The signs started early.

I never noticed before. The adult figures around me translated the gestures as a child being cute. The gesture of a chaste daughter coyly vying for the affection of her photographer father. With my eyes, I see something quite different.

I've always wanted to be thought of as attractive and desirable. However, my interests were in boyish things. I enjoyed playing with my matchbox cars and reading. Dolls weren't my forte. Yes, I've owned the requisite Barbie and, like many born in the mid 70s, a number of Strawberry Shortcake figures. But the games I played weren't feminine.

I wanted to be seen as feminine.

I wanted to be that little girl that was doted upon by her family and her family's friends. The little girl that a little boy goes up to and hands a bunch of flowers while the adults point and "aww". It's hard to be that little girl with a matchbox car in your hand. With a set of lego blocks. With your face buried deep in a book. I wasn't the little girl at the center of attention at a party. I was the one hiding in the corner,
trying to drown out the noise and become lost in the fascinating worlds found only in books. I was Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, until my mama would call for me and I would be tossed back to my tomboy reality.

Since I was never seen as 'feminine' in terms of my actions, I wanted to be feminine in my image. I posed. I raised my leg alluringly. I wore pink and crossed my legs and looked seductively at the camera. Even eating a carrot was without its suggestion.

I wanted a world where I was feminine, not glimpses and moments caught on paper.

Then the world cracked open, and I became a star.

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