‘I’m not asking for anything, I just feel pretty.’

Ever heard of the phrase, ‘dress the way you want to be addressed’? I’m here to tell you despite what you’ve heard, or been lectured about, is ridiculous. The notion that the length of your skirt, whether you wear bra or not, or killing it with those high knee boots determines how sexual active you are, is lunacy. And the fact that this phrase has somewhat condoned slut shaming is kinda of worrisome. Not to mention it has birthed a hybrid, that is not only a word nor acronym, but it’s even trending. T.H.O.T, that whore over there. Does that sound familiar?

Yes, because slut shaming has become an epidemic, and now that we have social media. Jeesh it’s like mixing pipping oil and water. As a former slut shamer, I have come to realise how damaging it is to call someone a slut because of the way they are dressed, or how they present themselves. In fact, I came to this realisation in high school when it ruined a girl’s life. So, seeing as it is back to school month, I think this a topic worth raising. Cyber bullying and all.

First thing to address is, when you show skin that doesn’t mean you are a slut or an attention whore. It simple means you are confident and comfortable in your own skin, and before someone has my head you can cover up and be confident as well, okay. I remember a scene in It’s Not You It’s Men, when Tyrese Gibson stated that to dress provocative means you are loose, and Amber Rose responded by saying, ‘I’m not asking for nothing, I just feel pretty.’ Is it difficult to understand that someone can come out of the house with cleavage just because they feel good? And no, it’s not wired by the fact guys will be staring like dogs on heat. But rather because you simply feel good.

You look in the mirror and you are like, damn I look good. And it is as simple as that. So, don’t feel bad when you show skin. And for the shamers, there’s more to someone than their presentation.

The second thing, did you know slut shaming encourages rape? Yup I said the R word. A police officer in Toronto stated, ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts to prevent them being raped.’ As though to dress “provocatively” is an invitation for rape, it merely suggested that a woman’s body is not her own, but rather for the taking, like this is not a buffet. And thanks to Amber Rose there is now more publicity for a movement called, the slutwalk.

Where participants protest an end to rape culture, including slut shaming. Some wear baggy clothes while carrying the placards that read ‘this is what I wore when I was raped.’ Which goes to show that the so called sexy outfits do not motivate rapists, but rather opens a portal to victim blaming.

Although clothing is a visual language it is important to remember that your interpretation of one’s self-expression may differ from yours. What is seen as “slutty” is empowering to some.

 

The feature image was photographed by Charlotte Rutherford for Paper magazine. 

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