Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir
By Liz Prince
Published 2014 by Zest Books
Liz never really fit in - she wasn't a girly girl and she wasn't one of the guys. She was somewhere in between. But being a misfit growing up is not easy.
Guys, I have a problem with resisting book temptation. This book, for instance. I was in the middle of, I kid you not, five other books when I spotted it sitting on our graphic novel shelf and thought, "well, it won't take me that long to read..." Where is my self-control??
I wasn't wrong - I finished this in about two hours. I've been interested since I first heard of it, particularly as more and more attention is drawn to the horrors of growing up female. That's what I liked best about this book - Prince doesn't shy away from explicitly depicting the bull crap double standards our society has for young women. I probably never would have described myself as a tomboy growing up, but I definitely was a misfit. As a young woman, it's not hard to be aware of all the bull crap society throws at you but, as a young woman, you've been taught to feel that there's nothing you can do about it. I loved the moment in Prince's book when an adult friend says something along the lines of "are you sure it's girls you hate? Or is it society's notion of what a girl is?" That line is so hard to distinguish as a young woman because, among the rest, part of the bull crap girls are taught is to hate other girls. As I said, I wouldn't have described myself as a tomboy, but that doesn't mean I didn't know how much easier I'd have it if I were a boy. In fact, I can remember wishing to be a boy, despite my lack of tomboy tendencies, because I knew I and my feelings would be accepted more readily if I were a boy.
I appreciated the casualness of Prince's book - the art has a casual quality to it that makes it more accessible, I think, and the story feels like listening to a new friend talk about their life growing up. I did think it ended rather abruptly, but I also wouldn't have wanted to read forever, so I guess it makes sense. Definitely glad I checked this one out - now back to my other books!