“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” - Audrey Hepburn
The first week of being a Pink Girl was the most challenging, and the most rewarding. I had my messy brown hair shaped into a beautiful feminine pixie cut, thanks to Daisy. The same day, Mrs. Roberts, who was a licensed beautician, pierced my ears. The girls had taught me how to wash my hair properly using shampoo and conditioner, and the steps I needed to follow for healthy skin. There was a lot more to being a girl that I had realized. I wrote the instructions on the back of my shampoo bottle so I wouldn’t forget.
On the afternoon of my first shopping venture, my parents called to say that they wanted to explore Asia as well so I would need to enroll myself in school. My heart flipped like a kid on a trampoline. For the first time, I was finally going to be a girl at school. I texted Mary Ann to say that I had big news and then proceeded to dress in an outfit that Daisy loaned me. I was too excited to stay still and took me a little longer than usual to dress myself.
I had finally started to feel comfortable in more form-fitting clothes though I still wore my baggy clothes to bed. Wearing gender appropriate clothing gave me a sense of confidence and belonging that I never felt before. I began to stand taller as insecurity slowly disappeared. It was amazing to just feel good in my own skin.
I waited for my new friends on a seat in front of Macy’s when I heard my name being called. I turned to see all for girls in pink sundresses though they were all different shades and styles.
“Is it a pink day?” I asked curiously.
“This was a total accident, but a very funny one,” said Nancy with an amused smile.
“So where to first?” asked Daisy.
“Let’s grab lunch now,” said Carrie with a slight begging tone. “I want Chinese food.”
“First day of your period?” asked Mary Ann sympathetically.
“Just keep reminding me and maybe it’ll go away,” groaned Carrie sarcastically. She was slightly hunched from cramps, but we laughed at her sarcasm and headed to the food court.
“What do you crave when you start?” Nancy asked me.
“Heavily salted french fries,” I replied.
“Does your mom get you tampons?” asked Daisy.
“No, I have to steal her pads,” I said, feeling ashamed and embarrassed. “She and my dad were so in denial about my periods, they had convinced themselves I wasn’t having them.”
“That’s so wrong,” said Mary Ann in disgust.
“I learned to live with it,” I said with a shrug.
“Well you should be starting soon right?” asked Daisy.
“I think that it takes a few months,” said Nancy.
“For what?” I asked.
“I don’t know how it works, but all of us start our periods within days of each other,” said Mary Ann. “Apparently it happens with girls who are together a lot but I don’t know if it’s like that with everyone.”
“I had mine two weeks ago,” I said.
“All this talk about periods is not making me feel better,” said Carrie. “I just want to stuff my face with chow mein and sweet and sour chicken.”
“I could go for some of that too,” said Nancy thoughtfully.
“Broccoli beef sounds exquisite right now,” said Daisy happily. “With some fried rice.”
“And a handful of fortune cookies,” said Mary Ann.
“Don’t forget the egg rolls,” I said.
“Egg rolls,” chorused the girls. They looked so close to drooling I had to laugh out loud.
Once we had satisfied our Chinese food craving and we were satisfied, the others began dragging me all over the mall. The first stop was Victoria’s Secret to have me measured for the correct bra size. Then the girls pulled bras off the rack and pushed me into the largest dressing room so they could all fit. I tried on ten bras and everyone was very happy with six of them. I paid for them with the money I had saved up over the last seven years for this occasion.
Next, it was time to start building my new wardrobe. I was almost literally dragged into Charlotte Russe for the basics. I was suddenly very glad I was not doing this alone. The selection of styles was overwhelming me as I looked through the racks. I was in the clearance section when Mary Ann dropped the first Pink Girl rule.
“Pink Girls never dress slutty,” she said when I showed her a corset-like top. “It’s the first and foremost fashion rule that is unbreakable three hundred and sixty-four days a year. The exception is Halloween. However, you must be in the company of at least one Pink Girl or another group of girls. There’s safety in numbers.”
“So what constitutes as slutty?” I asked curiously. The last thing I wanted was to dress like a prostitute.
“If you kneel and we can see your panties, it’s too short,” said Daisy. “A skirt that barely covers your butt is also a rule breaker.”
“Shorts that show cheek, tops that show bottom boob or half boob, and sheer tops that put your bra on display,” said Mary Ann. “Things to that nature.”
“No dressing like a stripper. Got it.”
“OK, let’s start with a few different shapes and find out which one works for your body type,” said Nancy.
It took twenty minutes to find three different options that looked good on me. I was starting to get tired but I was still so happy this was happening. So the girls spread out and grabbed several options for me to try on. I showed the others every option and waited for approval. I had learned to trust their judgment. The clothes they approved of were the ones that I felt best in. Before checking out, I was given another rule.
“Every seasonal wardrobe must have one pink article of clothing,” said Mary Ann. “We are called the Pink Girls after all.”
“That means one pair of pink shoes, one pink t-shirt, tank top, dress, sweater, and jacket,” said Carrie.
I wondered where I was going to find a pink jacket but I completely understood the pink rule. They couldn’t be the Pink Girls without the color pink. As shopping continued, I was beginning to tire. My arms were so full of heavy bags, they were starting to get sore. Even the girls were carrying some of my bags.
By the time we were done and headed to Mary Ann’s car, I not only had new undergarments, and basic camisoles, but jeans, tops, a couple of cardigans, a couple of dresses, and new pair of shoes. When Mary Ann stopped her car in front of my house, she asked about the text I sent earlier.
“Oh yeah,” I said excitedly. “My parents are going to be gone longer than expected. I have to enroll myself in school, which means that I can finally enroll as a girl.”
“Doesn’t that mean that you can go to another school?” asked Nancy.
“Why don’t you enroll in our school,” said Carrie excitedly.
“Mine is closer, but I’ll think about it.” I smiled and got out of the car and grabbed all of my bags from the trunk. I waved goodbye the best I could before going into the house, dropping the bags on the floor and collapsing on the couch and falling asleep.