Did Your Tomboy Change? or Is She Still a Tomboy?

Updated on January 29, 2012
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
14 answers

My nearly 5-year-old daughter is like MEGA tomboy. She absolutely refuses to wear dresses, she will only pick out her shoes & jackets in the boys' department, she wears boys' pajamas, (and I drew the line at boys underwear, lol), she only plays with toys from the boys' section, like super heroes, action figures, nerf guns & swords, etc. She says her favorite color is blue because its a 'boy' color, and she says her stuffed animals are all boys. She tells me she that she's our dog's Dad (?), and is always begging me to give her a baby brother (right, hold your breath lol). My husband & I aren't concerned about it, we actually think she's a very neat little girl, but I'm just curious how other people's extreme tomboys turned out when they got a little older. How did your tomboy turn out?

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answers from Seattle on

Well... lets see:

I'm in jeans, converse, vneck tee, smoking jacket (just being honest), (aka I'm dressed like a 12yo boy)... with some super sexy french lingerie on underneath. I looooooove really long wavy sexy hair, but usually cut mine short because it's a pain to deal with. I consider makeup to be my warpaint, and wear it daily.

((Don't get me wrong, I CAN dress girly, but it's a pain. And I prefer not to. Only for special occasions. Girls/women's clothes are designed to be looked at. Boy's/Men's clothes are designed to do stuff in. I'm almost as far from "butch" as one can be, I'm not "trapped" in a girl's body, I just prefer the accouterments afforded to the other side. I'm what's known as a 'femme tomboy'.))

I joined the military out of highschool, was an athlete all throughout school, have a more male idea about sex (aka "Yes, please!" Honestly, I love that I'm a girl... I don't have to wait for the boys to recharge! I'm locked, cocked, and ready to rock 24/7 <grin>). I prefer to go "do" when hanging out with friends (play pool, go snowboarding, etc.) rather than just be sitting talking. I don't hint. Ever. My kneejerk reaction is to solve problems. I don't understand the fascination with shopping (although I love great clothes, I would never shop recreationally. Go in, get what I need, get out... and put it off for as long as possible until the next go-round.).

My best friends are nearly all men and grownup tomboys. Most women don't like me. I like women just fine, but most of them have a different idea of what's "fun" than I do... so we rarely end up forming any kind of friendship. For a lot of women, if you're not friends with someone, you don't like them.


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answers from Reno on

I was the biggest tomboy!!! I used to cry most sundays when I had to wear a dress to church and being a late bloomer was a blessing! Tonka trucks were better than Barbie. However I did reform-somewhat....I started modeling when I was 13 but refused to give up sports(they like the models to so they don't get bruised or scratched) and wore no make up unless it was to the prom. I was 18 when I finally embraced being a girl!!! However I still prefer jeans to dresses-now I just pair a great pair of heels with the denim. Can't give up the Coach bags hubby buys though:)
I shoot guns and bows better than most men, love hunting(even the gutting of deer), can throw a perfect spiral and still hold the little league record in my home county for most strikeouts in softball. I am not afraid to roll around and wrestle with hubby or my son-or to play the damsel in distress lol. I don't usually worry about gaining weight, getting older, or stretch marks-in short I embrace life up, downs and everything between never taking myself too seriously. That's how my mama's tomboy turned out!
Added-I would still love to be able to pee standing up though!

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answers from Phoenix on

My daughter is 12. She turned into a full on tomboy about 2-3 years ago, and really, she has never been "girly". She did wear pink, but never really dresses, and I *tried* to get her to wear pony tails and bows but she would pull them out, even when she was very little. Now she basically only wears black, brown or red. She LOVES Transformers and watchs all the shows, has all the toys, etc. She got an electric guitar for xmas and thinks shes a rock star. However, since she was very little she said she was going to be a rock star..so maybe she is on her way! She will now wear pony tails but wants FIVE of them and wears it like that to school. Lol. She is ADD and I'm having her tested for Aspergers. She is on the immature side but does have friends, boys and girls. She is very unique, doesn't care what anyone thinks of her and really does her own thing. She even stole the chain I was going to lock up the patio set with and decided to wrap it around herself as an accessory! Lol! I don't "encourage" it but I don't restrict it either. I did take the chain away and told her it wasn't appropriate. She said "awww mom..." but was ok with it. I dont know if its something she's going to grow out of or not. Next year she will start Jr High and I know that's a WHOLE different ball game so we'll see how she does. I think you're doing a good job with your daughter. I'm curious to see what others will say on here. =)

