Women are made to feel guilty of shameful about too many things. Almost as if it is a crime to be a woman! This shaming is not always in your face, and all too often, it happens in such a slow and subtle manner that we don’t realize. It suddenly hits us but then it’s too late because at the point we’ve become either too timid, too coy, too unsure, or too under-confident, to be our own selves. Yes, it happens… it happens when we starve ourselves to be a certain size, or overeat to compensate for being “too sensitive”. As if, that’s even a thing! It happens when we paint our sadness with make-up because we don’t want the world to know we are low… because “women get too emotional about things”. It happens when we withdraw from our loved ones who don’t understand why we choose to chase our dreams rather than a man.
We can spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think. But, the truth is, there’s no rule book, life can get messy sometimes and nobody’s perfect. We could all probably do with being a bit easier on ourselves and, instead, focusing on what really matters – friends, family, and doing what you love. So, here’s a reminder of the things you should never feel embarrassed about. After all, it would be pretty boring if we were all the same.
1. BODY HAIR
Now listen, I’m not suggesting you have to pick sides on the whole #TeamNoShave or #TeamBareNakedLadies debate. Hell, you can be both if you want! I often fluctuate between naked mole-rat status or a little more natural, depending on my own comfort levels and (if we’re being honest) laziness. But you should never feel embarrassed by your body hair. Some people feel more empowered by stripping it all off; some don’t give a flying. But it should never be something that makes you feel ashamed. It’s hair. Be ashamed of, cheating on your SATs or kicking a puppy (ALSO, YOU MONSTER!!!!), but don’t feel bad about something as normal as hair.
2. BEING LOUD IN BED
I’ve actually had friends tell me they fought against their natural impulses in an attempt to be quieter because they were embarrassed by their volume. As if it wasn’t lady-like or something ridiculous like that. Um, hey, so unless you are seriously busting eardrums, trust me when I say your partner LIKES knowing you are enjoying yourself. If you’re loud, be loud. Deal with it, neighbors.
3. TAKING A TAMPON OUT OF YOUR PURSE
You have a period. This is not a giant secret. You are not outing the BIG MYSTERY OF MENSTRUATION. We all know. It’s cool, girlfriend.
If you’re at all like me, you hear body count and just think of a CSI episode. There must be a serial killer on the loose! But alas, the body count is actually the archaic mentality that we should be tallying up how many people we’ve slept with. Which sure, being on top of your sexual health is super important, but making it this HUGE DEAL isn’t exactly the best either. I’ve seen people ashamed of “high” numbers, and also people embarrassed by “low” numbers. What if we just stopped quantifying our sex lives in such a lame way? Do what works for you. Be safe, be smart, but don’t let a silly number dictate how you feel about yourself.
5. UNFLATTERING PHOTOS
Not saying this is something that only women worry about, or that all women do (Lol, #NotAllWomen). But at some point, we’re all going to be tagged in a photo where our friends look perfect and gorgeous, and we look like the troll that they pitied and invited along for a night out. It’s okay. Believe me when I say you care way more than anyone else looking at that photo does.
6. BRA CUP SIZE
I was the classic “I hate my small chest” girl for most of my upbringing. I was a barely A, and made a bold proclamation around age 15 or so that once I was sexually involved with a man, I would NEVER take my bra off — then he would see how little I truly was! But somewhere in college, I started realizing it was dope that I didn’t need to wear a bra and that boobs are awesome, regardless of size. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got big ladies, medium gals, or Lil’ babes. Boobs are great. And sometimes, we have to take health measures to say bye to the boobs. And guess what? You’d STILL be a sexy woman. Don’t let Victoria’s Secret trick you into thinking otherwise.
7. NOT WANTING KIDS
Repeat after me: not wanting kids does not make me any less of a woman. Say it once more with me. Not wanting kids does not make me any less of a woman.
8. WANTING KIDS MORE THAN A TRADITIONAL CAREER
Again, repeat after me: wanting kids does not mean I’m not independent or ambitious. Wanting kids simply means you want kids. And absolutely nothing is wrong with that.
9. EATING FATTY FOODS
Should we all try to lead healthy lives? Yeah, sure. Duh. Tell Dr. Oz to calm down for a second, please. This is not BRAND NEW INFORMATION. But at the same time, I’m not sure why so many of us feel the need to justify our meals with disclaimers like, “Oh, it’s my cheat day!” Or other really damaging sentences like, “Ugh, I’m eating like a pig today.” So what? Also, have you seen pigs? They are god damn adorable.