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So, so much pink.

When I was little, it was like I lived off the color. Drawing my energy and life force from the vibrantly colored dye.

Oh, and dresses, and skirts.

I fought with my mother anytime she tried to make me wear pants or shorts, even if it was far too cold to have my legs uncovered.

I loved anything lacy, loved the flowing, frilly skirts like those of a flamenco dancer that tickled my ankles and flared out around me like a spinning top whenever I twirled.

I used to be a “girly-girl.”

I’ve heard that some people consider that an insult, but I never did.

Honestly, I can’t understand being insulted by it.

What makes being like a girl something to be ashamed of?

Why not embrace everything that makes you feminine, even if it’s maybe a little stereotypical, and kind of impractical.

Maybe life wants to convince us to let go of our gender identity. To believe it’s somehow “cringey” to love and enjoy being female.

I know I gave in to the propaganda. I’m not even sure when it happened.

I wonder if I could ever go back to wearing lace-trimmed skirts and puffy dresses without feeling uncomfortable and out of place.

From princess dresses and barrettes to jeans and suit jackets.

From girly-girl to tomboy.

I don’t doubt for a while I might have been considered mannish or “butch.”

But honestly, I’m no more ashamed of my “boyish” tastes now than I was of my girly ones back then.

Clothes are just clothes, a means of expression. A visual cue to strangers, letting them have some idea of the person underneath.

As I learn to embrace more of what it means to be me, I learn that my clothing doesn’t have to be limited to one side or the other.

I can be a girly-girl and a tomboy.

Though it sounds like a dichotomy, the truth of life is that humans are multifaceted beings, not paper dolls.

I can embrace both my masculinity and my femininity as equally important parts of my identity.

Yes, women can have masculine traits, it doesn’t make you mannish.

Society wants to make you believe that you can’t embrace both sides of Yin and Yang. That you can only accept part of who you are, and all other portions of self must be thrown by the way-side, ignored.

There’s a reason the Yin and Yang symbol is designed the way it is, mixing masculinity and femininity together, pieces of one in the other.

Both traits are part of everyone.

It’s worth the effort it takes to shirk society’s standards and to accept every piece of the puzzle that makes us who we are.

It’s worthwhile for me to learn to enjoy all that it means to be “girly.”

To remember that femininity is not weakness.

And masculinity is not a rejection of my womanhood.

All are important parts of what it means to be me.

Yes, I can wear a suit, in fact, I already own one, waiting to be tailored.

Yes, I can wear that obnoxiously colored maxi dress that looks like it came straight out of the 70s (and probably did).

There’s no shame in being girly.

There’s no shame in being tomboyish.

There’s no shame in being myself.

I’m not subject to simple black and white definitions of gender, like pink and blue.

I’m living Lavender, that’s just how I am.

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