This is gonna sounds like a very shallow post, but it’s something that’s been in my head. These days I’ve been very reflective. Or observant, which ever way you want to call it. One of the things I have always admired about Japan is the Kawaii culture. Now granted I don’t even participate in it, but I do like it. Another thing I liked about the culture is that some things that go on here would be viewed at as immature back in the states. For example an adult male being so obsessed with a girl group they have tons of pins decorating his girl group bag. That would be seen as strange back in the states. When I see it now tbh I still kinda side eye the guy, but not in the same sense as I would at home. Here it feels okay to be a little goofy and cute. Which for me is perfect because these are adjectives that people have often used to refer to me. So I feel like THERE I fit. Another thing I like doing is looking at the girls in my school. I am a bit envious. These girls are allowed to be girls. They are allowed to be cute and like cute things such as butterflies and rainbows and stuff. There are people who don’t like the super cuteness of Japan, but I love it. It’s refreshing to me. But mainly because I grew up in a place that is kinda opposite. I don’t think my life story is a general ‘black’ thing as much as it is an income thing. To be honest, I am sure it’s not just me but I don’t know what group of people to categorize this with so I won’t. Anyway, what I mean is that I feel as a child. I wasn’t allowed to be me. Goofy one of the adjectives I use to hear a lot as a kid, had a negative connotation in my neighborhood. So I was criticized for that. Because of my interests, I was often referred to ‘white-acting’. So I was criticized for that as well. I’m not for sure why but cuteness is not something that is in the black culture. I dislike that. Girls are often very sexy or very rough. Not quite cute and innocent. Which is not good for young girls in my opinion. At least a few years ago, nowadays I’ve been seeing some things are changing….slowly. Also in my neighborhood, if you’re too pretty that was a problem. Like a girl who was super fashionable, good with doing her hair and make-up, she was popular but she was often disliked by other girls. (Not something I went through directly, but I’ve seen it with my older sister.) The famous phrases that were used were things like ‘Glamour-puss’ ‘She thinks she’s pretty.’ ‘She thinks she’s all that.’ ‘-better than everyone’ and so on. Now that I look back on it, many women including myself couldn’t truly be ourself for fear of criticism (or bullying) for our peers and even more so from the adults. I’ve seen the adult females in my family criticize my sister for being so into fashion and so forth. I was criticized as well. And which is just as important, we had very little support. Some of the things we were interested in we weren’t allowed to do. For example in the 8th grade I wanted to be a cheerleader, but couldn’t because no one wanted the burden of picking me from practice and such. And now as an adult and after observing other cultures I understood that those things were not normal and were said out of pure jealousy. And the things were done out of an attempt to keep the child from becoming more than me. “If it was good for me then it is good enough for you.” mentality. But fortunately and unfortunately in my recent years I’ve made friends with people who weren’t raised the same as me. Who were allowed to be themselves as a child and has flourished in their adulthood. And by themselves I mean feminine and cute. The unfortunate part is that when I would watch them, I was a little envious. Because I wanted to be fashionable and pretty but I didn’t know how. I was never taught how to be a lady, I was never taught personal hygiene and beauty tips and never told I was pretty and i had very little confidence so I was really frustrated. I made a realization sometime in my 20s that this was a life choice and set out to change my image and appearance of myself. Years….yeah i know..YEARS later I finally learned who I am. It was a surprisingly intimidating journey. Although, even now I am still a little shakey with some making some things but it’s a work in progress. When you are young, most boys learned how to be a man from their father. I should have learned how to be a woman from my mother but for some reason, it didn’t quite work out that way. I’m learning by myself. Well at least my daughter won’t have this problem I’m having now. Now I know beauty is not all there is to being a woman, but to be completely honest, I don’t recall being taught anything about womanhood from the adult women in my family. Confidence, strength, intelligence, beauty, grace……at least in the early years. I don’t want to give the impression that all the women in my family are horrible, they aren’t. But the female figure that mattered the most, was worried about other things in those valuable years of my life. But anyway, those five things I feel they are very important to being a well-rounded woman, and I am learning them now……for my daughter….and because it’s fun. This is such a depressing post. Sorry, I just wanted to get these things out of my head.