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't have daughters, so I can relate on that level, but I was a bit of a tom boy and my best friend growing up was very much a tom boy....man did we have fun together....skateboarding and building stuff and generally going crazy....I seem to remember a lot of freedom and adventures and more than a few injuries. Even as teens we never really cared much about boys or talked about them.

She was very clear about what she would and would not wear. She never wore dresses (except for her graduation and even then she hated it). She was the only girl on her little league team and had to fight to get there. I used to watch all of her games....I was super proud of her. She is now still a tomboy and is gay. She has never come out to me or anyone directly, but we all know. I think she never came out because she tends to be a very, very shy person. I had another distant friend who was very much a "tom boy" and she ended up being transgender and she went from being a she to a he.

I am not gay, but I am still not a girly girly, though I do try to spiffy up for special occasions for my husband. I do not understand girl drama and I hate shopping and all that spa like stuff....

Sounds like you have a great daughter. I do admit that every once in awhile I would love to know what it is like to have a tom boy like I was.



answers from San Francisco on

My 14 year old is a tomboy and always has been. We got her a race set for her 3rd bday. When she was in grade school I always thought she would at some point want to wear jeans (she lives in basketball shorts and t-shirts) and wear make up, but just the other day she exclaimed that she would NEVER wear make up or carry a purse, LOL! I thought the peer pressure of middle school would influence her choices but it hasn't. She is very athletic, has a few girl friends but refuses to hang with the cliquey girls. In grade school she played with boys and boy it saved us a lot of drama! My other daughter is a total girly girl so I get to experience two very different personalities. I am slightly ashamed to say that when she was very young I was a little concerned with her "tomboy-ness" but now I have totally embraced her personality and she brings me such joy! And on a humorous note, she has saved me probably thousands of dollars on clothing and make up! Though basketball shoes are not cheap.



answers from Dallas on

My step daughter realized she was gay when she was 21. (I knew it when she was in high school) She is so comfortable with it. Beautiful girl, nice figure, lots of boys flirting with her and hoping to turn her head but she tells them nicely that she's not into boy relationships. While she dressed like a female, she liked to go in mens stores, preferred playing softball, karati, etc. Doesn't appear to be stereotypically macho like at all.

My mother said she was a tomboy (preferred playing like Tarzan swinging on ropes from trees). She left that behind and replaced it with music and had the usual boyfriends and husband. though I think motherhood was not her easiest task but they may have come more from her mom's personality. Or perhaps, a genetic personality.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I have boys was raised with boys so no didnt change from Tomboy- not extreme but you wont find anything "girly" in my world. My neice was the same way until she had girls now she is covered in pink and frilly she used to be a bull rider now she is at ballet class I guess maybe it depends.


answers from Houston on

I am a femme lesbian. I wish that I could have come out years earlier, it would have saved me from a lot of unwanted sex (seeking some man to make me feel normal). It never happened.

I am glad you seem to support your daughter. You will save her time on a therapist's couch.



