Personal Column: Bimbo? Bimbo.


MyTran Vo

Analisa helps me do my hair, a effeminate task I have not yet learned how to do.

A bimbo is an attractive but stupid girl. I never wanted to become her. I was better than that. I wasn’t like other girls. Other girls only cared about hot boys and the color pink. It was their whole personality from birth to death. They brushed their long hair and gossiped with their girlfriends while I was outside playing in the dirt. I will never fit into a box of being a stupid feminine person. Like, for real. Never ever. Forever. Never. Maybe.

I have to admit that I hated being feminine. What can I say? I was just different. I was edgy and quirky, and I was not like other girls. Or that’s what my mindset was for about 12 years of my life—being feminine? I’d rather throw up. I wasn’t a “girly girl,” I was unique and my own person. Or I thought I was. I think it stemmed from being raised as the “perfect girl.” From birth, being expected to be feminine right away made me rebel. Why was I born with expectations already made due to my gender? I immediately thought that being different and the opposite of what people expected of me would make me unique. I’m 16 now, and all I can say is that I wish I could go back. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. Stay inside the box because, golly, I am struggling.


— MyTran Vo

At age 9, makeup was something that a bimbo would wear. “You’re wearing lipgloss? Ewww! Who do I need to look pretty for? MEN? EWW!” Who was I trying to impress? I didn’t need a man to validate me. That was too girly for me, and I’m not going to force myself into the social standards and be beautiful for the cruel world who won’t recognize me for my skills. In school, popularity was based on looks, not how good your grades were. I was determined to break that dumb societal norm. Did I succeed? I have no clue, but wow, I was dramatic about it. Now I’m 16, and every morning I’ve been running around the house begging my 14-year-old sister to do my eyeliner for me since 9-year-old me never bothered even to try to learn what mascara was. I chose to go to tutoring and study sessions instead of watching makeup tutorials and going through my mom’s expensive collection of beauty supplies. I’m not looking pretty for this world, but I’m looking pretty so I can stare in the mirror and call myself hot.

Stay inside the box, because golly I am struggling.

— MyTran Vo

When I was 10, I hated long hair. It was such a hassle. I would beg my mom for a boy haircut every day until she threatened to give me a buzz cut. I didn’t have time to run around the neighborhood if I spent all morning working on my hair. I grew up growing out my hair, and brushing it every morning made me genuinely rethink the point of my life. It was awful, waking up at 6 in the morning to sit on a stone-cold stool and face the wrath of an old hairbrush that brushed like it wanted to pluck every hair from my head. It was painful and stupid. “Beauty is pain-” Shut up. I would rather be out the door and early to school looking like a lost little boy from Peter Pan than get my head thrown back like I was at a rave. A short haircut was the way to go. A pat on the head, and I was out the door. I mean, education was more important than my social appearance, right? Fast forward to the present day, I’m asking my best friend, Analisa, every morning to help me brush and tie up my hair since I’ve never had long hair until recently. “Does my hair look okay? Are you sure? Are you lying? Actually, here’s my hairband. You can do it for me.” It’s a routine every morning. The routine that I skipped out on for many, many years. At least I don’t show up to school looking like I crawled through the trenches to get there.

I would rather be out the door and early to school looking like a lost little boy from Peter Pan, than to get my head thrown back like I was at a rave.

— MyTran Vo

I even need help shopping for clothes. I always bring Analisa with me, or I call her randomly, screaming for which color suits my skin tone. Did you know that not all colors can fit a skin tone? I didn’t know that either. When I was 11, back to school shopping was my worst fear. Not because I dreaded going back to school, but because I’m sure I would rather drink drain cleaner than try on another pair of khaki skirts. Why did my mom work so hard to find the perfect khaki pair? We had a uniform, and we had lots of khaki at home. Khaki makes me shiver with bad chills now. You haven’t truly lived life until you’ve fought through your crowded local Ross store for the most janky-looking pair of shorts. I had to look “like a prim and proper little lady.” Those memories alone made me dread caring about clothes since I just hated shopping and being forced to think that looking like a “pretty little lady” was the only option at school. Now I love it. Do I know how to shop properly? No. Do I know how to buy the ugliest, washed-up, war surviving outfit impulsively? Yes. I genuinely enjoy taking my time trying to look nice in new outfits. Or at least I like going through the effort just to be shut down by my sister, who calls me “a feral, janky-looking piece of gum.” I feared feeling like I was being forced and confined into a social norm, but now I’m in a new comfort zone of trying and not worried if a shirt looks too feminine or not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared of feeling like I’m just a pawn in society’s eyes, but I’m more secure in who I am. I still need the thumbs up when trying on new clothes, though. Just to be sure.

You haven’t truly lived life until you’ve fought through your crowded local Ross store for the most janky-looking pair of shorts.

— MyTran Vo

There’s so much I don’t know. I always thought brains over beauty, but god, I’m so stupid about anything feminine. Was young me my downfall? Was that my Everest? Not the other women but me? Was I the problem? I was so invested in ignoring and avoiding the feminine lifestyle because I thought that spending time on myself and my studies would make me stand out. News flash! It didn’t. I was average in school and below average in my appearance. Now I’m still average or even below average in school, but damn I look better. My grades are still shaky, from when I didn’t care about my looks to when I did. Maybe there isn’t a correlation between appearance and education. Perhaps I was a dramatic little kid. Who knows. I would consider myself a bimbo now, and it is not my ego talking but simply my security about who I am as a person. It took me a long while to figure out that being feminine isn’t that bad. I’m happy that I’m finally coming to terms with how being feminine isn’t bad, but I wish I had learned that way sooner.