Tomboy

This painting is kind of a challenge to the stereotype of what a tomboy is and who she’ll grow up to be. 

Tomboy, 2015. 12"x12", oil & acrylic on canvas.

I grew up with "tomboy" being a bit of a derogatory term, yet being a "girlie" girl myself, I was in awe of them. I was both intimidated by their confidence, but also jealous of their ability to be bold. They could climb trees and play sports better than me, take on the boys and refuse to be pigeon-holed into how girls were “supposed” to act.

As an adult, I started to wonder - were the spiteful myths about tomboys just a way to keep girls in their (meek and mild) place? Where did the idea even come from? I know there’s the equivalent for boys – the shy, sensitive guy being told he’s not “manly” enough. What a shame that we’re forced into these gendered roles.

I picked a pretty “girlie” looking dress because as adults, we meet people all the time who we have no idea what they were like as kids. The wearer of this dress may well have been a tomboy, who knows? Regardless, she is now a confident, flawless woman.

 In my Flawless series I strive to reshape gender norms by refusing to apologize for femininity, recognizing that pretty isn't weak.