“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
I sat on the title for this post for a long time.
“The problem with a dirty name”
“My own social experiment”
“How to loose a guy in a month”
“My body, my choice”
“Nature Vs. Sexism”
But in the end, I decided to post on international women’s day, so I shall honor that.
Let me start by saying, that I do intend to “throw people under the bus”. But hey, like Anne Lamott said, you should have behaved better, and I won’t hold back my story, my feelings, or my writing for anyone. I also have no apologies for being blunt or honest about parts of my body. Just throwing that out there. I am not ashamed of any part of my body or any way that *I* choose to handle *MY* body.
Months ago I started a low key social experiment, I stopped wearing make up to work. The first day, I had just woken up late and decided not to take my make up bag with me to do on my break. I just went au natural. I got so many comments on how I looked different, tired, that my face was broken out, and that I looked better with make up on. So I did it again, and again, and again. Then randomly, one day I wore make up, not a lot, just enough to look different but not to actually tell I had make up on. And I was told how beautiful I was, how rosy my cheeks looked. The next day I went all out on make up. I was told I was wearing too much. I went without it, and told I should wear it. All by my male coworkers. I started to reverse the roles. I told them they looked tired, and that maybe they should start wearing make up. I got laughed at. I asked them why it was different for them than it was for me, the only answer they had was: “You’re a woman”.
The next month, I decided to try something else. After reading a new study showing that bras actually increase your chance of getting breast cancer, I stopped wearing them. right away I got remarks, but not what I expected. People started asking me if I put on weight, if I was pregnant again, if I should really be eating that. You see, I am a small chested woman, so without a bra making my chest look bigger, my chest and stomach are about the same size. Not wearing a bra made my boobs look smaller, and my stomach look bigger. These comments came from male AND female coworkers, on a daily basis. Always without couth. Always without thought or care of my feelings. It was perfectly okay to tell me that I looked fat, even months after giving birth. It started extending further, my family told me I looked fat, and I started to believe them. My self-esteem started to drop, and hasn’t truly recovered. But I refuse to start wearing a bra again. I’ve had days here and there where I felt ashamed, and put a bra on, but I took it off within hours. Why am I going to put myself in pain, and increase my chances of literal CANCER for other people to enjoy looking at me?
Last month I started a new experiment, I knew I needed time for this one, that I wouldn’t be able to put it into play until summer. I stopped shaving. As a young girl, I was taught as we all are that we need to shave, and that body hair on a woman is gross. When I came of “shaving age” I was obsessed with being “beautiful”. I shaved my legs, my privates, my arm pits, my arms. I wanted no body hair at all. I thought it made me beautiful. I look at my husband, or my brothers running around with body hair and wonder why their hair is natural, but mine is disgusting. When it physically hurts to shave, when I spend way too much damn money on a razor, when it literally doesn’t improve my happiness or quality of life at all, why do I do it? So I stopped. I just stopped. I figured I wouldn’t see the full extent of my social experiment until this summer, when I was in tank tops and a bathing suit and everyone could see my awesome leg and armpit hair. But after only a week, my own husband asked me if I was going to shave. When I explained to him that I was not and why, I was met with backlash. Will writing this and calling him out create more backlash? Probably, but that’s exactly why I need to talk about it. He said I needed to shave, and when I asked why he didn’t need to, he said because I wasn’t disgusted by his body hair, but he was disgusted by mine. That if I was disgusted by it, he would shave it. But it still didn’t answer my question, why was my body hair disgusting to him, but his wasn’t disgusting to him? Why is it, that when I stop doing as I’m told, and I let my body, MY BODY be natural it’s disgusting? We haven’t talked about it again, but I continue to rebel against what society has always told me. And you know what? I’m so comfortable! My skin is no longer red, and bumpy. No more cuts, or ingrown hairs. I feel, for maybe the first time ever, totally empowered by my own body.
And yes, I do plan on dying it a crazy color when it’s long enough. Because it’s my body, and I want to.
So what does feminism look like to you? Are you a feminist? Have any of the above things ever happened to you? Have you ever questioned why you do some of the things you do? Do you actually enjoy them? Are you stuck thinking that you have to do something, just because you always have, and not because you actually want to? Question your everyday things. Fight back when people continue to tell you what you should do, man or woman. Keep moving forward, it’s the only way to show other people the inequalities that are at play every single day. So go out without make-up. Burn your bra. And stop buy $18 razors that hurt you. Or keep doing them, because YOU WANT TO. Be you.
Happy International Women’s Day. Today, Tomorrow and everyday.