Monthly Archives: August 2013

I’m Not Your Eye Candy

I’ve posted a few things relating to body image and body issues, but what I’m dealing with now is entirely new territory.

I had Lucas almost 7 weeks ago, between then and now I’ve lost a little over 20 pounds, I’d lost nearly 15 of that before I’d even left the hospital. Because of how sick I was I’d lost weight instead of gained it while I was pregnant. I ended up gaining 6 pounds, Lucas weighed almost 8. I’ve always had a body type described as curvy, the inch difference between my waist and hips is in the double digits. I also have a large bust (see bra rant further back in this blog for further details). I’ve never been comfortable with my body. I was always too big to be attractive (thanks to all the assholes who said that), but apparently now I’ve reached some sort of attractiveness level where random men in convenience stores, grocery stores, while I’m checking my mail, feel the need to say inappropriate shit to me. I’ve had people tell me I should enjoy it, but frankly I’ve never been a fan of being harassed.

As much as I’ve talked about and tried to understand what it feels like to be objectified and treated like an object I never really did understand it until the day I was taking my kids in the house and some creeper at the apartment next to mine decided to ‘hey girl’ me and then offer to give me a ride in my vehicle, among other things. I felt creeped out, and dirty in a way I didn’t like. I started to question what I was wearing (skinny jeans, a tank top and flip flops), had I done something to imply I wanted to be harassed in front of a large group of men? No, I hadn’t. I was taking my kid out of the car for fuck’s sake.

This kind of behavior has happened nearly every time I’ve been in public by myself. I don’t like it, at all. I want to go back to being invisible, rather than deal with this crap. I don’t understand what makes a man think it’s appropriate to harass a woman in public just because he thinks she’s attractive. It makes my skin crawl and makes me feel like I should be doing something to deter them, like not wearing my skinny jeans or not wearing a tank top. But then I get angry because I like my jeans damn it, and it’s hot outside, I’m not wearing a turtle neck and getting heat stroke.

My body is mine, I don’t exist to be an object for anyone else. I’m a person who doesn’t deserve to be harassed while I’m buying diapers for my kids. I shouldn’t have to feel like I can’t wear what’s comfortable for me because someone else can’t control themselves. When did this kind of stuff become the norm? And why is it accepted? Why don’t other men tell these douchebags to shut up? When the guy was harassing me outside of my apartment there were six other people standing there, none of them said stop, none of them told him he was out of line. They laughed, egged him on and added their own two cents to his commentary on my body and implied I owed them my attention because they found me attractive. I’m not ok with this, I’m not going to accept it or put up with it.

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Frozen

I shake inside.
Ears are ringing,
I can’t breathe,
My thoughts are jumbled,
Images racing,
Shattering and breaking.
One after another,
Crashing to the floor
Of my mind.

A bullet flying through,
Shards are slicing,
I can’t find my words.

Water pushing over my lashes,
Humiliation, weakness,
My face is burning.
Stop it stupid,
I’m screaming in my mind.
The sobs croak out,
Relief rushes in.
Fingers shaking, body twitching,
Breathe in, breathe out,
Panic subsides.