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?