I don’t care if you call me ugly. Say it, I dare you. Mention the girth of my lips or the wide-set nature of my eyes. Maybe you’ll pick up on the flat scope of my nose or the jutting of my cheekbones. The ferociousness of my brows or my cocoa stained skin may tip you off to any perceived ugliness as well. But, I don’t care.
I know I’m beautiful, just don’t tell me so. If all that leaves is calling me ugly, then so be it. My beauty doesn’t lie with my looks, but in my refusal to give up in life’s journey. So, tell me that I’m ugly if you choose, then. I don’t care. There are worse things to be called than ugly. And it’s not being called a slut.
So, call me a slut. Is it my ability to appreciate God’s craftsmanship of the male species? I mean seriously, I don’t discriminate. Is it my willingness and consent to be loved and be a lover, though not married? Call me a slut then. There are worse things. I don’t understand why people think they harm with words like ugly and slut. Want to insult me? Call me dumb. Call me powerless. Call me inconsequential. You can’t hurt me with words like ugly or slut.
Because a woman’s worth doesn’t lie in her aesthetic or sexuality. It lies in her. It lies in her definition. And it lies in her definition of self. My definition of self is my intelligence, my power, and my significance. I am smart because I say I am. I have power because I know I do. I have significance because I am alive. But I didn’t always think this. I didn’t always know this. Words like ugly and slut held value.
But when it hurt worse to be called dumb, beauty and sexuality held no importance. It hurt worse to feel powerless. It hurt worse to feel inconsequential.
Society, even with all of its pro-feminism in popular culture, still gives to power to those who use ugly and slut to hurt. It’s cardinal to be considered ugly. It’s sinful to be a slut, even for those who give no importance to religions that discredit sexuality outside of marriage.
Society doesn’t give importance in girls knowing that they are smart, and capable and powerful. For the women, and I call us women and not females, since that word strips women of their humanity, (i.e. there are females in most species, but a woman is also a human), who know their worth in their definition of self in regards to what is important to them and not the values that are given significance to hurt others, it is great that you know who you are. Many do not. Many can still be hurt with ugly, or slut.
For the women that can be and are hurt with those words, do not feel victimized. It’s not okay that they use these words to hurt, but it’s okay that you feel hurt. It’s okay that you’re not okay. Everything is set up so that you do feel like a victim when these words are hurled at you, but don’t give your naysayers that power. When you know you are beautiful, then you are. What helped me was saying it until my beauty radiated out of me from my core. I took power away from the word ugly and slut and gave into my desire to be smart, powerful, and influential.
Lastly, to those who want to answer the challenge and call me dumb, powerless or inconsequential, I’ll remind you of my ability to call shenanigans on anyone who calls me out of my name or incorrectly defines me. Like I said, I’m smart, I’m powerful, and I’m consequential. So I am.