Growing Up As A Tomboy (And Wearing ‘Boys’ Clothes)

Ever since I remember I have been a tomboy, especially when it comes to what I prefer to wear. Following the labelled gender of clothes is definitely not necessary.

Katie Sea

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Growing up I was definitely a bit different to the other little girls; I hated the colour pink, I refused to wear a dress and I had a greater collection of action men than I had Barbie dolls. I was the classic Tomboy.

And I still am a tomboy now.

But as I breached childhood and started entering the worlds of adolescence and adulthood, I became self-conscious about the things that I liked. I started trying to conform a little more. I am a girl so society expects me to be more feminine.

A couple weeks back someone I know commented on my clothing choice; a green baseball cap, paired with a burgundy hoodie. She said something along the lines that I looked like a boy. I was not so much hurt, we share a jovial friendship. However, it did hit me that there are strong perceptions that certain clothing is intended for one gender and not another. This is kind of clothes-minded (I’m attempting to make a pun along the lines of ‘close-minded’, in case you missed it).

Being a tomboy, I completely disregard those ‘rules’.

What’s a tomboy?

Back in March, this exact conversation, about what a tomboy is, popped up when I was hanging out with some Europeans in Thailand. My German friends had a funny idea about what the definition of a tomboy was… and I attempted to explain what the English term means by using our Slovenian friend and myself as prime examples of girls who are definitely tomboys.

To me a tomboy is a girl who chooses to partake in activities, act like, or wear clothes that are traditionally accepted as ‘masculine’ (or reserved for boys and men).

This could be wearing boys/men’s clothes, playing football or working as a builder.

Whilst writing this, I am wondering whether there’s a term for guys who are deemed to be doing more ‘feminine’ things… is there one?

How did I come to be a ‘tomboy’?

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Katie Sea

Biology Grad & PADI Divemaster | ex-Producer at a travel startup and accumulated a year's worth of travel experience | Writing whatever piques my curiosity