Chrysalis: From Tomboy To Woman (Part 3)

I had seen jeans around, other kids wore them but for some reason I didn’t own a pair, guess I was still content with my red shorts or maybe I just wasn’t bothered. I was 9 or 10 when I got my first pair of jeans from my big sister. I fell in love with them instantly because they were blue, my favourite colour at the time. They also had red embroidered flower patches at the bottom that I didn’t like so much but I didn’t let them bother me. I was wearing my first pair of jeans and they felt great. But unlike my red shorts, I had enough pairs of jeans and I didn’t have to wear one pair for days. As the years went by I grew fonder of jeans and T-shirts. I wore jeans with everything and for everything.

Then came High School and my jean mania escalated. This is because unlike my primary boarding school, here jeans were allowed. I had more jeans than skirts and dresses. I remember I had this one pair of jeans that I cut through around the knees and were my favourite. I would walk around the school compound after classes listening to music on my scanner radio, feeling like Nas Tha Don in my torn up jeans and over sized t-shirts. Moreover this was an only girl’s school and my dress code raised many eyebrows. However in my A-Level, I had toned it down because I had moved to a mixed school and I also kind of had this guy I liked.

In my S.6 vacation I decided to try out modelling because I was bored and I wanted to try out this ‘girly’ thing. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, I was such a mess. I was sure I would be kicked out. I couldn’t balance in my high heels and many times I twisted my ankles with my awkward catwalk. I struggled with the make-up and hair and I hated wearing g-strings, everything was so uncomfortable. But soon enough I got better and started getting gigs/bookings.

Once I had a photo shoot in which I had to wear huge earrings only two days after I had pierced my ears. I was in agony and the worst part was that I had to wear different earrings for each outfit. I changed into nine outfits. It was unbearable, I almost cried but this was not just any photo shoot, it was for a high end lifestyle magazine at the time and there was no way I was going to screw this up and so I fought back the tears and posed for the camera. When the magazine finally came out, all my friends couldn’t believe it was me in those pictures, the tomboy had vanished and been replaced by a gorgeous young lady. I was so proud of myself and I took in all the compliments but deep down I knew that this was my final photo shoot.

After I quit modelling, I slipped back into my old ways. I was comfortable with myself for a while until recently when I decided to give it another shot. I discovered that I can always find a balance between the tomboy and this woman that I am becoming. I must say that I am making progress. I am getting a lot of help from my mum and big sis who now find great joy in buying me dresses and colourful tops. I also find shopping more exciting, than I did before but I’m yet to get a hang of the make-up and I’m definitely loving my new wardrobe. Hopefully one day, I will fully retire the tomboy within but for now I like to dress up in nice dresses and shoes and on other days I just love to dress down in my good old jeans t-shirts. That’s just who I am.

About Teakisi 239 Articles
Teakisi (formerly ElleAfrique) is an English and French blogzine dedicated to challenging and changing the perceptions of African girls and women in the world today.

2 Comments

    • Only seeing this comment years later and I must say I finally realized that I don’t have to be anything but myself. I was so conflicted at the time and wrong to think that there was only one way to be feminine. I’m glad I figured it out.

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