Growing Up With Four Brothers, Adults Were Afraid That I Would Magically Turn Into A Boy



When I was about four, I remember overhearing my mom tell her friend that my doctor advised her to only make me wear skirts and dresses and never pants, because I was growing up with four brothers around me. I don’t know why I remember this so vividly, but it really is one of the few memories that have stayed with me. It’s probably because I was so incredibly puzzled, thinking so deeply about why I couldn’t wear pants, and I still don’t have the answers up until now. I don’t think that the doctor’s advice really did anything, but it produced a lot of baby photos of me wearing skits while sitting “like a dude” and showing everyone my panties.

When I was about five, before the Bratz Dolls invaded my life and actual stuffed dolls were a thing, I remember carrying an Aladin doll wherever I went. I don’t have much memories of me actually playing with the doll, but I only really remember having it because of the many times adults would make such a big deal about me having a boy doll. There was even this one time where one of my parent’s friends asked my mom if they didn’t have a Jasmine doll available. And I remember just really trying to figure out what’s so bad about having my favorite character from my then favorite movie as a doll. I was really offended for Aladin. Like, I’m sorry he wasn’t good enough for you.

When I was about six or seven, I was confronted by one of my titas (aunts) to try to make me stop watching wrestling. She told me, “You know, princesses don’t like wrestling”.  So, I body slammed her. Okay, I didn’t. But, I really wanted to. Watching RAW or Smackdown was pretty much the highlight of my day. I would pretend that beds were rings and I would practice my grand entrance with John Cena’s theme song while hold up a world heavyweight championship belt. I didn’t want to be a princess (that was back then, we have Moana now), I wanted to be the world heavyweight champion. Unfortunately, everyone disapproved of my dream. But at this point, I sort of had the idea that all the disapproval had something to do about me being a girl.

Did they really think that skirts and dresses was the magical solution in making sure that I would grow up straight? Was carrying around Aladin, a boy doll, create such a big risk of me turning into a boy? And can you please tell me who the hell even decided that wrestling was exclusively for boys? Aren’t girls allowed to be as rough, rowdy, and strong?

All my life, it’s like I’ve always been told that I should stop trying to be a boy. But really, I was just trying to be me.

Author: Bianca Garcia Cruz

I’m a 5 foot, twenty-one year old former fashion student from the Philippines who currently has absolutely no idea what she’s doing with her life. But besides that, I’m a struggling vegan, triggered feminist, self-proclaimed environmentalist, Facebook social justice warrior, and everything else you find annoying.

4 thoughts

  1. This was a really cute, but really accurate story. I understand what you mean. Growing up, sometimes I preferred to hang out with my male cousins instead of my female cousins and sisters, and the adults saw a problem with that. They didn’t want to let me do anything that was stereotypically boyish, even though I was absolutely satisfied with being a girl. They just misunderstood, and their old time traditions stood in the way of reason and understanding.

    Great post, liked and subscribed.
    Check out my blog sometime?


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