‘I choose comfort over style’By: Umeza Peera
Manvi (16) does not like fancy clothes and chooses comfort over style. People call her a ‘tomboy’ - it did bother her a lot while growing up and still does. She shares her feelings with TeenBook.
Picture credit: Adobe Stock /Roquillo
Who is Mr Tom?
As a child, I grew up with two brothers so I adapted to their way of living. I would never ask for a barbie doll as my present. Instead I would plead for a skateboard, loved having mud fights with my elder brothers or playing football with them.
Every time I was forcefully dolled up in skirts, tops or dresses by my mom or relatives, I felt uncomfortable. The dresses did not allow me to play freely and tops were too tight for my comfort. I wanted to remove them and change into something more comfortable.
Till date, my mother keeps asking me to be more “girly” - whatever that means. She doesn’t say it to me directly but uses different tactics like, “Manvi, you looked so pretty when you had long hair, why don’t you let them grow longer?”
And I always decline her requests bluntly! These kinds of comments really upset me back then and even today! I have always been a so-called ‘tomboy,’ all through my growing up years. Will someone please tell me who Mr. Tom is anyway?
Because it’s comfortable!
As I grew up, I started dressing according to my preference, without bothering about anyone else’s comments and stares. I chose my dressing style according to my comfort rather than fashion. Not every girl wants to be fashionable or wear pinks, glitters or dresses! At least not me!
I like jeans, shirts, tees, pants and prefer tracksuits over dresses. It’s just comfortable for me. I am choosing comfort over style and want to be accepted. Why do people call me Tomboy for this choice? I fail to understand this.
Girls in my class always laughed at me for behaving in this so-called ‘boyish’ manner. I also feel that being a boy is so lucky! They are always dressed in comfortable clothes.
Initially my mother even thought I was going through a strange transition and it was ‘just a phase’. She tried her best to buy me expensive gowns, princess dresses, Cinderella shoes and what not to lure me to change my habits but she has finally given up! Last gift I received from her was a purple jacket! I can still bear with it!
I now play basketball, enjoy learning how to ride my brother’s bike whenever I get a chance and mostly wear sneakers because they make me feel comfortable when I do these tasks.
Accepting me as I am
When it came to making friends, I always had a handful. I was more comfortable with boys and they understood me better than girls. In 8th grade, many girls tried to bully me by saying mean things and many stopped talking to me because I was different to the other girls. I was treated differently.
I was even called names for being friends with boys and playing with them. But now, I do not bother. I am so thankful to Akash, Sumit, Karan, Mihir and others for accepting me as I am and not treating me differently.
However, it often makes me sad when aunties around me stare at me and whisper, “Agar aisi rahogi toh accha ladka kaise milega”! I really want to tell them loud to mind their own business!
A small price to pay
I always thought that there was something wrong with me because everyone around kept saying so. But over time, I have realised that this is how I am. There is nothing wrong with me. I have just chosen comfort over style, sports over dancing or music. Many people make these choices!
I now understand that all these things make me happy and I shouldn’t let anybody change me no matter who they are. I am at ease when I do what I like. This way, I am also able to focus on my studies and enjoy everything else around me.
If people call me tomboy, so be it. Isn’t it a small price to pay for what I like to do?
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