The lynching of pretty

Two things first:

1. For maybe three weeks straight I had intense shoulder pain in my left shoulder. It was only exacerbated by wearing bras. It was as if it never got the opportunity to heal, but I kept telling myself there was only so much I could do and resulted to suffering through discomfort and pain while taking an Aleve when the pain got to be too much. Finally, I’d reached my wit’s end and pushed my bras to the back of my closet and started wearing either sports bras or bralette which were not as supportive and certainly de-emphasized my chest in clothing but most importantly, they did not hurt! They offered so much relief that last night I went out and bought three more bralettes.

2. On the online dating site OKCupid there are a series of questions that are supposed to indicate compatibility when each party answers them. For each question you are also allowed to designate how important (not very, moderately, or very important) your partner’s answers are.  One of the questions asked is “Do you believe that women are obligated to shave?” I always check “NO” I always also check that I’d like my partner to check “NO” and then I indicated that it is “very important” that my partner checks “NO”.  I also add a comment that women are not obligated to do anything for anyone else other than themselves.  Despite my own personal disdain for body hair ((I always joke that a little Alopecia from the neck down would be A-okay with me)), I certainly do not feel that women owe their bodies or the condition of their bodies to ANYONE.

Pair the two…in my pain and discomfort over wearing a bra I had all these thoughts:

  • Why am I even putting myself through this? Bras are oppressive!
  • I don’t know if I like the way I look in my clothes without the “support” of a traditional bra
  • Wait, why don’t I like the way I look without those torture devices?
  • Are you seriously willing to endure the level of pain you’ve been in for WEEKS now to “look good”?
  • Can you take a moment to ask yourself where your definition of “looking good” came from?

tumblr_nbryuzzLzW1rqkw62o1_500There are a lot of things given to us in this world that we hold on to as if they were valuable never realizing that at any given moment we have the option to give it back. Well, the notion that beauty is pain? I’d like to return that. The idea that my breasts need to be bigger, higher, more or less perky full or prominent? I’d like to return that. The sentiment that shaving or not shaving is a requirement of my womanhood? KEEP THAT! As a woman being attractive is not the rent we pay for our space in this world.  We do not OWE our bodies, our comfort, our selves to anybody, not one single being. We do not owe the world a smile, we do not owe the world our virginity nor our sexual selectivity, we do not owe the world smooth hairless legs, a well groomed bikini area, polished toes, shiny nails, red lips, bone straight hair, curled lashes, a soft voice, a full ass, a small waist, a mild manner, GOODNESS, ease nor breeze, a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace, NONE OF IT. And if at anytime the things we’ve been given become unwanted, give that shit back.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 9.26.40 AM
from Nayyirah Waajid’s book Salt
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4 thoughts on “The lynching of pretty

  1. I wish all women felt this way about obligations to “look good for their men.”

    And I love the line: “As a woman being attractive is not the rent we pay for our space in this world.”— Very well said! Thank You .

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