What It's Like When You're Girly On The Outside, But A Tomboy Inside

by Zara Barrie

I’ve always been the sort of girl whose fashion aesthetic neglects to represent her personality accurately.

The girl displayed on the outside is a vastly different entity than the girl who exists on the inside.

Since the very moment I took the first plunge into the throes of adolescence, my newly mascara-adorned eyes were instantly drawn toward the ultra feminine, supremely high-end world of mega glamor.

I’m the type of girl you know is arriving several minutes before I enter a room because you can hear a collection of stacked bracelets heavily clanking against one another and six-inch platform Mary Janes loudly pounding against the delicate floor.

I wear blood red lipstick to work and haven’t seen my nails without polish since I was 14 and forced to adhere to an oppressive private school dress code that forbade colored nails. I simply can’t help but adore girly glamor, for I was born with an irrepressible lust for everything that glitters.

The trouble is my personality is anything but glamorous.

If my personality wore clothes, it would sport effortlessly ripped black denim jeans, a carelessly loose tee shirt and a pair of beat up converse.

See, the girl who is a vision of lipstick and sky-high heels on the outside is actually a freewheeling, vehemently inappropriate, endlessly adventurous tomboy on the inside.

I’m completely fearless about the prospect of getting dirty. I love sick, twisted, overtly sexual humor and can rough it better than any denim-pants-rocking girl I know.

Upon first meeting me and taking in the dizzying display of extra large sunglasses and waist-length hair, it’s only natural that most people would draw humorously false assumptions about me.

I get it. I can almost hear your irritated voice exclaim, “Well why doesn’t this delusional chick dress more concurrent with her personality?!” through the computer screen. It’s a no-brainer, right?

After all, dressing the part would make life a hell of a lot easier. Every time I do submit to societal pressures, wear one of my two pairs of jeans and trade in the platforms for flats, I most definitely am treated more along the lines with how I feel.

Truth be told: I shamelessly love to wear pretty things. I love to wear over-the-top eccentric things. I love to spend heaps of money on cheap jewelry at the Williamsburg Flea and pile every piece onto one arm, and I f*cking love to coat endless globs of mascara onto my lashes.

So what’s a contradiction of a girl to do? Betray her personal style in order to be better understood by the masses?

If I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, I would rather die in a beautiful tulle skirt and cat-eye liquid liner than in basic jeans and a tee shirt.

Luckily for me, there are many girls and boys of the free world who are faced with a similar dilemma.

I share a special kinship with my tribe of glamorous tomboys because there are certain struggles to our fabulous existence that only WE understand:

People think you’re a priss who can’t hang at the dive bar.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left new friends with jaws dropped in shock after learning about the frequency in which I attend the dirtiest of dive bars.

I guess my affinity for long dresses and vintage python clutches leaves people assuming all of my free time is spent sprawled in a velvet chaise lounge whilst poolside at the Ritz-Carlton.

There is no one who feverishly loves a dirty dive bar more passionately than I. I’m the first person to unabashedly bond with the drunken barflies, to kick everyone’s ass in air hockey and order a round of inexpensive shots for the entire contents of the bar.

I THRIVE in the DIVE. The dive is home, and the more sordid and salacious, the better.

Everyone thinks you’re a rich bitch.

This is the most painful assumption bestowed upon the glamorous tomboy. Our society associates glamor with MONEY and money with a bad attitude, and hot damn, this is so far from the crux of the truth.

In fact, fashionistas are often some of the most destitute creatures on the block (just because we look expensive doesn’t mean we are expensive).

First of all, most of us work in a creative field that hardly pays enough to make rent. We do what we do for love, not for money.

Yet everyone treats us as if we’re these high-end, lavish ladies who lunch, when really we’re counting our change and dutifully attending the budget-friendly house party like everyone else in their 20s.

Always remember: Fashion is an illusion. It’s humor. It’s art. It’s dress up — it’s not supposed to always accurately illustrate the inner life of the person.

People automatically assume you’re a vacuous idiot.

If you appear to be a glamorous entity to the naked eye, people tend to think you’re also brainless and vapid. As if all that exists in your pretty head is nothing but daydreams of donning decadent designer duds and coordinating your nail polish to your lipstick.

People are constantly freaked out when they hear words flow out of my mouth that don’t pertain to fashion. As if style and personality must be one in the same.

No one knows you can actually pack quite a punch.

Just because you’re wearing a dress doesn’t mean you’re not a badass. People always think just because you look like a girly girl, surely you’re a weak, delicate little damsel in distress -- a girl who is built from nothing but a slight sprinkling of fairy dust and feathers.

When, in fact, some of us seemingly ultra glam girls are the toughest babes on the block. We continuously blow people away with our epic strength.

People f*ck with us a lot, and like any good tomboy -- we don’t take that sh*t. We bite back.

It’s funny how people seem to forget the salt and wherewithal it takes for a girl to fearlessly sport the fashion she likes, regardless of the judgment of others. That takes a strong girl, not a frail girl.

You are deemed totally useless.

The moment you rock a bow headband and lip gloss, people think there is no way in hell you could possibly be good at anything that doesn’t involve matching a skin tone to a foundation.

When, in fact, we’re tech-savvy forces of nature with bright minds that can FIX almost anything with our ever-capable, perfectly polished, multiple-ringed BARE hands.

You’re always ruining your expensive clothes.

The thing about having the heart of a tomboy is that as much as you love your precious, gorgeous clothes -- they don’t mean that much to you. My wardrobe is fabulous and makes me feel good, but I inherently understand they’re just clothes.

Having a good time trumps any and all material possessions.

I have jumped into pools in $500 designer shoes. I’ve climbed trees in silk. Everything I own is tattered, stained, burned and torn. And that’s fine by me.

The high I’ve experienced chasing adventure is worth a closet full of destroyed dresses. Because at the end of the day, the inner me is a far more powerful source that will always break through the “surface” me.