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Monday, December 6, 2010

I Should Have Been Born a Man


I’m not really sure when this all began. Probably when I was lying on my back with my legs spread eagle while an stranger poured hot wax on my lady parts and then yanked it off with a cloth. Or maybe it was the painstaking hours I’ve spent in front of the mirror plucking hair from my chinny chin chin only to have it grow back even thicker a week later. Or the hours I’ve spent in hair salons, or the thousands I’ve spent on moisturizes, dark circle cream, hair removers, paint, acne medication, creamy crack (i.e. relaxers), weaves, wigs, toners, perfumes, diets etc.  And lets not forget the days (yes literal days) I’ve spent trying to find pants that fit my ample rear end and wide hips without being too big in the waists, too short, or too baggy around the thighs or chicken legs I have. Or maybe just maybe it was the time I pulled my hair back and vomited in my sink because of a particularly bad bout of nausea brought on by my menstrual cycle. Yes all these things together have served to persuade me that I should have been born a man.

I’ve written before that I’m not particularly good at being a woman. I do not wear high heel shoes because of my bad back and even if I did not have said back issue no amount of money would convince me to pry them on because wearing them is equivalent to medieval forms of torture. I hate bra’s. In fact I would write an entire blog of my absolute hatred of these circulation cutting, itching, yucky devices and my quests to find one that can fit breast that are the size of two silver dollars. And let’s not forget face paint. My first experiment with mascara almost left me blind and I have never ever figured out how to wear eye-shadow without getting little bits of pigments stuck to my eyelashes. Oh and I’m still suffering from the time I let a good friend of my arch my (already arched naturally) eyebrows. Now I have little fuzzy hair that grow outside of my natural arch. Alas I don’t even want to talk to you about my experiences with acrylic nails. I now have permanently destroyed nailbeds where I used to have naturally healthy ones.  Most days I face the world without giving any thought to my gender until I have to pee, or adjust a bra strap, or blood starts oozing out of my lady parts or a conversation on women’s rights comes up and then I turn into uber-feminst defender of all vagina- bearers.

But really I don’t tend to think much about it. I’m a natural chick. I don’t like chemicals and sprays, and girl stuff. My beauty products consists of a loafer, a bar of soap, deodorant, unscented lotion, and whatever’s on sale that I can wash my face with. If I’m feeling really glamorous I’ll wipe on a bit of witch hazel as a toner and wallah! It takes me 10 minutes to get ready in the morning. I’m a pragmatist and this is definintely revealed in the types of products I buy.  So I was born to be a man.No foo foo cosmetics, a refusal to starve myself to loose weight, a desire not to throw up my food (except when my period makes me nauseous), or poison my hair and pores, a love of reclining and relaxing, and a practical outlook on life. Yeah, I should have been born a man.

And yet for some reason beyond my comprehension I was not. In fact, I was born one of the most loathsome creatures in western society: a funny looking black woman. Now a woman is already considered second class. And a history of racism has made being black not so fun. And being an unattractive woman is to be so low on the social ladder that you may as well have been born a handicap cockroach.  Now combine all of these things and well you got me: just a "regla colored chick" trying to eke out some kind of subsistence. Now I've never been a fisherman, so needless to say I don’t bait for compliments nor do I wish to receive any pity or psychoanalytic bull crap. I keep it real.

I’ve tried to tally up the amount of time and money it would take for me to become socially acceptable. Chemical peels, concealers, laser hair removal treatments, microdermabraisons, etc etc. But there is no solution to stretch marks, uncooperative hair, and a decidedly unfeminine frame. In fact, in the time it would take me to “fix” these defects I could have gender reassignment surgery. Growing a penis is a lot easier than trying to be "beautiful"-- whatever that means this week.

 Imagine me as a man! My broad shoulders would be appreciated, my facial hair and mustache a sex symbol.  Pores? What are pores? My split ends and coarse hair solved with a razor. My physique and hairy legs unnoticed because both are buried behind layers of ill-fitted man clothes.  My big clown feet a tacit sexual statement about my perceived virility. In fact, a little time in the gym combined with a few protein shakes and I’d bulk up. Then I’d have tons of captivated women at my disposal and I could finally manage to get laid! And while we are on the subject of reproduction, I would never have to worry about getting pregnant as a 2 minute doctors appointment could render me capable of having orgies of sex without having to making babies! Yes! I could belch and fart and scratch in public! I could wear practical clothes, and shower twice a week. I could sweat and sit with my legs open. And I’d never have to wax anything again! Society would have no expectations of me and yet reward me for having nothing to offer the world accept my penis.  No, I’m not man bashing.  I’m penis envying!

But alas, I don’t have enough money to be “beautiful” or the resources to change my gender. So I must press on. Laugh self-deprecatingly, cover my mirror in wax paper, and cry myself to sleep when rejected for the umpteenth time by some cad I happen to catch feelings for. It could have been worse. I could have been born a handicap cockroach.