I don’t know exactly where to start so I am just going to start. I recently read an article on the huffington post that left me feeling very shocked and quite frankly put i’d felt so naïve too. I couldn’t stop the tears from flooding even long after I had read the post, I was reliving my own past, even pretty recent years and still seeing similar occurrences.
I did a very bad thing a few years ago, something not nice and ive found it such a struggle to try to forgive myself for this. I used to be the girl that younger girls in my area followed ‘fashion wise’, I never showed off too much skin and once i’d learnt that younger girls were copying I stuck with my style out of loyalty and respect. You can be respected for yourself always. I was only between 14-15 years of age at this time too. Right, to put it bluntly and I have no idea why I am writing about this, I do not know what it is that wants me to do this but I feel I have to. So a couple years ago now I decided I fancied a boy, yes he was in a relationship. I always thought I had pretty cool morals until this tested them. I had been cheated on by previous partners and you would possibly think that causing any hurt or pain to another human would be the last thing on my mind. If I’m being completely honest, the whole thing went on for 3 years. Nothing so much physically ever happened, I sent the photos, we messaged all the time etc. But the mad thing is that during this weirdness I felt a sense of worthiness and so much security, I felt the security simply because he wasn’t my partner, if he kissed another girl it wouldn’t matter, he wouldn’t be doing anything wrong by me, it was her he was doing and that made me feel so safe. How disgusting is that? To have that little self worth about myself that I felt this was my only way to be happy? What a fucking joke, why couldn’t I see it.
I remember being called a slag at the age of 14 years old, I was still a virgin, but like all my other school mates i was experimenting and thought it was normal. The second my cousin screamed this in my face I just looked in shock, I didn’t say anything. I went home that night and thought long and hard about it, and decided there and then I didn’t want to be that person. My cousin he apologised the next night for this and I thanked him, I needed to hear it and actually felt pretty blessed. I completely stuck by this 100, I didn’t lose my virginity then until I was 18 years old and actually in a proper relationship! I do not in any way condone name calling or any form of abuse, I know a lot of girls are called evil nasty hurtful names even when these words are most definitely lies, and you do not need to accept them.
Ive learnt quite a lot from becoming older. The first time I ever went clubbing I learnt never to take drinks of boys! EVER! I thought they were kind and generous, but that’s not the case girls, they expect a kiss at the LEAST in return! WTF? Yuk! What a crappy we are taught eh?
I remember being sat outside a club less than a year ago now, I was tired and needed a rest, I was sat on the steps waiting for my friends to leave so we could go home. There were 2 guys stood near me, I wasn’t in a talkative mood and just wanted to go home, they seemed polite at first but the second I politely said I’m not in the mood for conversation they jumped down my throat with vile verbal abuse, they called me a ‘slag’ ‘tramp’ ‘bitch’ …Just because I couldn’t be arsed to talk? Thank god I was this age and didn’t give a shit and was actually so freaking happy that I never gave them the time of day after this. On the other hand though, if i’d have been younger my reaction may not have been the same. I want you girlies to know that you do not need to feel dominated into doing anything you do not want to. You have a choice. Something as little as talking and to receive this reaction is disgusting, you are not ugly or slaggy if this happens to you. A nice person would respect what you wanted and just quietly left you alone in understanding, not try to demoralise you in the process.
I’ve felt guilt and shame in the things ive done in my past, I felt I lost my morals and couldn’t still be or even try to be a good person knowing some of the things i’d done. But i’m here to say we all make mistakes, we are human, if we feel these feelings I think that’s a bonus as we have a power to do something and make a difference. A part of me feels I needed to experience this to be able to connect and have a deeper understanding of what is going on in society, its forced me to open my eyes and look around me more clearly. I am in no way trying to advertise what I have done. It made me feel sick and awful and I know I am not alone In this. When a guy asks you to send him nudes no matter how interested he may seem please don’t do it! I said no a tens of times before I actually did, I was begged into it (but I still always had my own power of choice). I still sent them to this person. Little did I know that he had actually told a friend of mine and I didn’t know until a year and half later! I kept the whole thing bottled up and quiet until this point, and then people started to know more and more. It didn’t end there, because then when other boys found out about this (in relationships) they started to try to take advantage of me. The hand touching of hands etc. I felt violated, I learnt that so many people were not who I thought they were and I drew myself away from that crowd to free myself and work on me for me. I knew it was wrong and I wanted it to change so I made my first start that way :-). I want you to know you are not alone if you have experienced anything like this and you are also not a bad person if you made a mistake, you are also not a bad person if you never did anything wrong but have been bullied into feeling as though you are.
So back to the huff post which spurred me on to write, me and my sister will randomly drive on a Friday night and see parks empty…which we thought was a good thing! Its actually one of the things that made me cry as I assumed your generation were getting better, I never see your age group sat on park benches with a bottle of booze and falling all over the place. I thought it was maturity. I had no idea the feeling of no sense of self or who you are was a problem that is hurting so many of you. I admired how perfectly you’d all become with applying make-up (I’ll pluck up the courage to show you mine and you’ll see exactly why lol). I actually prefer to not wear make-up at the moment and when i do its for me. You are not ugly or a slag based on appearance, in fact nothing you could ever do can give you a title like that. . I honestly felt as though it was all getting better for teenagers and after reading the post I am just so sorry for my own ignorance in the matter.
In all of the
bad choices I have made and trust me there are so many! I am thankful for the who I am becoming now. I’m learning to be more open and not keep everything tightly squashed inside of me. I’m learning the benefits of how amazing my friendships have become since being open and honest and within that realising so many others are going through the same thing too! When we start being honest with ourselves our friends/close ones we begin to feel connected again, we can make a difference, we can turn this closedness we feel into a really great empowering supportive friendship and we can feel strong in knowing we are all in this together.
I want for us to change this, to make a stand for who we are, that we don’t ever have to feel trapped or unworthy ever. It is ok for us to make mistakes, it is also ok to forgive yourselves. You can do something, you can change society, you can relate to and help and inspire each other to a life that creates better harmony and love with each other.
If you enjoyed this post you can #vanillaculture, maybe take a picture to make a stand for beautiful without make-up, or going to town with the make-up really creatively clearly stating that you can do whatever the fu*k you want! Maybe post a little post about something that’s been eating away at you and just get it off your chest. If you want to talk to me personally and I so promise I will get back to all of you! Email me @firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t feel threatened, I’m here and I’m waiting and hopeful we can do something amazing together. xxxxxx ❤