You Know You Were a Tomboy When...

By: Shannon Hames

Growing up as a tomboy, I was constantly battling the world and its feminine expectations of me. This meant having to fight expectations for me to dress, talk and act like it was expected that a girl should act. But true to my tomboy nature, I fought for my self-identity tooth and nail.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my tomboy childhood. I’ve laughed over the things that I’ve done and marveled with my fellow tomboys at how much we share with each other over common childhood experiences. Here are a few ways we’ve decided that you know you were a tomboy when…

• You insisted on being a superhero for Halloween.
• Your mom tried to force you to play with other little girls when you were little.
• Your toy box included little green army guys, sports equipment, and cap guns.
• You would wear your brothers underwear because you hated the panties your mom bought for you.
• You cried when your Grandma gave you a doll or dollhouse for Christmas.
• You wanted to play sports rather than watch them.
• You got grounded for riding your bike shirtless through the neighborhood like the rest of the boys.
• You ran away from home when your mom tried to get you to wear a dress and patent leather shoes for a family photograph.
• You’ve tried to pee standing up more than once.
• You made yourself a bubble bath facial beard and thought it looked great.
• Someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up and you answered “Stunt man.”
• Most of your friends were boys.

We want to hear from you – can you think of any more? Leave them here in the comments section.


  • J9

    I was my dad’s best mate and I wanted to be a plumber just like him – he used to take me with him to work with him on a Saturday morning – I was the best ever “mini me”!,
    With 2 older sisters and 2 older girl cousins I was soooo over all their girly hand-me-downs – it was my cousin Bob’s cast-offs I loved. My grandad gave me an amazing cowboy outfit for my 5th birthday and my aunt bought me boys PJs (with the little fly sewed closed!!!) still proud to be a tomboy!!

  • Melissa

    Love this and it’s spot on! I can remember being a ninja and freddy kreuger for halloween. My mom supported me no matter what! she was like “oh if you want to be freddy, you need the hat, glove, mask and sweater.” I have 3 older brothers so I got their hand me down rock and roll t shirts! I am lucky in the sense that I never really felt I was different until high school. Probably because as a child you are so care free and not focused on your appearance or what others think. That and you could run around without your shirt on playing GI Joes and burning ants with a magnifying glass and no one would judge :)

  • Dahiany Carrascl

    I’m 10 years old.And I am a tomboy right now.I love playing sports.Im always dressing up in boy costumes for Halloween.I wear my Brothers underwear cuz I don’t like girl panties.I wee boy clothes and boy shoes.Most of my Friends are boys.When I was 5 I met a boy and we became Best Friends.When he met me he thought I was a boy.But as I got older my Hair grew and my face started to look more like a girl.His name is Logan and we are Best Friends.We Have the same Clothes and same shoes⚽️?✌️

  • Jennifer Carlo

    This is spot on! I made my parents call me “Tim” for awhile and they did! No big deal. My best friend – also a tomboy – never wanted to wear bras or anything like that. Pretended I was a boyscout and the Fonz! Thanks for the great post!

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