I Am ALL Girl. I Am Also Badass.

Words by me
Photos by Dylan H. Brown

The outfit less favored.

The outfit less favored.

I was recently ridiculed in the comments of a picture where I'm wearing a sundress and hiking boots. I know better than to let internet trolls affect me, but their argument lured me in. The comments were scrutinizing my value as a "real" outdoors-person. The trolls weren’t attacking the image because my attire was unsafe or inappropriate, they were sounding off because a woman in a dress and hiking boots is a preposterous concept! A women wearing a dress (gasp!) certainly doesn't belong in the outdoors and "someone should photoshop her out of the beautiful canyon." Instead of celebrating the purpose of the post – the transformative powers of exploring the outdoors commentators choose to alienate and bully the person in the photo; me.

The comments – despite being a masochistic black hole – helped me realize I wasn't just defensive of my of wardrobe choice, I was PROUD. 

I am ALL girl. I love make up, and shopping, and getting dressed up. I love romance, pretty things and my favorite color is pink. I LIKE CURLING MY HAIR and having my picture taken. But I also love escaping into the wilderness where showers become obsolete and fragrance is traded for hard earned sweat stains and holes ripped through my jeans. My boot collection rivals my jewelry collection, and that brings me immense joy. 

I like to feel pretty and I like to feel badass. So what if my “dress-up” takes place on a mountain top or in dusty desert canyon? My experiences are what I choose for them to be and I want to feel empowered, and pretty, when living them. What I choose to wear does not measure my level of “hardcore” nor rank my ability to do great things. What I choose to wear is a reflection of who I am; a perfect blend of The Bachelor and Adventure Girl. :)

Hiking 14ers gives me confidence, but so does a stunning red dress, and THAT’S OK. For as long as I continue to explore the beautiful landscapes of the world, I will continue to celebrate them in style. No woman should have to hide her femininity in the pursuit to adventure with the best of them, as no woman should have to wear a suit to be a CEO. There is no right or wrong way to dress as an adventurer or a make-believer as long as you’re safe and practical. 

Outdoor lovers are some of the most open-minded, accepting people on the planet, let's keep it that way and hold the hate.