Growing up, I don’t think I was ever consciously aware of gender roles being implemented in my life for two reasons. One, I have the worst memory and don’t remember much before the age of eleven. Second, being a young child, I wouldn’t think twice about how I dressed, what toys I played with, or how I was expected to behave. Boys dressed one way, girls dressed another, and that was that. My mom told me I went through a stage where I would only wear dresses, and the dresses had to be pink and purple. I refused to wear anything else. Naturally, my mom loved being able to play dress-up with her life-sized doll; putting big bows in my hair, buying socks with ruffles to accent my black patent leather Mary Jane shoes. And apparently I loved it too. When it was time for me to learn to swim, I wore pink and purple swimsuits covered with flowers, ruffles, and hearts. My instructor was named Helen. At this time in my life, I remember being very confused on whether Helen was a boy or a girl. She had both male and female qualities.
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