I love my new hair. I love the striking silver, how it catches the light when I’m in the sun, how it looks it’s glowing. I’ve wanted silvery hair for years now and being able to achieve it without my hair feeling like a tangled mess is great.
I don’t like how people take it as an invitation.
My personal style is an expression of who I am and how I’m feeling. I can brush off the stares, since an unconventional appearance is bound to attract that kind of attention. I can’t shake the other types of unwanted attention: the kind that borders (or is it?) sexual harassment. I don’t want that. I don’t need that.
I’m completely aware of my reputation. It precedes me, to some extent. I still hear whispers of what I’ve done, and I’m doing my absolute best to shake it off and move past it. I will not pretend that I’m some sort of saint. That being said, I’ve done my best to evolve and maintain my personal brand – while incorporating the fact that I’m a new mom.
This brings me to my next point: I know that I spend a lot of time taking care of my personal appearance. That being said, most people don’t believe that I’m a mom. I hate the fact that some people, when they find out, immediately slap me with the label ‘MILF‘ and joke that it’s a category I fall into now.
I’m not a porn category. I exist to do more than fall into someone’s sexual fantasies.
A few days ago, I attended an event for work and unfortunately, I was harassed. I was afraid to talk about it – someone might say that I was asking for it. Between the hair, the way I dress, the way I carry myself – I know for a fact that someone out there might turn around and blame me.
I was the youngest person in attendance. It was a completely unfamiliar venue with completely unfamiliar people. I didn’t cause a scene. I didn’t cry out. The perpetrator was easily twice my age, and some might argue that he wasn’t being predatory. He ran a finger down my arm and told me how I pretty I was, how it was admirable that I was so young and a mom. I felt my blood turn to ice in my veins, and in my head – I was reliving every time I’d had an experience like this before.
That sort of PTSD lingers and this sort of experience shouldn’t become normalised. I write an article about sexual harassment for work every single quarter. Why do I have to keep talking about this? Because people still do this.
Lets hope my next post isn’t so dismal.