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Family and friends want me to present as more "girly girl."

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 March 2018) 12 Answers - (Newest, 14 March 2018)
A female United States age 22-25, *eJah writes:

I’m a girl, I’m not really girly but I don’t dress like a guy either. I just prefer to wear normal casual clothes like a crop top a bomber and nice jeans, vs heels and dresses. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t judge people that do but they seem to judge me. A lot of my friends and family tell me I should wear heels more and put on eyelashes, wear a wig or lipstick because I don’t “dress” my age. I don’t dress like a 12 or 13 year old. I don’t wear light up shoes or Disney character shirts. I dress normal, nice and simple, but they seem to have a problem with me not wearing a little extra like them because they say it’s the new thing and guys find you more attractive. I don’t want to change my style, but they have me feeling insecure about it, what should I do? I think the way that I dress for my age is fine. I don’t look bad, my hair is always done. I think I’m pretty girl without all those things. They make it seem as though to the opposite sex I’m viewed as basic and boring but I don’t agree. Any opinions and thoughts?

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A male reader, TylerSage United States + , writes (14 March 2018):

TylerSage agony auntI'm so very happy that you're comfortable in your own skin. It's a pretty uncommon trait among girls in their early 20s especially with social media apps like Instagram and Snap-chat virtually issuing unwritten rules and gimmicks as to how one should take a picture and videos these days. Everything is so staged. You seem not to overly care much about the outward appearance of yourself and others. That's a good thing, unfortunately, just like Instagram, we live in a staged world.

I assume your mother loves you and wants whats best for you. She herself was your age once and knows what it's like out there when it comes to securing a mate. As a result of this, that's why she's hounding you to dress differently, not for the sake of compromising who you are but for ensuring you secure a man, which most mothers define as the threshold to eternal happiness and the joys of motherhood and grand-kids and all those smoke and mirrors.

Many men will ignore you and not notice your good looks unless you dress to impress. Not that I'm saying you should as some guys will appreciate your style and qualities it's just that it's probably going to be more difficult. We live in a world where competition is rampant, everyone wants to look better, be stronger, work harder be smarter, do more, go further, so when you say you want to be appreciated for just being yourself it's seen as underachieving and tossed aside.

Yes, wanting to just be yourself can lead to your downfall. I'm sure you've heard of the "game" we need to play to get a spouse right? Well, how you dress is a part of it unfortunately. It's like a like having a really good King rule a kingdom, at some point someone bound to betray him and kill him. His own good nature lead to his fall, the same can be said for a bad king. Balance is required.

As much as your traits are admirable, life can be unkind sometimes. It just comes down to being able to accept the consequences that can come with the choices we make.

All the best.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

My mom used to say: "say your prayers, shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, wear clean clothes, finish school, and you're ready for the world!"

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (13 March 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntI am quite a plain dresser as well, hair is always throwing on top of my head for work and I never wear make up unless am heading on a night out. Honestly it is your body your choice. Next time someone says something to you, just ask them why they feel the need to judge you. It is great you are comfortable in your own skin. Some people wear make up to feel better about themselves, you don't need that and it probably makes others jealous or curious. A lot of people in life have an opinion, its best just to smile and ignore them. If they are effecting your confidence then be honest with them and tell the truth.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (13 March 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntOh dear me. If all women were as casual about what they wore, and as comfortable without make-up as you appear to be, do you realize how many industries would crash overnight? You go, girl. Be yourself. Don't let anyone tell you how you should dress or that you should look like everyone else.

The fashion and make-up industries all prey on women's insecurities and need to look like everyone else to survive. It would never do if all women started feeling comfortable about their bodies and not wearing what the magazines told them they should wear. You have found our style and you like it. Good for you.

In your shoes, next time someone says something, I would look them in the eye, smile and ask "Are you happy with the way YOU look?" If their answer is negative, tell them "Well, I am happy with the way I look". If their answer is positive, tell them "Well, so am I".

My own personal "fashion" bugbear at the moment is inch thick clown eyebrows. Someone decided eyebrows were going to be the focus of fashion and so many have followed like sheep. If you truly think these monstrosities sitting on your forehead make you look gorgeous, then fair enough, but I do wonder how many girls actually believe this is a good look. Is it not more about being brainwashed into looking like all their friends? Natural does it for me every time. You hold your head high and don't give in to these insecure people who can't stand it that you dare to be different.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

You wear whatever you want to wear; but dress appropriate to the occasion and situation. If you want to date a guy; he'd prefer to be the one that looks like a guy. Casual is fine for most people; but sometimes you have to dress-up to impress.

