At the moment, I’m having one of my baggy sweatshirt-phases, but yesterday I went out in a dress because of the dance class. And somebody at work complimented me. It was just a “Hey, looks nice!”, nothing leering, nothing that should make me feel uncomfortable. But compliments have always made me feel uncomfortable. And today I realized, why: He always made compliments, he told me I was the most beautiful girl in the world, he embarassed me with his words and his hands.
Now I think that every compliment means that I have to let somebody violate my boundaries, that a compliment means being at somebody’s mercy. And if you walk around in men’s clothes that are too large, you don’t get any compliments. If you are a girl with extremely short hair, very few like that. I’ve had short hair for most of the time since I was eight years old because I feel safer like that. With short hair I was quicker in the bathroom so he couldn’t watch me for so long. In kindergarten, I used to be a girl, I had long hair, my favourite shirt had pink beads on it and I wore nail polish…all things that I try to learn again now. Like taking compliments.
I feel stupid and dolled up when I leave the house with nail polish and make-up on. But I try. Again and again. My Sidecut is a compromise: Long hair to try it on one side, short hair to feel safe on the other.
And at the same time, I am constantly flirting with people. Not always because it is fun, but often because I think if I am the quicker one, nobody can hit on me. Nobody can make me feel embarassed and take me by surprise. But today, my clothes make me invisible anyway. Today, I won’t get any compliments.