I don’t think I would say that I am a girlie girl per se, but if I had to pick for myself butch or femme, I’d go femme.
Femininity has been an ongoing issue throughout treatment. Within a month of diagnosis, my breasts were in a medical waste bin. Two months later, I was bald. Both very clear representations of femininity, gone.
Because I was in active treatment, it felt somehow easy to swallow. I had no choice in the matter. I didn’t care about my femininity. I cared about surviving another day. My scars and bald head were like a badge of honor.
Now things feel very different. I don’t feel sick anymore. Dare I say, I feel like my old self 60% of the time (insert applause).
I was looking in the mirror this morning and decided that I would rather be bald than look like this. It’s really a bad look for me, at least in my opinion. I feel extremely un-feminine. Maybe it is just the short hair, but maybe it’s the culmination of all of the de-femming I’ve gone through.
It feels like my connection to my feminine synapses has been severed. Is it possible that- because I don’t see myself looking like the woman I’ve always identified as- I am going through a legitimate metamorphosis? I’m having to reinvent my feminine self?
Now, when I go out with my very short hairdo, anyone who doesn’t know me could very well think that this is my hairstyle of choice (Spoiler alert! It’s not). That bothers me. I wish it didn’t, but it does. I feel like me, but I don’t look like me.
I look like my dad. Not ‘reminiscent of’–I look exactly like him. My dad was a very handsome man, but as a 36 year old woman, I don’t want to look like him.
His eyebrows are way better though, dammit.
You have to understand that my dad raised us on his ideal of femininity, and that all revolved around long hair. As children, he instructed us to politely ask the stylist if we could use her phone, if mom ever took us to the salon for a haircut.
“Then dial 9-1-1,” he said.
So I have some issues with equating long hair to femininity. It’s not my fault.
-Editors Note: I had to literally stop writing here because I was starving and my brain stopped working. Two tacos later, I’m back!
People have been enormously kind in telling me they like my hair (please, gurl) and that I have such a pretty face that I can work it (m’kay…). This outside affirmation doesn’t take away my negative feelings about this phase, unfortunately. I still glimpse a mirror and mourn my femininity.
I want to feel like a lady again. No-scratch that- I want to feel like a mermaid.
The other piece of this puzzle are my breasts or rather, their stunt doubles. It is a very odd experience as they appear normal to any outsider, but I can’t feel them AT ALL. They also have zero function.
So for all intents and purposes, from my perspective I don’t have any breasts at all. They are a mirage. You see them, but I don’t feel them.
Watch this video closely and focus on my chest area. They do. not. move. Please also note my extreme jump spread eagle prowess.
They are like having mangos stapled to my sternum
We all have different definitions of femininity. Unfortunately, mine is deeply tied into ponytails and a bouncy chest.
Step 1 towards getting my girly-ness back is acceptance. A work in progress.
3 Comments Add yours
I’m still in the baby phase of hair growth but I have been dreading the stage you are in, seriously considered rocking a mohawk…I’m with ya on the long hair thing too, mine has always been long. Yet another reason why cancer sucks.
Grace — Hair is good, any length. Then, if you choose, you can cut it or shave your head. I’m certain you have lots of hats! Love the shot of you and your Dad . . . guess you DO look like him. The fatherly “long hair” issue may explain why your Dad was more sensitive about HIS new hair cuts . . . just sayin’
2017 is your year!
I’m right there with you. My hair is growing back but not into that cute pixie which one would expect. I miss my hair more than the breasts, is that strange?