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A Barbie girl in a steel toe world

A Barbie girl in a steel toe world

I consider myself a bit of a fan of makeup and fussy dresses. I prefer to overdress and gravitate heavily towards vintage and pin-up style clothing. I generally don’t leave the house without a full face of makeup complete with winged eyeliner, foundation, contouring, blush, blended eyeshadow, mascara, finishing powder and setting spray. It’s an ordeal. I would happily wet set my hair every night and wear dresses with heels every day.

So naturally, the job I have and love requires me to wear jeans, occasionally a hard-hat and steel toe boots most of the time. At any time I could potentially get called to climb inside a structure that has a better than 50% chance of being covered in literal shit. This is not a conducive environment for wearing cute shoes. I am extremely fortunate to have been raised to adapt to change quickly, and to have an almost suicidal voice in my head that says “HELL Yeah! we can do that! They did it!” even when the rest of my body and brain are screaming “HOLD THE FUCK ON WE ARE NOT CLIMBING UP THERE I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS SAFETY HARNESS!” (It gets pretty loud in my head…)
So even though I can’t wear my pretty clothes and I have to wear ugly shoes, I still shellac my face every morning. It’s the one thing I can do to make myself feel marginally prettier while dressed in what I consider an appalling fashion (for me). Don’t get me wrong, I own like 30 pairs of jeans. I just don’t like to wear them if I can wear something from the pin-up side of my closet.
I am very privileged in that I haven’t experienced many problems with people treating me negatively based on how I look. I work in an extremely male-dominated environment. Most of the time I am one of, or, the only female in the room.

According to most literature, it is not advisable for women to look overly feminine if they want to be taken seriously. I have not found my attire or choice of cosmetics to detract from my effectiveness at work. It probably helps that I am a relatively large human, with an abundance of personality and I’m not accustomed to sitting quietly by while other spew complete fuckery from their face hole.

The responses I get outside of work, from people who do not know me, is varied and highly entertaining. Most people look amused and walk on by. Many women will compliment me on the outfit and others will look downright disgusted like I ate a jar of mayonnaise with a spoon and punched a baby bird in the face. This response always confuses me.


These outfits make me feel awesome( and yes, they are regular clothes, not a costume). We all have a couple of things that are basically a talisman of confidence when we wear them. That is what these outfits do for me, I feel more confident and comfortable in my skin, they make my day better when I feel fat and gross. I wish more women would wear the things that make them feel amazing. Not just on rare special occasions, but all the time. Harness that happiness and confidence and exploit it to your advantage.  

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