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219 posts tagged body

While on vacation in Florida, my parents, brother, and I are eating lunch at a nice restaurant. Completely out of nowhere my brother says “Why do you wear such low-cut tops? Are you advertising? Because I don’t think anyone is gonna buy.” I was shocked and taken aback and became very upset. But not only did my parents not reprimand my brother, they yelled at me for being upset and ruining the day.

A  white professor runs up to me from halfway down the hall.”I like your hair,” he says, without introduction. I have enormous curly red-blonde hair that has an obvious African texture.

"Very Irish."As he says this, he reaches out and touches it without permission. I almost gasp at the forwardness of it. I catch myself, smile weakly, and say nothing.

My hair is not Irish — I am light skinned and blonde, but I am Ethiopian and Turkish. I smile and say nothing. I am passing and that knowledge feels filthy in my head.

He tells me I should dress “cute” and wear different things, that maybe he should go with me to pick out “more appealing clothing.” I should get a new bathing suit because he thinks a different kind would look better on me. He’s just a friend. Makes me feel like I exist for someone else’s enjoyment.

I’m one of the few women who can drive a truck at my job. Me and 4 of the guys go out to organize our truck lot and they start rating the women at our work on looks, talking about who’s the hottest and who they would do. They completely ignore me the whole time. I guess they think this is okay because I’m fat and therefore won’t be included, and I once told one of them I was bi…and he told everyone else… Made me feel self-conscious, alienated, and offended.

After I cut my hair short, a male friend of mine told me it looked bad. I responded with polite disagreement, saying that I liked it and it made me feel confident, but even after several of my female friends at the table said they liked it too, he wouldn’t shut up about it and eventually told me that I shouldn’t have cut it because I used to be ‘kind of hot’. Because short hair isn’t hot, and the only thing I think about when cutting my hair is impressing men. 

Strangers deem it appropriate to touch my hair without asking. It happens often and in any public space. I am a Black girl with waist length locs. Makes me annoyed or angry that my personal space is being violated.

You should dumb yourself down and lose weight, though. Men can’t love a smart, fat girl like you!

My mom at my law school graduation. Made me feel pissed off.   

I have very thick & curly hair that I straighten when I need a trim. Because it goes past my shoulders, I always get a few people who either shove their hands in my hair or touch my hair (without my permission) while asking me if that’s all mine or a weave….like black people can’t have “nice hair.”

They look bewildered at the annoyed look on my face or if I lean away….I mean I don’t know if their hands are clean. Makes me feel between annoyed and pissed. 

While stopping at a gas station, a group of men were nearby jeering. They ask if I have a boyfriend, comment on my “nice titties.” 

My husband often orders diet pop at a restaurant when I (woman) order regular. It has gotten to the point where we comment when a server gives us the correct drink.

Every time someone, in response to an obnoxiously loud car, says “he’s compensating for a small penis” and laughs and expects the same response.

Shame that I’ve said it thoughtlessly before. Sadness that no one called me out on it and I only figured it out during self-reflection about ways in which I might be part of the problem. Deep sadness that body shaming of men is tacitly accepted in many of the more “liberal” circles I move in. Regret, for not realizing it sooner. Resolve, to try to be more vigilant about my own words and actions. 

I happen to have more body hair than most girls, and I choose not to shave. Every time someone - a friend, a schoolmate, anyone - says something about my legs or underarms, I want to go hide.

Last summer, I finally gave in. I have begun waxing both my legs and my underarms. I feel more confident about wearing shorts and tank tops, but I also feel like I have “lost” the battle because I gave in to pressure.

Oh my god, aren’t guys who aren’t manly ashamed of themselves? Don’t they want to be MEN?! I mean, gay guys can dress however they want, but straight guys in skinny jeans or sparkly shirts? It’s just gross.

I think you should shave your legs, because it makes you look like a lesbian.

From a relatively unknown person from my martial arts class. Besides that the condition of my body hair has nothing to do with her, it really angered me how she implied that lesbianism was something very undesirable.

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