So you’ve got a full day, or maybe just a few solid hours ahead of you. The sun is up and you’re not entirely sure you’re awake… in fact you know you’re not awake. In other words, a long, precarious day of dragging your feet through odd stores and crowded food courts seems to be on the schedule.
You’re going shopping. Ugh.
Now instead of an eclectic Mean Girls montage with flashes of Gold Express credit cards and ridiculously expensive handbags, you’re stuck in a LaSenza Girl with a parent/guardian/overbearing shark-mother that insists you have to try on at least one thing before you can leave.
To make matters worse, they make a beeline for the girls section in every store, leaving your eyes to pitifully trail past those cool leather jackets in the mens’ section.
There’s not much room for discussion when out on these trips, because the person with all the money and the drivers license always gets the last word, but here are a few ways you can tip-toe around harsh gender-standards without straining familial relationships more than you need to.
A happy you makes a happy home; better yet, a happy car ride to the mall.
The simplest and most subtle thing you can do to make your day pass by smoothly, is to act like you enjoy it. Now, you don’t have to force a grin, but even looking like you’re making an effort can do wonders. Keeping your shark-mother happy will help prevent those frigid moments of disagreement and lean in your favour when it comes to making decisions.
A great way to create a successful shopping experience is to know what you like.
Do a little research beforehand, and by research I mean browse tumblr or pinterest.
Knowing what styles you love and hate can make it easier for you to pick out clothes in store.
Even so, it doesn’t mean your parents will agree, so a sure-fire way to take home something you like, is to compromise.
There are plenty of androgynous fashion choices in stores these days, though many are on the more expensive side, but if you’re willing to compromise with a slightly different style than what you’re looking for- go for it.
If your mom (like mine), is terrifyingly persistent in handing you her favourite style of jeans, and skirts, keep a level head. The only way to come out on top, and still hanging on to your freedom, is to play your cards right.
So, no need to load up and shoot down every single item she holds up with an ‘ew, no.’, instead you can let her down gently.
If you give specific dislikes, i.e. ‘It’s too short.’, ‘too thin for the weather.’, ‘it doesn’t fit right.’, you’d be surprised as to how much a valid argument can turn things your way.
You may still be stuck with a long, warm, maxi-dress, but if you pick out one with a nice pattern, you can always make something out of it later.
In the end, if your shopping trip still leaves you with bags of clothes that turn your stomach, there are always options. You can donate a bunch of your old clothes to charities, or even better, programs centred around LGBTQ youth.
You can get creative, pick up a needle and thread from your local dollar-store, and alter items to suit you better.
There are thousands of tutorials on DIY clothing on YouTube:
Start saving up a little money every now and then, so when you’re finally out of the house, you can shop by yourself! Or with more preferable company.
If all else fails, you can ask a friend for clothes. It may not seem like something you can bring up, but if you have a few close friends, or know any LGBTQ youth in your community, they’d most likely be more than willing to help you out.
Just the other week my best friend’s step-dad was throwing out a bunch of old shirts, and she gave them to me!
Albeit, a lot of them contain cheesy Doctor Who puns, but they fit like a charm.
So remember, despite hating every second of your girl-to-girl bonding, it’s just a small part of your life that you’ll enjoy cringing over, years down the line. You are your own person, and like John Guare says, “It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”