet when a female is involved in sports or doesn’t feel the need to dress up and put make up on, she gets criticised and is seen as odd. If I had a pound for every time someone asked me why I don’t dress girlier I’d be a billionaire.

I admit I’m not a ‘girly girl’, but that doesn’t make me masculine, I’m still a female! It’s just that I don’t find spending half an hour painting my face with foundation and mascara fun.

The worst thing is that people are never satisfied when I say that I’m comfortable in what I wear, and I do sports to keep healthy. People feel the need to speculate on whether I’m either gay or unhappy being female. In this day and age why is it we still believe that a woman who doesn’t fit the usual feminine stereotype obviously wants to be a man? It’s ridiculous.

People feel the need to speculate on whether I’m either gay or unhappy being female

There are many celebrities that are seen as tomboys such as Missy Elliot, and Jennifer Lawrence. Rumours about Missy Elliott’s sexual orientation began circulating after an alleged relationship with RnB artist Tweet.

Elliott responded to the rumours by saying, “When people see how strong I am, and there’s not a man around, it’s like, ‘What is she doing?’ But I don’t need a man to make me happy. I need to make myself happy first.” Missy Elliot, Jennifer Lawrence and I, we just wear what we feel comfortable in.

No one likes being stereotyped, yet we often do it ourselves. People should realise that the way you dress doesn’t define who you are. We should remember that when the clothes are taken away, you’re left with a human being who has thoughts and feelings like everyone else. And they can be hurt even by the smallest comments.

The next time you wonder why someone doesn’t dress or act the way you might expect, first ask yourself this: If we were all meant to act and dress the same way, why were we given separate identities, features and thoughts?

I’m sure if we were all the same, life would be very different, and not in a positive way.

Serwaa Appiah

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One Response to The misconceptions of womanhood

  1. Safa June 2, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    The article was written in a way that it would appeal to teenage girls (and maybe some boys), so I found it relatable and interesting to read.
    The article is more about this girls’ opinions than actual facts – the article is not meant to inform the reader about something that is happening but to experience what Serwaa goes through

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