Leather + Cookies

Yesterday I started wearing men’s deodorant.

It was on sale. And I was also feeling a little ripped off as my new can of women’s was full and yet the nossel said no. I mean, IT HAD ONE JOB.

I went for leather and cookies. It’s quite a loud scent and it doesn’t smell much like me at all.

I remember hearing somewhere that prostitutes wear men’s deo as a hack, so the wives won’t smell the betrayal. And I like that -I think it’s smart.

I also read ages ago that male deo is of higher strength than women’s as male odour is stronger. And for someone who goes to the gym a lot, I feel I need it.

I wear it with my signature perfume from Zara. Every time I smell it, I inhale French vanilla and linen; entwined with floral musings that float delicately underneath, like lollies in water.

Together, idk if they cancel each other out or like a ballet, the male and female scents fight for centre stage on my body. Either way, I get a whiff of the leather and cookies and feel like a man is close behind me. (And a delicious one at that,) before I realise it’s just me. Hahhaha, “Mother, I am a rich man.” – CHER

Masculinity has become more and more prominent in who I am, since I stopped dating. Almost like not having to be so overtly feminine to match their natural masculinity allows me to be both. Or one over the other, whatever I’m feeling that day. And to be honest, it feels quite great. Not to worry, but just to dress how I feel. To act how I want to.

I feel like after you read one great feminist book the world rearranges itself. And you begin to realise just how ugly it is.

All the invisible limitations and simple injustices that different cultures that aren’t white have to deal with. And equally as bad, you begin to see or replay times where you have contributed to people feeling different or less than, whether intentional or not.

Throughout the day, my intoxicating new scent keeps reminding me of some of these big questions, like:

Can white people not be racists, even if it is by accident?

Are our racial biases so entrenched inside of us so that we can continue the survival of our race or does the argument of evolution give us an easy excuse to live separately?

And should gender constructs be cut out of the next generation, as all they seem to do is keep us stuck in the past and socially condition us to behave in either masculine or feminine ways?

But back to the topic of gender – I think it’s cool to explore what traits or attributes go beyond your assigned gender. And to see when you do question this, how it makes you feel. Do you feel more authentic? More you?

And as an afterthought, how do the people around you react? How uncomfortable are they? Are you surprised or bored by how they respond?

In my experimentation, I started wearing long shirts over my tops and shorts so my figure is completely lost.

I like the feeling of softness, of my waist not being held a tight elastic band. I also like not feeling like after I eat, I need to self-consciously drape my arms over my mid-section or concentrate on sucking in my stomach.

And yes, instinctually I catch myself doing those things even today. And I hate that part of me, those autopilot behaviours that are made out of anxiety. Out of needing to feel desirable and thin for people I don’t even know. It feel accepted. It just seems so stupid these days.

I also find my favourite outfit of late is a pair of stripy loose-fitting overalls without a bra and a cute top underneath. I feel like a painter cross a beach-towel and it feels freeing!

I try my best to embrace this wild, unattractive, abandon of myself like a child that finds a bag of forgotten oranges, meant for after the game.

I dive into them face-first. With orange flesh exploding from my mouth and a newfound energy snap, crackle and popping throughout my body.

I start take nude photos of myself, not for sexualisation but rather to see if I can see my body as something non-sexual/under the male gaze. But instead, I try to see the pictures as something graceful and beautiful and worth looking at. Call it experimentation, art or self-preservation.

I stay up too late at night, watching a new episode of a show or doing an exercise. Eating dessert I made for myself or drawing, without the need to wait for a text. Or to check my phone a dozen times.

I take my pup Loui in his bow-tie to bed, whenever I feel and I go on late night walks with him, whenever I feel.

I don’t have set plans on Friday or Saturday nights anymore. I let them happen, with others making them or not.

Sometimes I feel a slight pull for validation, but then it goes away. 

And I’m trying to make a conscious effort not to use men as a means of escaping the boring mundane motions of everyday life. But rather, I try harder at being with me, all day, everyday even when I don’t want to. I want to learn, to understand myself more. To be more present.

And it feels good, to leak those residual feelings out. To free myself of core beliefs that are so strong in my mind that shouldn’t be there.

I’m flirting with some new identities this year. I wonder if they may suit me better than who I am now and if the change will pay off. 

Who knows?

An amateur ballerina?

A pole-dancer? (Only for fitness, not money DAD. )

Someone who speaks two languages?

Someone with savings or someone with too many flower tattoos? ( Can’t be both!)

A pole-dancing ballerina?

Who knows what 2021 will bring, not just for me but for all of us.

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