Love and Tomboys

Love and Basketball. This movie is the tomboy’s love manifesto. This movie is what every tomboy wants the world to know about them.  But this is a movie.  In real life, it’s hard to see past a tomboy’s competitive nature and low maintenance coifing, to see the awesomeness that is dating a tomboy. You can check out a blog post summarizing the movie here.


Everything about this movie, from the inability to identify well with mom, to the marginalization in school, to the double standard of a tomboy dedicated to her sport versus a boy dedicated to his, it’s all there. But the love story is what gets us.

The crux that resonates with tomboys is the love story.  Oh how desperately we want to be loved for who we are.  We have so many crushes but for the sole reason of our tomboy natures, we are overlooked.  Sure, we make great buddies, one of the guys, but we’re not girlfriend material.  So often we are expected to be guys.

We don’t want to be guys, we want to be girls with the same opportunities as the guys.

I want to go out without make-up, like the guys.  I want to be accepted for my natural face.  I want hair that is conducive to my active lifestyle, whether that’s short or always back in a ponytail.  I want to be passionate about expressing myself through physical endevours that require I train constantly to obtain.  I want to express my competitiveness through appropriate channels of sport, rather than through snarky relationships with other women.  I want to be interested in a guy that likes the things that I like, a built-in training partner for running, mountain biking, playing catch or any number of other physical activities.

But that’s not what most guys want, and that’s ok.  I’m not putting the responsibility on the guys.  We want the love story in Love and Basketball.  The idea that someone could love us just how we are is overwhelming.  We want that so badly.  Doesn’t everybody want that so badly?

I can remember crying my eyes out in my early twenties, because I wanted that so badly.

I was so sick of being passed over for the sole reason of being a tomboy.

I was cuter, more compatible, fun to be with, but I wasn’t girlfriend material.

Their loss, right? BS.  It was my loss over and over again.  Being a tomboy  can be heart breaking.  The beauty of it though?  We’re resilient.  We’re strong.  We are not easily beaten.  We wipe our tears off, get back up, and get back out there.

We don’t always get our Hollywood ending like in Love and Basketball, but we do get our happily ever after.  We find that someone that loves us for us and that we love for them, because we are trained from the beginning to never give up on ourselves.  There are some lonely years, and tears that we cry in private, but our love story is out there.

Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball

But let me add this, fellow tomboys. You know there is a guy or two out there who liked you for you, but you didn’t like him for him. He might not have been the jock, maybe he was a little dorky, but he liked you and you wouldn’t go out with him. When we grow up, the older jocks whose life and other women have kicked around a little, see our potential, but we’ve grown up too, and see that guy who had the maturity and self-esteem to like us back in the day. Give “that guy” a shot and see what happens. I think you’ll be surprised.

The thing is, we are a little competitive in love. Let’s not pretend that we are victims, we don’t play that part well, as tomboys. We want to control the odds by working harder, by practicing, by pushing. Love and tomboys need time to develop into their happy endings. In the meantime, Love and Basketball is our Notebook, our chick-flick.

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