Hello again. The last few months have been an age of discovery for me. I’m having more fun than I’ve had in years, my friends have saved my spirit- as well as my life, my job is better and dating doesn’t suck. I’ve been learning so much about myself- and falling in love with TV again. But we’ll get back to TV later. Today, I want to focus on Twitter.
I’ve been on Twitter almost a year and a half now (@ShamekaErby if you feel like following me) and I think I connect with it on a different level than Facebook. Twitter is the home of random thoughts- people say whatever comes to their minds. And anyone who’s my friend on Facebook knows that I live for my random thoughts. It’s interesting to see random spurts of comedy from people that you thought were completely serious, or thoughts of romance from those you thought were the biggest cynics; random bursts of insight from people you thought were too dense to have any. Now don’t get me wrong- Twitter is as fraught with frauds as any social networking tool- but just like the rest, it’s all about who you associate with. That being said, there are many tweets that make me think…
A couple of weeks ago, I saw some tweets from a guy- just sounding off about what kinds of women he liked. And didn’t like. He made mention of liking his women to be softer, more ladylike. One tweet in particular caught my eye because he expressed his displeasure with the kind of girls who “wait for mixtapes to come out.” Now, the reason this tweet caught my eye is because I am that girl. I am the quintessential hip-hop lover. I have a book full of mixtapes in my car, the DatPiff app on my phone, and I check the site every week for music I might like. So when I read that I immediately started thinking about how strange it was that my love for hip-hop made me less “ladylike.” At least in this guy’s eyes- well his, and all his friends that retweeted him. It brought back so many memories of when I muddled through this womanhood/ ladylike shit before.
If you were ever my friend years ago in the MySpace era, I used to blog there too. And one day I went on a bit of rant about how I wasn’t ladylike and had NO desire to be. To me, womanhood was the adult thing that every girl wanted to achieve- being ladylike was doing it without causing a fuss. So womanhood is what you do, ladylike is how you look when you’re doing it. That tweet brought all of that back and I realized that still have some lingering issues with it.
I remember telling my grandmother once that I didn’t want to be a lady. Needless to say, my favorite girl wasn’t very happy with me. But I felt like I was fighting for my life then- my right to be myself. See, for me, it used to be the age old argument of the girly-girl vs. the tomboy- but then things got a little bit deeper… because in terms of that basic definition, I’m at about half and half. I get my hair done (most of the time) but my nails and eyebrows? Whatever for that. I love handbags, but I hate shoes. I’ll wear a dress, but pantyhose make me want to throw things. I’ll wear SOME makeup if I’m going out- but doing my face everyday? No way. I don’t play sports, but I love watching them. And I know plenty of girls like that- but I don’t think that makes me more or less ladylike.
But there are other things. Like the fact that I LOVE hip hop music. I mean, more than any other kind. I live to wear sneakers and sweats; they’re two of my favorite things. When I buy things that require assembly, I don’t wait until I can get a man to do it for me (and if I did, with my dating life I’d be waiting awhile). I say curse words frequently, purposefully, and with intent and if you try and tell me I shouldn’t, I’ll probably curse at you. I drink and I like it and I can hold my liquor. It doesn’t embarrass me to talk about sex or about how much I love it. But do those things make me less ladylike? And does me being ladylike really matter that much in the grand scheme of things?
The answer to both of those questions is I don’t know. I mean, as long as I’m a strong, responsible woman- what does it matter if I’m a lady? I guess what I’m really asking is if the qualities I described above are considered unladylike and if they make me less attractive. Now, I wrote a blog previously about being self-contained- self-sufficient- and not a damsel in distress. And I worried then if me being that made me less attractive. So I’m worrying now. It’s a little disconcerting to think that you’ll be more alone if you don’t fit into certain slots- if you don’t like certain things. I know that all men don’t think the same way, but there’s a lot of them who think that being ladylike means certain things- and that those things are important.
Now, because there are some qualities and preferences I don’t have- or don’t want, it sometimes gives others the impression that I’m lazy or noncommittal, at least in the way of attracting the opposite sex. Not wanting to change and do the same things other women do, more “ladylike” things, I guess, makes them feel like I’m not trying. So in effect, I’m losing at this game we’re all playing. The worst part is that most people (even my friends) have made me feel like “losing” is my fault. That can wreak havoc on a girl’s confidence- especially a girl battling body type issues to begin with. Over the years, my swag has taken quite a beating. But I’m better for it. And that’s another blog for another day.
I guess men deal with the same kind of dilemma. Trying to live up to what women think a man should be, so they’ll be more attractive to them. I guess they do- but you can’t fight your personality. I’ll always be soft (it’s an advantage us plus size girls have) but I’ll never be delicate. I’m made of some pretty sturdy stuff and I like it. I love it. I love my sweats, and drinking dark liquor and calling people assholes. That’s just who I am. I love trolling the net for new hip-hop and blasting it in my car. I just want to be around people who get that, who get me. I’m sure that’s what we all want. I don’t try to make people over- I mean, I like what I like too, so I get it. And I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be a lady. But I’m a woman- and that’s good enough for me.
Besides, ladylike or not, I’m pretty fucking awesome…