Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Tomboy

by Liz Prince

Zest Books


Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher's mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged.
Tomboy is a graphic novel about refusing gender boundaries, yet unwittingly embracing gender stereotypes at the same time, and realizing later in life that you can be just as much of a girl in jeans and a T-shirt as you can in a pink tutu. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to "be a girl."
From staunchly refuting anything she perceived as being "girly" to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, regardless of your gender, Tomboy is as much humorous and honest as it is at points uncomfortable and heartbreaking.


When I first read the synopsis of this book, I knew...I just knew I was going to love it. My experiences growing up mirrored Prince's so much and the evolution of her thinking was much like my own. 

The book is about Prince's experiences growing up as a tomboy - one who didn't "grow out of it." It involves her experiences with others and their view of her as well as how that shaped her view of them. There are some hilarious moments, but there are some heartbreaking ones as well. Prince does a wonderful job of showing the reader how innocent we truly are growing up until someone shares their view of us - which just causes us to shape how we feel about ourselves. I couldn't read this book all in one go - not because I was unable to (it's really easy to get into this book), but because so much of Prince's struggle was my own. I had to let that sink in. 

What I loved the most about this book is Prince's introduction to feminism and her understanding that it wasn't womanhood that she hated, but rather society's expectations of womanhood. 

As a major plus, Liz Prince is a "geek"! I loved the Ghostbusters talk as well as Prince's introduction to zines and such. 


Buy this book for yourself and for those growing girls in your life who may be feeling outside the norm because they're not into dresses, dolls and the color pink. Buy this book. Do it. Now. Go. I'll wait. 

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