In the weeks leading up to my blind date, many friends have been chiming in on my love life. Sometimes it’s in the form of, “I really don’t get why you’re single”, which, the more I think about it, seems like both a compliment and an insult. Other times they give me dating advice.
The most interesting dating advice I’ve gotten was from a friend and then reiterated by my brother’s girlfriend.
You should dress more girly.
When my friend first said it, I asked what she meant. She told me I should be more frilly, less comfortable. I still didn’t really know what that meant so I left it alone. The next day, I couldn’t help thinking about what my friend said and whether or not I agreed with it.
I won’t get into all the reasons this is somewhat problematic from a feminist perspective, I’ll just talk about what went through my head. Most of the women I know dress like me in that they wear a nice shirt, pants (sometimes jeans), and shoes. I actually thought I was going the extra mile by wearing perfume and earrings almost everyday. I won’t argue with the fact that in college I was pretty lazy with how I dressed. Most days I wore sneakers, a t-shirt, and jeans. I didn’t care much about how I looked (clearly). But nowadays, I do make an effort. I try to look nice when I leave the house. I care a little bit.
So it was weird for me to hear that I should dress more girly and it was even weirder to hear it twice. But the weirdest part of the whole thing was to hear that it somehow related to my singleness.
At first it’s kind of endearing to hear people care so much about your singleness. It’s like, Wow, these people really want me to meet a nice guy! They’re so selfless! Then, when people start to have diverse opinions as to why you’re single, it gets kind of annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind critique/constructive criticism. I usually welcome it. And in the conversation I had with my friend, she gave a lot of it and a lot of good advice.
On the other hand, I don’t like feeling like there’s some fundamental flaw with who I am and how I dress and present myself. I guess that could be the case, but if so, that’s really disheartening.
Overall, I think it’s a question of femininity. What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? As I grow up and continue to figure out exactly who I am and who I want to be, I find myself asking those questions.
Maybe I’ll save those answers for a ‘Part 2’.