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It seems to me that when some things start they never stop.
For instance, an obsession with food. When I was younger I became enamored of the idea of anorexia, bulimia, bones jutting out, a perfect figure. Now, I know that I am far from having a problem comparable to the poor girls that suffer from horrendous eating disorders, but I do believe that my mind works in a similar way as many other girls, and this should not be standard.
When you are not super skinny in a natural, don’t-even-have-to-try way, food is a constant struggle while living in this society. I am 5’2″ and fluctuate between 120lbs (my skinny weight) to 130lbs (my fat weight). My dream would be to be between 100-115lbs. Unfortunately, I don’t have the will power to attain that goal, and even on the rare occasion I do, it’s never for more than day.
Now, I’ve always been fairly confident and I don’t overly obsess over what people think I look like, but it is something that creeps into my mind at least once a day, especially since I’ve been at college. With all these new people and faces around me, pretty girls with flat stomachs, I have never felt so ugly and inadequate as I did those first few weeks. And maybe every freshman girl feels that way.
But, either way, it’s not a good feeling, and it’s certainly not one that anyone deserves. Many people blame this superficial culture we have on the advent of social media and intense advertising. But women have always thought often about their looks. Look at Audrey Hepburn’s waist, Marilyn Monroe’s curves, Ingrid Bergman’s face. The need for the ideal look has always been around.
But what if you don’t fit this look? What if you don’t look like any other girls you see, any other celebrities, anyone?
And what if you go to college and change? I’ve gained weight since being here. I typically don’t really eat much and don’t snack, but with less structure and more food available in college, I can’t help but eat more. I go to the gym more often than either of my roommates, but they’re still the perfectly skinny ones while I’m too curvy for my own good. My skin’s gotten bad, my bras don’t fit well, my pants won’t go on as easily. Every second of the day is an argument within myself of whether to eat or not to eat. And it doesn’t help that going to the cafeteria is a highly social experience – how can I make friends if I never spend that time with people? And I’m paying for that food too – if I don’t take advantage of it, I’m basically throwing away money.
It’s hard for me to grasp who I am anymore. I used to be so proud of my well proportioned curves, my ability to eat like a bird in the summer, how I could wear a bikini, how boys found me attractive. I was the one that looked good in whatever I tried on, that had no problem finding a prom dress that fit, and that could flirt with abandon because I knew I didn’t gross anyone out. I was pretty, boys had called me beautiful even, some said I was the most beautiful girl they had ever seen (and these are platonic friends, not even sex hungry boyfriends).
But now I don’t even know if I’m good enough for the guys that I would normally never lower my standards for. I don’t know if I’m pretty, I don’t know if I have sex appeal, I don’t if my outfits are cute or if my flirting’s attractive. I don’t know who I am. And it’s sad that something like appearance could throw off my sense of self and self-worth so harshly.
Why? Why do girls literally kill themselves so that they can see hipbones popping through? Why do girls spend more time at the gym than studying so that when they go out maybe, just maybe their crush will notice them? How did this cultural shift come about from the days when softer, fuller women were the ones men painted and wanted?
Maybe it doesn’t matter how or why. Maybe all that matters is what we do to change it now. Because I’m tired of feeling like shit every time I look in the mirror, tired of my friends calling themselves “duffs” (designated ugly fat friends) because boys don’t give them a lot of attention, and tired of spending hours and hundreds of dollars on “correcting” the way I look.
So next time I go out, I’m going to do my makeup the way I like to do it. I’m going to wear whatever the hell I want. I’m not going to focus on sex appeal – I’m going to focus on making myself happy. And if a boy likes it, he does; if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. I’ll go out to have a good time with friends, and I’ll forget about that opposite sex that, in this stage of their lives, does not give one fuck about me. I dare all of you to do this the next time you go out or go to school or do whatever. Just focus on yourself, because it’s your life, not theirs, not society’s. You do you and let them do whatever, and let’s see if we can finally be happy.
She’s always wondered if it’s meant to feel like this.
A constant struggle, a tug-of-war, continual pushing. Locked in an embrace, their mouths moving rhythmically, it is more a struggle for control than it is a romantic encounter.
Him pushing, she pushing back. To defend herself, her honor, her reputation. She knows he is a nice boy, but shouldn’t nice boys take the hints she gives? How many times must she move a hand away, or guide a mouth upward? This is supposed to be enjoyable; this is supposed to be a basic human pleasure, but instead it is a never ending game. Pushing and pushing. Sending signals that are either read and ignored or not even noticed.
And it’s not as though she condemns what he is trying to do. She just isn’t ready, she barely knows him really, and she barely knows herself. He keeps pushing but she pushes back just as hard. How can she let him into the secret recesses of her being if he hasn’t even been to the secret recesses of her mind?
