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Life > Experiences

I’m Like Other Girls! How I’ve Learned to Embrace my Femininity

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.
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Growing up, I prided myself on “not being like other girls.” I rejected the color pink and traditionally feminine clothing such as dresses and skirts and thought wearing makeup made you vain. Yet I have always loved these things, they make me happy. Yet like many young women, I found myself ashamed of the things that made me feel like me.

It’s a curious paradox where being “too feminine” is a source of ridicule, and not being “feminine enough” means you’re a freak of nature. Ultimately these labels reinforce traditional and outdated gender norms, but at the age of 8, I didn’t rationalize it as such. I wanted to fit in, whatever that meant. At the time, it meant rejecting my relationship with femininity; the polarization between my femininity and myself has existed for years, to varying degrees. In elementary school, it started with changing my favorite color, not wanting to wear bows in my hair, and sadly, not befriending many girls. Consequently, as the years passed, I felt this desire to have girlfriends to share secrets with and braid each other’s hair at slumber parties.

I’m repairing this rough patch in my femininity by nourishing the female friendships I have now. I have a handful of close female friends that I cherish. I write letters to them now that we’re at different colleges and when we’re together in person, we have the best slumber parties filled with movies, impromptu dance numbers, and late-night talks about our sexuality, crushes, and love for each other. As for personal gender expression, I dress in a manner that makes me feel strong in my femininity, whether it be flowy sundresses or my go-to mini cardigan. I take pride in practicing my skincare routine and I’m slowly learning how to do my makeup. Every day I do one thing that would make my younger self proud, maybe even surprised.

Justice Morris (she/her) is a second-year history and Mexican American Latino Studies double major at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also pursuing a Core Texts and Ideas certificate. Justice is a passionate writer; she enjoys sharing her thoughts on the arts, life as a college student, and her cultural experiences as a Chicana woman. You can find more of her work in The Liberator, the official publication of the College of Liberal Arts.