A blog can be a good thing and a bad thing-especially when people read it and know your most vulnerable side. I had high hopes for 2020 like most of you (and still do). I ended 2019 on a healthy personal note and shitty professional. But I accepted it and tackled the start of this year like a boss. Until I lost my job due to sexual harassment two weeks in, and learned the people I call best friends don’t have my best interest at heart. Talk about a new beginning and a lot of self hate. Self hate doesn’t just hate you though, it hates others, too.
A few years back, five to be exact, I was sitting with a group of friends when we were talking about strippers. Before I knew what I was saying my mouth opened and the words rolled off my tongue, “I would never do that!” in such distaste and judgement without ever thinking twice about it. The group got defensive about my choice of words and the conversation quickly changed. Later I found out one of the girls I’m closest to (sitting in the group) was an ex stripper and everyone knew but me. I felt foolish and spent the next few days trying to understand why I said what I did. I realized it wasn’t strippers that bothered me, it was men using sexual women as a way to objectify us all. Not that strippers by any means warranted this or wanted this, but men saw naked women as objects.
So when I began writing about relationships and sex it was far out of my comfort zone. But I listened to my readers and gave them exactly what they were asking for–advice in love. I felt inauthentic sharing only fashion and beauty content when I myself was dying over a breakup. Honestly paralyzed. In a way all of your questions helped me through my own difficult time. I got real with you by opening up with myself about what I want. Sex included. I didn’t do it as a way to have an authoritative view on dating and sex, or attract more male followers; rather share my intimate, and very honest experience, and express how strippers and naked women are not bad, or to blame, while making other women comfortable with that.
As I tried to understand why my ex boyfriend(s) treated me like complete shit, my business partner thought he could objectify me, and men on social media felt compelled to only leave disgusting comments talking about my feet, legs, and beauty–men stop with the autonomy because you are not anonymous and no one really gives a fuck about your fetishes–I wrestled with how to grow a business online and attract only women (even when my girlfriends who I always supported were unsupportive). Naturally seeking out answers from everyone to understand the hatred circling around us through self hate and personal judgment–getting only answers I didn’t like.
One friend said, “women don’t like you because of the type of content you share.” A tad defensive how my content was offensive, I listened to what he had to say which lead to this: “if you sell yourself as sex men will only see you as sex.” My heart shattered into tiny pieces at the thought of him saying this. The exact reason I prejudged strippers. SEX? Selling myself as SEX? Since when have I ever portrayed myself as a sex symbol or looking for sex? Did you read the caption that followed that IG post, or any of my blog posts? Last time I checked I am a bit too conservative to have a casual hookup let alone be deemed a sexpot. A girl can dream for Angelina’s status, but seriously, I don’t need a show and tell to prove I can get laid–or am well respected.
From his words I gathered my business choices, i.e., photos I post–because let’s be clear everything I post on social media is for work and has been curated and carefully thought out– gives people: men (and misinformed women like I once was); the right to ridicule me–shamed by my past ignorance.
For the life of me I couldn’t (and still can’t) wrap my brain around all the years I spent only having sex and flirting with boyfriends while maintaining an almost prudish and naive personality just so men and some women could ASSUME I am promoting sex. Is being my authentic self a lie now? Was my friend for sale because she stripped for a brief time in her life? AND you think porn is real? Come on!!!
My friend went one to reason with me by explaining how his girlfriend didn’t like me the first time she saw my photos on Instagram. Stalk my page if you’re so inclined and help me rationalize his reason with logic. This is the same friend that for the past four years has called me for relationship advice. Mostly to discuss how insecure his girlfriend is and how every few months her insecurities cause a wedge between them. I’m no expert but projecting her own insecurities about her self hate onto me seems a little masochistic–searching for things that you know will hurt you (she’s 50 and apparently old habits don’t die.) No judgment because she is fabulous, but an innocent observation. Are women offended by things they think they lack: a hot body, beautiful mind, successful business?
Now the deeper question I have about growing a business no longer includes what I’m doing wrong, but why women (and some men) criticize and judge others for their own insecurities. J-Lo and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime performance backlash was a perfect example. Instead of promoting two fabulous women who have it all: career and looks; make their own money and support their families, all we can see is two sexy women who danced inappropriately and showed too much skin. Instead of viewing them as examples of confidence, success, and influential body positive women, our inclination is to slam them. To diffuse any positivity because we are insecure.
It’s not just trashy tabloids and news worthy media outlets who have made it acceptable to mock and place blame by highlighting celebrities decisions, it’s everyday people like you and me judging a book by its cover. Defining people by the very things that make them special and truly authentic. To say that someone is a certain way because they showed a less traditional or conservative side of themselves. We live in a country that has freedom of speech for all and are told to be ourselves at a young age. Then, as adults we are all supposed to be the same. I assure you unless you walked a mile in someone else’s shoes you don’t know how you would act. The same is true about confidence. If you had enough confidence within yourself you wouldn’t retaliate against others and break people apart for their confidence.
The real hate today is the dishonest hate you are sharing in support of abandoning confident people instead of supporting them. We all know if you were in the same situation you would be advertising the same confidence. No one needs to feel ashamed of themselves or need to appease someone else. We need to come together and stand united for each other and show love for each other’s choices. We are all vulnerable and struggling in one way or another. Some people just carry the weight of their pain through a strong battle with confidence, while still supporting others opposing decisions. There is nothing wrong with a woman who dances sexually, dresses provocatively, or speaks openly in my opinion. What’s wrong is the number of people who don’t know themselves enough to dance to the beat of their own drum, dress for themselves, and compliment someone else.