When I was younger, I used to hide myself away. Not literally; hide and seek was usually, among my group of friends, a reason to scare one another. Somewhere in childhood I learned that I should be embarrassed of things, and I started speaking more softly, hiding my intelligence and curiosity, and dressing more like a tomboy because being a girl, to my understanding, was to be a lot of things that I definitively was not.
While the old instincts to be embarrassed still linger, I no longer try to hide myself. I wear my gender and all its hyper-feminine trappings proudly; I’m no longer afraid of lipstick or dresses or high heels, even as I recognize their patriarchal roots. I wear them because I like them, and because I enjoy the feeling of seeing somebody’s face change when they assume one thing about me from the way I look and discover another.
I had these things shoved on me because that’s what I was supposed to do or be like or enjoy, and I hated them. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve found that I like cooking and gardening and wearing pastels. There’s no harm in any which way you choose to present yourself or spend your time, provided, of course, that it’s you doing the choosing.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(v.) From Latin coruscatus for “vibrate, glitter.”
To sparkle or flash light; to be showy in technique or style.
Some rulers exercise power from the shadows. Madeleine does it from center stage, letting the nobles kiss her jeweled fingers and marvel at her spangled dresses. She is lovely and she knows it, and she lets the people fawn over her as if she is nothing more than a glittering, shining gem.
Of course, behind the scenes, she does much more. A diamond is as strong and sharp and cold as it is beautiful, and her appearance is not a weakness. She rules with authority and intent, and still, they act surprised when a woman so decorated is powerful, too.