Calling all Non-Girly girls

11 August 2016

This is not to say that I don’t shower, blow dry my hair or take pride in my appearance, but I resent being thrown into the “I have XX chromosomes therefore I love shopping, makeup and shoes” basket. You know those ads where the hapless male loiters impatiently outside the women’s dressing rooms while his partner tries on every outfit in the shop?  That’s me – the guy that is.  Do my best friend’s hips look too “hippy” in those jeans?  Does the colour of that top clash with her purple strappy shoes?  I wouldn’t have the foggiest. Do I give a shit? No, I don’t. Just buy the bloody thing and let’s get the hell out of here so I can go and find that new Rufus Wainwright DVD I saw in Borders last week.

Shoe shopping is an activity that scares and depresses me.  There are just too many different kinds of shoes out there, which for the non-girly girl like me makes any kind of potential purchase a complete nightmare. I’m fairly certain my shoe phobia stems from an experience I had in high school, when my mother forced me to wear brown block platform school shoes that stood ten inches off the ground.  Due to the conspicuous, and total geek nature of said shoes, it wasn’t long before the cool elite (a.k.a. the bitchy group) at my girls’ school christened them the “Blue bus” shoes.  For those who are not as old as me, the blue bus was a service in our area of the western suburbs that picked up intellectually disabled kids. It didn’t help the situation any when my mother marched down to the school office after I confessed to her that I desperately needed new shoes because I was being picked on.  Unfortunately for the girls – and me – the teachers and nuns at my catholic girls’ college had very strict views on anyone making fun of those of the “blue bus” kind. Every girl was immediately hauled into the office and given a severe lecture and detention, consequences that had an incredibly positive impact on my popularity status. However, after all of that my mother still refused to buy me a new pair of shoes until the following year, and the internal scarring I carry from this tragic shoe-related event has clearly rendered me completely disinterested in the whole shoe shopping experience.

Maybe my non-girly nature further developed as a result of me spending my formative teenage years in a long-term relationship. When one finds themselves in an eight-year relationship from the age of fifteen, they quickly fall into a comfortable co-existence usually only found in couples married for fifty years. Making an effort to look funky and fashionable wasn’t really a priority when the boyfriend you were supposed to look good for thought your acid wash jeans and farmer’s shirt were akin to a whimsical Alannah Hill number. My next relationship was with an Irishman whose idea of dressing up for a date was wearing something Guinness would easily wash out of. There’s really no point dressing up and making an effort for a guy who’s drunk eighteen hours a day and only sees you through blurred vision.

So to all you fellow non-girly girls I say be proud that you’ve never bought a fashion magazine, never attended Oaks day and couldn’t give a rats about who won the new L’Oreal contract. These days I am grateful to the ghosts of my past for saving me thousands of dollars on shoes and clothes. Sure, I have probably spent that much on books, music and stationery instead, but at least no one ever got ingrown toenails from spending all day immersing themselves in a good book!


First posted in 2010

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