I wouldn't want to take my boyfriend to a formal party sponsored by my company dressed in his jeans and tee.

He likes me to dress-up for him; and even try something daring now and then. He likes my physique and likes showing me off. I do it for his sake, not my own vanity. Sometimes you have to compromise to please those who go out of their way to please us. It won't kill you!

You shouldn't need to defend your style. If it is drawing so much attention and commentary, that only means you never variate or show any inclination to indicate you like yourself or you take yourself too seriously. It's like you have to maintain an unchanging appearance to avoid something.

I'd be the last one to criticize; but sometimes you have to flaunt your assets and make an impression. Oh, just for the hell of it! You come-up with enough reasons why you shouldn't. You don't give any good reason why you can't show a little variety and experimentation in your taste. That's all your family has asked of you.

Sometimes down-playing your image is a way of hiding or avoiding attention. Is there another reason you haven't shared? You can't help but be yourself. That's all anyone on the planet can do. You can't look at trying something new as being pretentious; because never changing or evolving will stunt your growth. Underplaying yourself doesn't fend-off attention. I tried practically all my life; but it doesn't work.

Being gay, I was pressured by society to prove my visibility and heterosexuality by dating women and adapting to the status quo. I felt forced to do that. However; I also did my best to avoid being too obvious, to fly below the radar. My personality, and some would say my looks, still drew attention from females. Fortunately, males too! If dressing as you do is just being you, that's great. If downplaying your femininity is for another reason; then be true to yourself there too.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2018):

Outside of work you can wear whatever you like whenever you like. If other people want to wear something different that's their choice. Don't feel pressured into wearing makeup and heels. Both are bad for your health anyway. Clearly in some workplaces you might be required to wear certain clothes but outside of work just be yourself!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2018):

Dressing appropriately, as per the occasion, and per your tastes is the way to go.

If your style is jeans, bomber jacket and crop top,that's you! Casual, however,may not be appropriate everywhere e.g. a more formal workplace. You can mix it up with what you feel comfortable experimenting with. An example would be a smart tailored jacket with darker rinse jeans...it's casual chic but could maintain your aesthetic.

There is no need for heels or make-up and you shouldn't have to deviate too far from who you are.And I just don't get fake eyelashes.People may just not be very comfortable with how comfortable and effortless you are!

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A female reader, DeJah United States +, writes (13 March 2018):

DeJah is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I had on a bomber and crop top that day lol and I had went to TGIF. I thought I looked fine. Not trashy, not ugly, not uncoordinated, but simple and cute.

[Mod note: link to OPs image deleted due to site guidelines.]

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

Honeypie agony auntThe expression "dress to impress" comes to mind. For me that has more to do with work clothes. That looking put together is a GOOD thing in most career fields.

As for dressing like "them", I don't see the need. YOU are you, not "them". And the guys you MIGHT attract if you change how you dress.. well, might not BE the kind of guy YOU are looking for. You can ABSOLUTELY look attractive without wearing heels and a dress. But you can also look like a total disaster if you are NOT comfortable in those kind of clothes.

Dressing up here and there for family events (where you know everyone else are dressed up) I think is fine, but in the day to day? That is up to you. If you work on a place where your "normal" outfit is acceptable then I don't see why you should change.

Not liking make up or "being dolled up" is OK. I have always been pretty minimum with make up. My skin never liked that whole foundation, powder, blush etc. etc... Neither do I wear lipstick not nail polish, it just doesn't FEEL like me. I'm not a dress person either. Though I did wear skirts to work, because it was appropriate (and shorts were a no-no in summer)

We all have to find our own style. And you should feel you HAVE to dress for MEN or to fit in with what family/friends want.

Do you. There are enough expectations in this world without adding those superficial ones such as make up and clothes.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (13 March 2018):

chigirl agony auntStick to your own style.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (13 March 2018):

Anonymous 123 agony auntBe true to yourself DeJah. You are who you are.. No apologies, no regrets. Do what makes you happy, live the way you want to, don't ever change your ways just to suit others or even worse, to appear attractive to guys. Don't let anyone and I mean anyone, get you down or allow you to question yourself. You are unique and why not! Believe me, you will be far more attractive and likeable than someone with fake eyelashes and a plumped up pout, tottering in heels and a tight dress

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

mystiquek agony auntBe yourself darling. At the end of the day you don't have to impress ANYONE. Be happy in your own skin. People run around always trying to be someone that they aren't and even if they pretend to be happy, they really aren't. Your friends/family mean well but you need to tell them that you are happy with yourself just as you are and though you appreciate their thoughts/advice, you are going to do/wear what makes you happy. Who wants to be like everyone else anyways? I dont!

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