When I was in the second grade, all I wanted for Christmas was a Drew Bledsoe official New England Patriots jersey. I was (and still am) a huge Pats fan, and I just thought there was nothing cooler, more cunning or stylish than that bright blue jersey, double ones on the back, Bledsoe across the shoulder blades. Christmas morning came, and to the delight of my eight year old heart, Santa had wrapped up my Bledsoe jersey in green paper and tucked it under the tree.
I was So. Excited. to wear my jersey to school, I seriously thought I was the cats pajamas. UNTIL. In the cafeteria that day, a boy in my class (who will remain nameless, though I can assure everyone that he, despite being incredibly popular in high school, is going nowhere fast) shouted for everyone to hear: I didn’t know Drew Bledsoe was a GIRL!!!!
I had NEVER been that embarrassed before, and I never wore the jersey to school again.
That was the first time I let what a guy said have and effect on what I thought, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Why is what men say so important? We are taught to be independent, intelligent women who have thoughts of their own, and yet I find myself actually caring about and taking to heart what men think. For example: I have long hair, 14 or 15 inches root to tip, and this summer I thought seriously about cutting it off. I thought there would be nothing better that a cute, professional bob to take with me into senior year. Then, in late August, I met a guy in a bar who told me that my hair was gorgeous and that I should never cut it. So I didn’t. Hello, paging Jim Bob Duggar? We have a candidate for your family.
It doesn’t end there. Every Thursday, the seniors and juniors of my school frequent a certain bar in downtown Worcester. Large amounts of dollar drafts and vodka cran with soda and lime are consumed. I love the place, but one of the best parts is they actually let you get up on the bar and dance if you want, which is awesome when you’re just drunk enough. Except, I don’t dance on the bar. Ever. Even when I’m plastered. The reason is that an older guy who was on the ski team my sophomore year told a story once where a girl was dancing on the bar, and while the friend she was next to was totally hot, this other chick had thunder thighs. AND IT WAS DISGUSTING. Girls, he told us, never, ever have thunder thighs. Welp, I lost, because I have big thighs. Did I mention that no one where I go to school is fat? Our campus is carved into a mountain; it’s practically impossible to be obese. So this thunder thigh girl was probably not overweight, was just blessed (or cursed), like me, with large, albeit muscular, thighs. Give me a break! I play rugby! But no one wants to see those dancing on a bar. In fact, if you don’t look like you belong in Coyote Ugly, don’t even entertain the idea. I’m scarred. Can’t do it for fear some guy will look up on that bar and go UGH! THUNDER THIGHS! GET HER OFF THE BAR!
But in the end, I still want to know why, why, why women do (or don’t do) things just because of what men might think. How did I, or any woman of my generation become a victim to this?
I recently cut my hair--eight whole inches! ALSO, and perhaps more importantly, a friend of mine convinced me to get on the bar. And I did. And it was amazing. Go me!