But he keeps pushing, as if he doesn’t understand. She thinks men and women must see differently after all. Because he is continually pushing, his body rubbing on hers. She wonders why it has come to this. Is she no different than a scratching post for a cat? Is this her fate in life? Because it was decided that she is a woman, she is now doomed to a life of being an inanimate object, even if she feels like so much more. Even if he talks as if she is much more, even if he genuinely seemed to care much more. Because he seems to lose control and courtesy, and pushes on her, as if she was not really there at all, moving his hands and pushing his body away on her unwilling form.
She is there for him to rub and push and grind, and no matter how hard she pushes back, she knows that that will never change.
Slutty virgin: an example of an oxymoron, yes? Technically impossible, isn’t it? But in the day and age we live in, where everything is fast-paced and lines are being blurred and people are growing cynical, this term is completely acceptable. How else would you describe me?
I’m a college freshman, female, pretty enough and small enough (to others, anyways). So what should society expect from me if not to get drunk, be easy, and become a complete mess for at least my first semester?
And I’ve fit the bill – to an extent. I came into college from a school that was not big on partying. I’d never been drunk, never tried pot, never had sex, and I was a straight-A student.
Now I get drunk at least once a week, almost every week and I’ve tried pot. But I’m still a virgin and I’m doing really well in school, for a freshman anyways. The big thing that’s making my head spin and pulling me in all different directions is that I’ve “hooked up” with four different guys since coming to school – two and a half months ago.
(For the purposes of this blog, I will define “hooked up” as making out. And not naked.)
The first time was fun. Drunk, under the stars on a football field, freezing, and with a hot army guy. The second guy turned into a repetitive “thing” even – until it stopped abruptly (he got back with his ex, but that’s another story). The third was… he was just too drunk and sloppy, period. And the fourth is blurry in my mind still – I was drunk, desperate, and kinda sad over the second guy.
The point is, I’m torn between feeling crazy with power and recklessly slutty. And I think many girls think this way. I’ve never done random hook ups before, and I’ve never even done more than make out with a guy. And I don’t plan on it, either. I personally see hook ups as harmless, and I would never go farther unless I was the guy’s girlfriend and I felt comfortable and ready. And I’m saving the home run until marriage.
Out of all my friends, I’m the most independent. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself, I don’t really rely on anyone to help me through the hard stuff. I’m not a girl that a guy can push around.
But I still wonder – what is the rest of the world thinking about me? When you read that I’m in college, drinking, and hooking up, you probably wanted to label me as “slut” instantly and then walk away. And all these people at my college that don’t know me probably want to do that too. But have you ever thought about the girl behind those four letters?
I’m torn completely. On the one hand, I’m having fun, not hurting anyone, and not going farther than I want or should. I’m not crossing huge boundaries, I’d never touch a taken man, and I’m nice to everyone. But on the other hand, again and again I have to stop and ask myself, Am I a slut? Because society is tearing girls apart in two completely different directions:
You’re a virgin so you’re a prude. So you’re no fun. And probably socially awkward. I’ll picture you as plain or ugly, either too skinny or too fat, with some strange habit that no one understands. You’ve probably never had a boyfriend, or at least not an acceptable one, and you’ll never go out and party. You’re either a total nerd or a stone cold bitch that’s too feminist for their own good, or maybe you’re a closet lesbian.
I always see you hooking up with someone when I’m out, so you’re definitely a slut. You probably sleep with every guy you can get your hands on, and you’re a sloppy drunk. All you do is drink and fuck and get into stupid trouble. I’d hate to know what you’re midterm grades were. I can see you as a waitress or a bartender someday, but never as successful. By the time we graduate (if you graduate), you’ll either have a disease or a baby. You’ll never get a steady boyfriend, unless he’s the cheating kind.
So what do we girls do?
Is there any middle path? Will the rumors ever stop? Will we ever help each other, or is being accepting so much of a challenge now that it’s actually impossible?
Through my blog, I hope to correct these stereotypes. I want to prove that a girl can go out and party, have some single girl fun, and still have self-respect, say no, and be successful. Because it’s not fair that guys can suck faces with ten girls in one weekend and no one blinks at their 4.0 GPA. And it’s not fair that they can drink and smoke and be called a “bro” while a party girl is considered a “mess.”
And while I struggle to find the right middle path between these two extremes that I’m comfortable with, I hope my posts will help other girls to find their way too. Because we shouldn’t assume and we shouldn’t hate. It’s time we worked through this together.
Everyone deserves the right to live the life that makes them happy.