I’ve always been a T-shirt and jeans kind of girl. There are few childhood photos of me in anything else. As a kid, I was the definition of a tomboy: never without my signature ponytail and always barefaced and sun kissed. Even now, when I’m home alone, you’ll find me with my hair, too long, pulled back in a braid; the freckles on my nose exposed—not dulled by powder or foundation—wearing a worn-out pair of jeans and an old T-shirt shirt from my husband’s side of the dresser. Sometimes I wonder: if this is how I dress and what I look like when I’m most comfortable, isn’t this who I am? Why do I smear on eyeshadow and dust my cheekbones with bronzer on the weekends? Why do I dig a skirt out of my closet and a pretty, girly top to wear before going out in public? Does dressing up and looking cute really make me feel better about myself, or would I feel more secure in my usual T-shirt and jeans, because a T-shirt and jeans is who I usually am? Do clothes matter? Does mascara make a difference? Is appearance worth anything?
I want to look good; I don’t want to be a slob. But I also want to be myself, regardless of social standards or trends. How can I do that—how can I own my T-shirt and jeans, bare face and ponytail without sacrificing my God-given femininity? Because a woman is what I am, but a tomboy is who I am.
I want to be both.