Not to mention, it's on my foot, and I'm a runner. So, it's not like these things are pretty to begin with.
I loved the idea immediately, as long as I finished of course. I didn't like the thought of having a tattoo in recognition of a 100 miler since I was planning on doing several more. But Grindstone was more that that. This isn't a tattoo to memorialize a race, it's a tattoo to remind myself that I can work hard and be dedicated. This elevation profile at one point terrified me. I've never considered myself hard-working, I'm way too laid back, but I thought up a crazy goal and here I was pulling through and doing it. I felt like I had learned so much. This was to memorialize that we can surprise even ourselves.
I get that it's permanent, and in 15 years I might wish that it was "prettier" or more "feminine." When I voiced these concerns, I got the usual retort from my boyfriend. "You need to re-evaluate what is and isn't feminine." And when I roll my eyes and say something like "but it's not." He'll mumble something like "this isn't 1953" and then starts talking about hot, athletic-bodied tennis players. That wear skirts.
|Athletic women are sexy.|
He'll add "You live the feminist notion that we all create what is feminine for ourselves, that we self-define and derive confidence not from conformity with a dated societal expectation, but from being you." But is the traditional idea of feminine really outdated? At first I think that it is, that we still divide the athletic girls from the girly-girls, but the more I think about it, this is not the case. If it was, there wouldn't be so much pink athletic gear.
I come from a family of four girls and my dad. I never excelled at anything involving catching or throwing, and so I understand why I did dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading, but we always did girly things. My mother took me and my sisters to the mall a lot. We got our eyebrows waxed every two weeks. To do or not to do cheerleading wasn't a choice that I made. We were reminded to put lip gloss on every time we left the house. I remember getting a serious talk from my mother about not wearing make-up to school and how I needed to get up earlier. She even paid for indoor tanning.
It's funny how my youngest sister and I, once we both moved away from home, have become the opposites of our High School selves. My little sister almost never wears make-up, has hair perpetually in a ponytail, and I had to beg her to just buy a pair of ballet flats instead of being in sneakers all the time. She spends all day studying and rolls her eyes at the thought of going through all that work just for school. She's a relaxed kind of confident about who she is and what she has to offer. She doesn't care about wearing lip gloss anymore either, as do I.
I've written before about becoming more confident and working through body issues, and while I still think that presentation matters, it's been years since I felt the need to always make sure I had make-up on. I'm not so insecure to worry about being girly or feminine. And yes, slowly the idea of being feminine is less about being a pretty girl and more about being confident. It started off with my being anti-feminine (I'm going to wear a sports bra all the time!) and it's turning more into embracing that I'm never going to feel the need to wear eye shadow again. Which is awesome. I feel much more happy with my new CrossFit sculpted shoulders and arms than I would be with a flat stomach.
The most incredible thing about who I've become since leaving home is that I've somehow developed some weird determination to prove myself. My mother always encouraged giving up with the going got tough--but I've done everything I can to prove that I'm not that little cheerleader anymore. I'm not delicate.
And the traditional idea of being feminine is actually very unsexy to me compared to my new idea. Confidence rocks. Which is a reason why I'm cutting off all my hair this week. I'm going to rock a pixie cut starting this Friday, something I've been wanting to do for months. I think that, on young women, it oozes confidence and defies traditional notions of sex appeal and femininity--something that I think I'm ready for.
Yes, I have a new nose piercing, my first tattoo, and I'm cutting off all my hair. Now, who's going to buy me a motorcycle?
|My sister asked me if I was turning into Lisbeth Salandar. I am dating a journalist after all.|