Photo by Deborah Lee
I am tired. I am beyond exhausted after the timeless tellings of being told that I need to cover my body in order to not be seen as a sexual object. I am so tired from feeling that I need to hide my body because I do not fit within our cultural standard of accepted beauty. And I’m tired of watching the women in my life—the women I love and care about—detest their bodies and be publicly objectified because of their clothing.
But, lastly, I am tired of the Oppression of Female Sexuality—the oppression that goes hand and hand with the constant shaming of our bodies. The same oppression that leaves women constantly feeling as if they aren't beautiful enough to enjoy their own sexuality.
You do not need society's permission, nor the validation of another in order to experience sexual pleasure. Women grow up both detesting their bodies along with the burden of fear to explore their sexuality. Because parents, schools, peers, and even legal forces have implemented the alienation of women from their own sexual desires.
And these forces—the "standards" of society—have been claiming the sexual acts of women as both shameful and tainting to a woman’s body. When we are children, exploring ourselves for the first time, asking questions, trying to feed our curiousity, we are left shut down.
And after being told that this "something" was unspeakable and untouchable for such a long time will put a toll on you.
We must relearn to love ourselves instead of learning to glamorize our insecurities. Cultiviating self love is absolutely one of the most difficult goals (especially when living in a society that doesn’t understand why you don’t already have it in the first place).
There is beauty in loving yourself, just as there is pride in exploring your sexuality. Most of you reading this are most likely aware already of these things, which is why we need to work on making it easier for all of the women who come after us. No woman—none of us—should ever be shamed an inherent sexuality, nor should she be looked down on for being proud of who she is.