Real Women Do Not Wear Cliches

I am a real woman.

I cannot iron so I am often seen in public with wrinkly clothes.

I cannot sew and have broken a needle off in my thumb trying.

Pink has never been my favourite colour. I have always been partial to green and black.

If you visit my house it will only be tidy if you give me a couple of days notice before showing up and even then I warn you to never open the under the stairs cupboard.

I do not have a green thumb and even managed to kill a cactus that was in my care.

I do not want to have it all. I find it hard to balance work, kids and still find time to do something for myself every now and again.

I like technology… a lot!

I like science fiction and fantasy films, books and games… a lot!

I have been known to play RPGs in my life.

I used to play the trumpet, switched to the drums and finally found peace with a bass guitar. My old band played heavy metal music.

I don’t spend all morning in the bathroom putting on make-up.

I rarely dry my hair before I go out let alone straighten or curl it.

I do not care if I break a fingernail for beauty reasons but do care if I do and it hurts.

I can have male friends and not fall in love with them. My best friend is a male and although I adore him I am not in love with him.

I am tired of seeing so many clichés about what woman are supposed to be. I can’t believe we have come so far in this world and yet are still so stuck in our ideologies of what people are supposed to be. I love reading stories where the character does not fit the clichés.

I saw a post today challenging women to get more real and take pictures of themselves without make-up, corsets, control pants or any other beauty altering tricks and post them on their social media sites. I think it is a great idea. So here is a picture of me. I am fresh out of the bath, wearing my pjs, with no make-up on, dark circles under my eyes and damp hair because I accept this challenge.

What clichés do you wish would just go away? What do you think you can do as a writer to make them disappear?


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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6 Responses to Real Women Do Not Wear Cliches

  1. You know, there is a special beauty about women who are natural. It’s a glow inside that makeup sometimes covers up. You, Billie Jo, are beautiful…without makeup and even with dark circles under your eyes. I have noticed this many times in other women. Even the comparison pics of models and movie stars with and without makeup. Yes, they look gorgeous with makeup, but they look beautiful without. It’s hard to explain.

    As for cliches, the one I hate the most, with a passion is “in the kitchen where she belongs” or “barefoot and pregnant.” Nowadays most men who value their lives do not repeat these cliches unless it is in jest. However, I remember a time when men did use these phrases seriously. The ’60s and ’70s were not all a bundle of fun and free love. Many communes had bruised and battered women in them who had been quickly disabused of the notion that freedom included them.

    Sorry, Billie Jo, I didn’t mean to get up on a soapbox.

    As for what I can do to as a writer to change the cliches, the only thing I can think of is write about strong, courageous women, who don’t need the cliches to prove they have a right to be here…women with goals and the determination to reach them…women who don’t gossip about fashions, babies, and the next-door-neighbors, but rather who get together and talk about how to bring success to their business, how to manage a family and a job, what ways they are satisfying their own needs as well as the needs of their families, and so on. The heroine in my novel WITCHCANERY is strong like that. So is the protagonist of my forthcoming trilogy BATTLE CLERIC. I guess it comes naturally to me 🙂

    • Thank you Sandra! And you can climb on that soap box any time you wish. I think you certainly pointed out some of the worst ones and as much as we might wish they were gone, I do not think they are.

  2. Selena says:

    BRAVO! You rock, just as you are…
    As a writer, I agree with Sandra. We don’t need cliches to prove anything-as women, and as writers.

    • Thanks Selena! I think at the moment with the success of trilogies such as the Hunger Games strong female leads in books that do not fit the standard clichés are increasing although even in those they did spend a fair amount of time describing those fabulous outfits.

  3. pattisj says:

    Good for you! It’s nice to be comfortable in one’s own skin, isn’t it?

    • It has taken many years to get to this point. I used to be a dancer, actress and model when I was young. Fashion and make-up were so important to me and how I appeared to others was something I toiled over. Not so much now. Take me and love me as I am or leave me and find someone else who meets your standards has become my motto over the past few years.

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