You know when you come across something and you're just like, yes! Of course! That is exactly what I have been trying to articulate! That's pretty much just how I felt when I came across Lizzie Garrett's blog-turned-book Tomboy Style.
When I was in second grade, I became best friends with the prettiest, most prim little blonde girl in my class. As the year wore on and she informed me that I was too old for many of the toys I loved and that I needed to stop climbing trees with the boys, I remember my first feelings of inadequacy and self-conciousness. By mid-year, I'd traded in my oversize denim shirts for cute little outfits from Gap Kids and had my first crush on a boy: Tyler. Tyler, oh Tyler, I wore stick-on earrings for you!
After a solid year spent bickering and being picked on by my newfound friend, I had my first straight-up burnout. By the time third grade rolled around, the old Jess was back: my buddies were named Owen and Reed. I wore the same pair of overalls every. day. And I had a green Nickelodeon "slime" cake at my joint birthday party with my sister, who counteracted it with a very pink, very large Barbie cake. Looking back, my Mom gets serious kudos for just rolling with it when I woke her up at 10pm one night, dragged her into the bathroom, and told her to cut my mermaid hair to my shoulders. She just did it, and told me I looked beautiful. I came home every day and rode bikes with the neighborhood boys and played on an all-male soccer team until they told me I had to start playing on a girl's league. It wasn't until 7th grade I finally wore a dress or touched a blow-dryer.
All these years later, I am still a tomboy. I might have learned how to apply makeup and do my hair, I've even acquired a certain affinity for heels... but I am still that stringy-haired little girl in the giant denim shirt. I still get along better with boys, and I am the kid that could not fathom the idea of a two piece bathing suit and gave a black eye to the goalie on my soccer team when he grabbed me from behind. I live in cowboy boots, love a rare steak, and I'm pretty decent at most sports. I know now I can be all those things and still be every bit the girl, too. It's like I've said in prior posts, I'm still going to cry at movies and I can't swing a hammer for shit. But I've always been more leather than lace, and it's something about myself that I've grown to love.
So when I came across Lizzie's blog, I immediately felt like I was communing with a soul sister I'd never even met. I realized there were hordes of women out there just like me drinking stiff drinks and running around in shirts originally intended for men. She gave a home to all us tomboys and took it a step further - she played a large part in bringing it to the forefront of fashion consciousness.
Naturally, I'm so excited that tonight, at my most favorite store, Ann Mashburn, Lizzie will be signing copies of her kickass book, Tomboy Style. I hope if you're in town that you'll go - even if these days your nails are perfectly polished, I know there are a few of you out there who remember what it was like to have dirt underneath.