Tomboy femme

Tomboy femme

Tomboy femme: A girl with sometimes boyish personality or tendencies. Not just a manly style thing like tomboy chic. Is it a label we like?


Growing up, I played with the boys. Street hockey, bruises, scraped knees, and baseball shirts. There are many pictures of us still in our pre-puberty bodies. We’re all shirtless and smiling. Bloody noses, mountain bikes, grass stains, and comic books.

They always said I’d outgrow that.

As I evolved into a teenage girl, hockey jerseys and cargo shorts became oversized flannel shirts and baggy jeans. Street hockey turned into a game of ice hockey with the team.

Ponytails were quickly chopped off.

They bought me skirts, they bought me pretty dresses and high heeled shoes. I love these things dearly, I really do. But at the end of the day, my heels are kicked off, my make-up is gone and my pretty dress is traded in for a large X-Men t-shirt and boxer shorts.

They say I’m ‘tomboy femme’.

Tomboy Femme has the immediate association with ‘gender confused’ women and LGBT.

Does this mean I’m ‘gender confused’? No. I’m quite positive I am a girl. Am I at the age of experimentation and questioning my sexual orientation? HELL YEAH.

Tomboy femme style can loosely be characterized by the following…

Tomboy femme style guide

  • Oversized flannel shirts
  • Men’s white undershirts worn as normal t-shirts
  • Boxer shorts
  • Slouchy jeans
  • Shoes that aren’t feminine (or barefoot)
  • Short hair, or messy long hair in a ponytail

But is Tomboy Femme really all about the style? No, of course not. That just happens to be the default image people get, especially with magazines currently getting very excited about ‘tomboy chic’, which is clearly totally style-related.

Tomboy Femme is more about the behaviour of a girl. A tomboy femme girl can be a very girly girl, with long hair, lots of make up and frilly clothing. As long as she likes to do ‘guy things’. Things like play videogames and watch sports.

But are those really ‘guy things’ in this day and age? In fact, many girls nowadays engage in behaviour that used to be traditionally male, so why do we even need a label for it? That in itself may be a question worth asking.

‘Tomboy Femme’ is something I’ve been characterized by, and I’ve no intention of giving up my ice hockey, my X-Men t-shirt and my shorter hair just to shake off a label.

However, ‘tomboy femme’ is a phrase that’s gone, like Alice, through the looking glass. When you really start trying to narrow down the concept, it’s pretty hard to pinpoint what exactly ‘tomboy femme’ is – and what it stands for.