It was every time I was told to change my clothes because I was showing too much skin.
Every time I tattooed something on my body and got disapproving comments.
Every time I got a piercing.
Every time someone made a comment about my shorts being too short.
Every time someone told me my butt was small. Or my breasts.
Being told to wear lipstick at work.
Being told to wear tight clothes to interviews.
The guys that told me they loved me when all they wanted was sex.
Being told how I should handle my pregnancy.
Men touching my bump and asking if I was married.
My friendliness being taken for being flirtatious.
Being blamed for sexual advances.
These moments defined who I was, caused me to not value my self worth. Thank you.
These moments have shown me that our society is broken. Women are expected to be quiet and polite. To cover up and be good wives and mothers. We are taught that we are our roles as a gender, not individuals.
I can not tell you how many times I have been put in uncomfortable situations and conversations and have been afraid to speak up to stop it. Not anymore.
This year, I decided to take back who I am. To be who I am without societal pressures, without other’s opinions.
“Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business” – Rachel Hollis.
I decided to take hold of my happiness.
Before you jump to conclusions, I believe most men are wonderful people. The good men in my life have helped me become stronger, more confident, and resilient.
What I challenge you to consider is this: who would you be if you weren’t under the societal pressure of conforming to what is normal?
When you look in the mirror, do you put makeup on for yourself? Are you wearing those tight jeans for yourself? Did you change out of the low cut top because YOU wanted to or because you weren’t sure how people would react?
My instinct is to question how I’m viewed. I don’t want to put makeup on, but what will my customers think of me? This year, every time that happens, I will fight to do what I WANT. If someone makes me uncomfortable, I will let them know. I deserve this.
I challenge you all to do the same.