What you NEED to tell your feminine-ity challenged Daughters/Sisters

I don’t know about you (especially if you’re a bloke, ‘cause this doesn’t really apply to you), but when I was growing up I was basically oblivious to the universal change from child to teenager that every other girl at my school seamed to hit simultaneously. One day it was ‘eww boys a gross!’ the next day there is lip gloss, leg shaving and giggling over boys.

Now, as a girl with three older sisters you’d think I’d have some warning of this, that one of my sisters would take pity on there ignorant younger sister and take my under there wing. We’ll you thought wrong. I _failed_ at being a girl (I still do, makeup what’s that? Seriously, do you use both concealer and foundation, aren’t they the SAME THING??? Someone _please_ explain this to me), anyway I was left to fight my way through years 6 and 7 and the first 2 years of highschool before I started to get any idea of what to do.

One of my main problems was shaving; I brought it up with my mum in grade 6 as all the other girls were shaving, it went like this:

Your leg hairs are blond, you don’t need to shave, once you start saving they will turn DARK, your best to just leave it.

In my mind this meant:

Hairy Legs

So I didn’t start shaving, I wasn’t the only one, there were a few girls who didn’t, but anyone who knows me will tell you I tend to make a spectacle of myself, so I stand out. I was teased for YEARS about the hairy legs in primary school. In year 8 I decided to start shaving to make it stop but even though I was now leg hair free the nick name ‘hairy legs’ stuck around like a bad smell for the rest of the year.

Another thing I failed at understanding (until I had a job and could afford to buy my own) were bras. I had never bothered with them in primary school and I wasn’t going to bother about them in grade 8 – I mean what was the point when I didn’t even have mozzie bite boobs yet? This was obviously a bad decision, as a girl in highschool a bra was required. Mum got my some ‘bras’ if that’s what you could call them – they were useless, they didn’t even disguise your nipples when worn under the school uniform so this basically announced to the world that unlike my well endowed class mates I had yet to hit puberty.

NOTE: to mums of late bloomers, for christ sake! get bras with PADDING.

This eternal hope that one day I would suddenly grow boobs never eventuated 😦 – instead I eventually learned to invest in good quality bras that did a hell of a job of the little I had, but $60 for an under garment was not in my high school budget so the ridicule continued.

NOTE: to mums, aunts and sisters of highschool girls that are not well endowed – the money is worth it for their self-esteem – splurge and buy the poor girl a good quality bra, preferably the gel filled ones as they look and feel more realistic.

My humiliation continued with my failure to understand the change in dynamic of a ‘sleep over’ party. I was invited to one hosted by a BOY in grade 8. EVERYONE was going, to me this looked like a great opportunity to try and get in with the ‘in’ crowd (if anyone could make the teasing stop it would be them right? right??). I packed up my bag, my PJs and my pillow and headed off. We’ll it turns out at this sort of sleep over that:

  1. you don’t actually sleep (and changing into your PJs even if it is like 11pm is considered strange behavior)
  2. if you DO happen to sleep someone will remove at least one of your eyebrows (I saw this happen to someone else, lucky for me I skipped this!)
  3. if you WANT to get any sleep in the early AMs you’d best go and reserve yourself the bathtub (smartly reserving the couch is _not_ the right approach, someone else, generally of the opposite gender, will just lying down on top of you – which for a girl who has yet to _really_ figure out the whole boy thing and is only just starting to get interested in them and if it happens to be one of the ‘cute boys’ is VERY off putting)
  4. even though your only 12/13 drinking will occur and being the only person who didn’t bring a 4 pack of lolly water drinks makes you strange (especially if you admit to having never drunk before)

My plan back-fired. Instead of removing the obstacles to a peaceful high school existence I provided the masses with additional ammunition. It took me a couple more years to realise that I would never fit in regardless of how hard I tried, at which point I stopped trying to change who I was and realised that my friends were far more awesome then the ‘popular kids’. I had permanently established myself as the freakish person, and sadly this sort of thing follows you from school to school.

Once people recognize a weakness they will exploit it and my lack of knowledge of teenage girl protocol was a weakness. I had started to get into a habit of pulling out long hairs from my eyebrows as they annoyed me – I thought this was strange behavior and I was ashamed of it. At one point when I was at the shops a girl from school came up to me and asked me if I plucked my eyebrows, I responded NO! of COURSE not – which left her and her friends walking away laughing and me bewildered and confused about what I had done/said wrong.

My experience with this has lead me to realise that I was doomed from the start as I missed out on the knowledge from home that most girls get, so I strongly advise ANYONE with a daughter, please ensure they are well equipped to withstand high school – you may not want them to become a ‘sheep’ and follow all the trends, but at least arm them with the knowledge and skills they will required to navigate the minefield.

Signing Off – MCL


2 Responses to “What you NEED to tell your feminine-ity challenged Daughters/Sisters”

  1. 1 Mulan
    November 26, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Wow, about 98% of this happened to me, not because my parents did not inform me of normal tenneage protocol but because they didn’t even know what the normal teenage protocol was! So yeah, did not wear bras until well into high school and even those bras were terrible ones, didn’t shave until way too late as was teased in the same manner…. make-up? well you know i hardly even wear it now…..the only thing i never went to were sleep-pvers where my parents thought this was a chance for religious parents to get friendly with other children and convert them, as well as the drinking and raping etc.

    Never knew this happened to you too SW, you seem to be really knowledgable now about things, i get a lot of good advice from you all the time so it’s surprising that you went through all that!

  2. 2 Dave
    November 26, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Yes, I am a boy, but totally understand your post. I had a similar experience, but from the guy side of the spectrum. There are a whole heap of things no-one tells you about being a guy, and I had the extra “benefit” of missing a lot of school which meant that when I was there I had missed even more of the peer-taught lessons on how to socially fit in.

    Still these days I don’t really “get it”; I don’t get involved in the roughhousing (except of the witty intellectual kind) or any kind of the sportsmanship camaraderie that most guys seem to just fall into naturally and it’s not from an unwillingness per se…I just don’t seem to get drawn in whenever it starts, even if I try. I have never been able to master that unkempt look where it seems like you don’t care about how you look but are still clean and technically “neat” — which every other guy can do instinctively, and a whole vat of other, little nigglie things that I won’t go into.

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