An ancient philosopher from the mystical land of Toronto once said, “You’re a good girl and you know it.”
Five years ago, “Here, sit on this in case you bleed,” were the last words uttered as my then boyfriend slid his thirteen-year-old sister’s oversized sweatshirt underneath my naked body before I forever lost what would have qualified me as a virgin sacrifice. As his hands delicately cradled my face, he kissed each and every freckle that had been sprinkled across my nose and cheeks. He pulled out a condom from his wallet and I muttered some butchered joke to calm my nerves. I was prepared for his usual quick wit, but instead of teasing me back, he stopped and leaned back. He looked me at me, not necessarily like a man (boy, let’s be real) in love or lust, but as someone appreciating this last moment of purity. And then, as stereotypically adolescent as it gets, I had sex for the first time ever in the back of his bright green Scion.
I remember going to bed that night feeling somewhat numbed. I loved him deeply, or so I thought at such a tender age, but wasn’t something supposed to feel different? Hadn’t I just been altered? I didn’t feel like anything had changed. I didn’t feel like a new person. I just felt slightly sore. But honestly, what was I thinking would happen? Did I expect a magical unicorn to come flying out of my vagina the moment my hymen was cast free? Was I supposed to suddenly understand taxes, refer to escargot as a delicacy, and hear Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman reverberating in my ears? I didn’t feel like an adult. I still felt sixteen.
My dad had died only two months before and instead of plunging into the black hole I lost my mom to, I redirected all of my pain and grief into loving a boy. In some ways, I think it saved my life. Other times, I cringe that sweet sixteen is forever etched in my medical history at the gynecologist.
I was always referred to as a good girl before that day. I’ve never done drugs. I didn’t drink until I turned 21. I’ve never kissed someone I just met. I was a homebody, not the wild child. But suddenly, that day, society stopped labeling me as “good” because I had done something “bad.”
But here’s the truth: none of that shit above made me a good girl. I’m good because I have a loving heart. I’m good because I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and go out of my way to help people, animals, inanimate objects, etc. I’m good because I will do anything to make someone laugh if they could use some cheering up (seriously, I have no shame/embarrassment). I’m good because I practice tolerance, openness, and acceptance, even when it’s not the easy thing to do. I’m not bad, good, average, medium, a grande at Starbucks, whatever. I’m a human experiencing, shocker, human things. We need to stop with our narrow definitions of what makes someone/something good or bad.
Although Drake is right about one thing, girls do love our Beyoncé.