Go Ahead And Call Me A Slut

Shutterstock / Aleshyn_Andrei
Shutterstock / Aleshyn_Andrei

“Put some clothes on!”
“You should have stuck with the picture on the left.”
“Girls be like ‘check out my new hair cut’ and post pictures in short shorts.. Begging for attention much?”
“Slut.”

The statements above are all comments left on a Facebook picture a year ago to a woman struggling with loving her own self-image. The picture was a progress picture taken after weeks of hard work and dedication in the gym, and that woman was me.

Slut: A woman who had many casual sex partners.

Did you know that when you Google the word “slut” it specifically refers to a woman? And did you know that if you Google the definition “a man who has many casual sex partners” that there is no word for it? Interesting. How is it that since this word was created in the 15th century we have yet to abolish it from our vocabulary?

Family and friends used to tease me for my short shorts and skirts when I was younger. I am 5’8″ with legs that more than likely make up at least half of that height, nothing I wear fits me appropriately. I got so self-conscious that I wore pants that entire 100 degree summer.

That same summer I also fell in love with the video game Spiro the Dragon and played it every day until I came to a level that I was stuck on for three months. The object was to get into the castle, simple enough right? Wrong. I tried every door, window, rooftop, and even swam in endless circles around the moat looking for some secret entrance that was never there. When I say I was stuck on this for three months, I mean that literally! I later wrote the company that created the game only to find out that it was a glitch, that there were not one but three entrances into the castle and that what I had been telling myself I was doing wrong the whole time was actually correct.

That is exactly like learning to love yourself in a society like ours today.

We workout, curl our hair, slather on makeup, buy expensive clothes and jewelry. We try just about everything in hopes to make ourselves feel beautiful and for a moment in time, we do! But words are strong and opinions are critical and once someone begins to tear you down, it often times is easier to join in rather than fight back. We can’t fix the “glitch” that is the negative thought process of others, but we can fix the way we perceive it. Which is why I have recently decided to fight fire with fire.

I pick parts of my body that either someone else or I myself have personally attacked and find ways to learn to love them. I wear things that I normally wouldn’t dare to and I push myself everyday to see the beauty in being human. For Halloween, I dared to wear a costume that called for me to wear lingerie in the middle of Seattle. After years of being told my bottoms were too short by loved ones, it was terrifying to go practically completely without any. I was incredibly self-conscious but in spite of my own self-doubt, I rocked it and had a complete blast with people who didn’t waste a second of the good time we were having to judge me. And just this last weekend, I wore a top that had a neckline cut to my belly button in spite of comments an ex-boyfriend made about how small my breasts were. And it was AWESOME. Sure, I received a few negative comments.

“What are you wearing?”
“Put some clothes on!”
“Slut.”

But you see, life is what you make of it, never should it be what someone else makes of you. We are young and exploring who we are, not who everyone else wants us to be. My clothing does not define me as a person, it is a form of art and expression. If we wanted our clothing to display our sex lives, we’d probably all be walking around with scarlet letters right now. And currently, as I sip my coffee in my scrubs, hair in a messy bun, half of my makeup done (because 5 AM is far to early to find a purpose for eyeliner), and my nails short (I’m a biter), I can confidently say that I know that I am beautiful, right down to my very soul.

I hope that you all can find the beauty in yourselves too, because (and I say this with experience) there is no feeling quite like this in the world. And calling me a “slut” will never take that away from me.TC mark

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