answers from Boise on

I don't think that any of her behavior is concerning except for the fact that she seems to think that "boy things" are somehow superior to "girl things." Make sure that she knows that being a girl is great and that being a girl doesn't have to involve loving princess stuff or pink or tea parties, it CAN involve those things, but it doesn't have to. I was a tomboy as a child because I had an older brother and a younger brother and they were my favorite playmates! I was really into dinosaurs and I never liked to wear dresses (I had to for church though). I remember thinking that boys were better than girls and I was a bit ashamed of the fact that I was "just" a girl. That's not something my parents taught or anything, it's just a faulty conclusion I came to myself! When I got older I fell in love with books and I discovered some really great strong female characters like Caddie Woodlawn, Pipi Longstocking, Laura Ingalls, and the like. Then I changed my mind and I decided it was good to be a girl, I already loved baking (because it was fun and creative) and my mom was totally wonderful, so I made peace with my gender! I even started to like to dress up sometimes. But I am still not a super girly-girl, I never paint my nails or buy silly high heels, I am my own kind of woman. I feel very powerful and feminine through my ability to be a mother, and I see my gender as a strength. That is the kind of confidence you want your daughter to have, to be her own kind of woman and embrace her gender in her own way. Ironically, I have the opposite problem with my two daughters, they are total girly-girls and want me to fix their hair and paint their nails and have tea parties all the time! It is a new challenge for me, but I want to let them be who THEY are! :)


answers from Chicago on

I know many tom boys that are also girly in certain ways, like they paint their nails - NEVER Pink or Red and NEVER an "On Trend" color - mostly blues or blacks or greens. If the "in" thing is dark she goes bright if the in thing is bright she goes dark. She wears make up, but not much unless it's a big night then maybe a smokey eye otherwise a nude color, eye liner (nothing major), mascara, a touch of foundation depending on the time of the month and chapstick. Leather and Lace is dressy for her but she does it in a classic way not a ragged trashy way. I would show her that there are ways to be a tom boy and ways to be a girly girl and a way to make them work together as she gets older. For now, I would not push it but I think as she gets older I would start asking her to make compromises. One being girls jeans, they just fit better but it does not mean they have to be "skinny jeans" or "boot cut" just a simple stovepipe cut with a women's t vs a man's t. I knew a woman who was a tomboy to an extreme as well and she was the most unhappy woman I knew because the men she was with decided halfway thru a commitment they did not want to be with a man they wanted a woman. She did then realize this and start to make changes but a woman should not be divorced with 2 children before 30 to learn to embrace her feminity as well as be herself.
If you have not introduced her to Anne of Green Gables I think she may enjoy it (the show the book is a bit old for her yet) Anne is a good cross between tomboy and girl - she gets into predicaments and lets her temper take over sometimes but learns her lessons. It could be a fun mother daughter thing to watch and a good role model on balancing boy vs girl ideas.


answers from San Francisco on

I remember going through both extremes as a child. As 5 to 6 year old I would ONLY wear dresses, and then until about the age 10 or so I refused to wear dresses and rejected anything I considered "girly." Most of my friends on the playground were boys and I much preferred playing tag and "war" to anything else. By the time puberty kicked in I was all girl again. So yes, I think it's pretty common and normal. I don't believe I was ever gender confused, I think I just thought it was fun to play like a boy for a while :)



answers from Los Angeles on

I was a tomboy when I was little. I never did the dolls thing, most of my friends were boys, I used to play with boys at recess, etc. I got a little more interested in more traditionally girly things when I went to middle school, mostly because I went to a new school and it was easier to make friends with the girls than the boys at that age. As an adult, I mostly had men friends until I had children. Now I find that most of my friends are other mothers.

So I think that I did gravitate more toward the feminine as I got older. However, I will say that I do find that I'm less into makeup, clothes, jewelry, shopping than most of my women friends. I don't like pink, princesses, frilly dresses, etc., for my daughter while she is still small enough for me to keep them away from her. I don't think anyone would think I was super butch or even that masculine at all, but I certainly am not as "girly" as many of my female friends.



answers from Dallas on

I was a pretty big tomboy. Used to get upset when my younger brother would get the cool transformers and I didn't.

I still play sports, I still get dirty, I still love boy things, but I'm much more well rounded now. Pony tail or a dress... or both at the same time. :)



answers from Chicago on

My 8 year old is the exact same. She has now agreed to wear dresses occasionally but is still very much a tom boy. I see some changes here and there with her, but I love her being so into sports and stuff. She also really wanted a little brother and was highly disappointed when she had a baby sister, but she does love her sister.

We will see what the teenage years bring.

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