Becca, Gothic Femme | Fashionably Femme
Welcome to Fashionably Femme. Fashionably Femme is a blog series featuring femmes from all nooks of the LGBTQIA community. These rocking folks are activists, educators, bosses, parents, entrepreneurs, and all sorts of amazing human beings. Join me as we explore femme as so much more than a label but truly a way of life.
Meet Becca! Superhero, nanny, singer, and so much more. We met in choir several years ago and she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met! Not to mention she’s also a stage manager. We SM types gotta stick together. Enjoy!
Anyone who knows me knows that I do not sacrifice comfort for any occasion. It is the foundation of my entire wardrobe. I will leave a perfectly adorable ensemble behind if it is not comfortable. I’m a flip flops and combat boots kinda girl and you’ll never catch me in heels. But, I still manage to “femme-out,” despite being a purple-headed, pajama loving, couch-sloth. I just have to get creative.
Comfy dresses and leggings are my jam, yo. And they’re so versatile! The dress I wore for this shoot is a soft, stretchy, strappy, cotton blend, handkerchief cut DREAM that feels just like a nightgown. I’ve worn it on couch days, beach/pool days, date nights, and even for photoshoots! GASP! It twirls with effortless magic and it hugs in all the right places… at least it used to, before I lost 50 pounds. Yay for health! Boo for a cute wardrobe that doesn’t fit anymore.
I’m not about to get rid of my favorite dress just because it fits like a potato sack. So, I got creative. I bought a cute, stretchy black belt that could cinch a few of my dresses until I’m done shrinking. I found an adorable bralette with a beautiful pattern in the chest. It is soooo soft and stretchy and comfy. Even when I wear it without a more supportive bra, I still get “I love your dress” comments. Yay! Ten points for fancy pajamas! The newest addition to this get up is the stretchy, sheer, short sleeved crop top. It creates a waist again, even without the belt! And the best part about this outfit? IT. IS. SO. COMFORTABLE. For real. I could pass out on the couch in this shit.
Still, comfort is not strictly physical and being comfortable with yourself is far more important than being comfortable in clothing. I think that’s where Femmes and Non-Femmes can find commonality. The image we present to the world isn’t always consistent; it grows, it morphs, it evolves for the purpose of our comfort; outside and in.
And speaking of evolution… TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence…
I grew up with an abusive father. Most of it was psychological. On particularly bad days, there was physical violence. Often, in a rage, my father would destroy my belongings; most of which were symbols of femininity. The clearest of these memories is the day I forgot my purse and had to go back into the house to get it. I was about thirteen. It was my first grown up purse, all white, with two handles instead of a strap, and the illusion of being covered in lace. It was filled with the things that a young woman needs: hairbrush, makeup, wallet, candy, a pair of earrings… It made me feel pretty. It was the perfect symbol of my independence and femininity.
My father saw me come back into the house to grab my purse. He followed me out to the car, yelling something about me having to “take this damn thing everywhere,” and then he ripped it to shreds, in the front yard, while my mom and brothers watched from the car. I remember falling to the ground and desperately trying to save my things. That pair of earrings? They were the little gold hearts that my ears were pierced with – another feminine rite of passage. I lost one that day. I can’t tell you how long I looked for it. I’m sure it still remains, somewhere in that Garden Grove yard, under 30 years of dirt and leaves. I kept the other to remind me.
I remember my style changing after that. I spent most of my time in jeans and t-shirts. Pink was the devil and my taste in purses turned to simple, dark colors with no fancies of any kind. My jeans were baggy, my hair was in bandanas, and even when I did dress up, I avoided being too girly like it was the plague. I was ashamed of being feminine. I always wanted to be one of the guys. Being a girl just made me a bigger target and I’d been dodging bullets my whole life. So, I hid from feminine things, I avoided feminine things, I even cringed at feminine things/styles for years.
Over time, Depression and I started gaining weight and all of my jeans started to cut into my belly. In a desperate search for chub friendly clothing, I discovered LEGGINGS AND COMFY DRESSES!!!
Holy Identity Crisis, Batman! I wore combat boots to make sure I wasn’t taking myself too seriously. The majority of my clothing had to have an element of punk or darkness to it. Most of my dresses were/are covered in skulls.
I was raised to be ashamed of being a woman, ashamed of being feminine, ashamed of being myself. I spent years focussing on not being seen.
A few years ago, a magical friend recommended me for a gig as a burlesque stage manager. For about a year, I spent at least one night a week, surrounded by the most diverse group of beautiful, intelligent, strong, bold, and powerful women. And I fell in love. Instantly. First with all of them, and then, after realizing how silly it was to shame myself for the very things I found beautiful in these infinitely brilliant humans, I fell in love with myself. I finally gave myself permission to love and express MY femininity.
At 44, I am starting to feel allllllmost as comfortable in my skin as I do in my clothes. I’m settling into my personal style and I can see in my reflection, my idols. They have always been strong female characters; Marion Ravenwood, Princess Leia, Lois Lane, Maleficent. These bold women stood up for themselves and didn’t take any shit from anyone (swoon), all while remaining FASHIONABLY FEMME.
Comfy. Femme. Bad Ass. Looks like someone just found their brand. Thanks for the help!
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