Birthday Suit

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We come into this world butt naked. Carefree and with no shame we let doctors and family members move us from place to place throughout the birthing room but the moment the your about to be move into a “public” place, your clothed. Babies don’t know the difference between being clothed and naked. Adults don’t seem to care about babies being nude but seeing a teenager or old man nude isn’t okay to some. It just doesn’t make sense, we all are born naked, why does it become a taboo as we age?

It seems as if throughout our lives we are slowly brainwashed into thinking being naked is something shameful or embarrassing. I have witnessed parents scolding their toddlers for running out of their rooms with nothing on. Why? It’s just a body, we all have them. The only difference between a toddler body and an adult body is the amount of hormones. Yes, human beings hit puberty. We grow hair in places we didn’t before, the hair is darker and thicker, people get acne, skin darkens, body shapes change, people get boobs, your balls drop…it’s all a natural part of life that EVERYONE goes through.

This day an age, I feel, has falsely filled peoples minds with the idea that nudity it unacceptable and something to be ashamed of. I believe this because the media doesn’t show all types of bodies and industries, the porn industry in particular, don’t show the wide variety of anatomical aesthetics. I took a class on the psychology of human sexuality and this was one of the topics we covered. I know that men also have these feelings but I am focusing on women specifically.

As a teenage girl, I feel we get the brunt of these issues. We grow up looking at pictures of skinny girls with perfect facial features and beautiful curvature. That becomes the social norm and we grow up believing that is how our bodies are supposed to look. Then as you age a little more and start exploring your sexuality, most people experiment with porn. It’s a shame girls won’t admit to watching it because almost everyone has, but girls have been shamed into thinking that watching porn is dirty and inappropriate for them to do. The thing about being a girl and watching porn, is that it is dangerous. It can cause a lot of issues regarding your body image and self esteem. Porn companies show one vagina. Think about it, almost everyone porn video you’ve watched in your lifetime probably has a girl with the classic porn vagina, no labia, small, hairless and tight. That isn’t how real life is. It personally look me a long time to be comfortable naked because of magazines showing the “perfect” female body and the way porn industries portrayed female anatomy.

I am still young and I’m grateful I learned this lesson this quick, but I’m sure there are other girls out there wondering the same things I did. Is my body normal? Is something wrong with me? What’s wrong with my vagina? I’m actually 100 percent sure there are others out there thinking this because I’ve googled these questions enough times to know others are seeking the answer too. If there is one thing I could tell all girls out there, who look in the mirror questioning their normality, it’s that there is no such thing as normal. Every body is different, we all have unique chemical makeups that made us who we are today. Normal doesn’t exist, so don’t question whether or not your body is okay because it is. There is nothing wrong with anyones body, they are all just different and different is okay.

It’s Always Right

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The most important lesson I’ve learned in life so far, is to trust your gut. My mother told me for years to listen to your intuition because it’s always right. I fought her constantly, saying I knew what was best not some stupid gut feeling. Boy was I wrong.

The thing about gut feelings is they aren’t always the strongest. It’s usually your heart, mind or down south that put out the strongest feelings. They’re also the easiest to follow because those feelings are so passionate.

From personal experience I’ve learned that your heart is the hardest to ignore. When it’s telling you to do something it’s nearly impossible to do the opposite. It feels like your whole body is driving you to do something, no matter how stupid that something may be.

When it comes to the mind, that one is a bit more complicated. Your heart is usually the one telling you to do the crazy, passionate acts in life where as the mind is the logical one. It’s the one telling you to think things through. Look at all the different out comes and decide if the choice your about to make is really worth it. My mind has always been like this for me, my heart is telling me to just do it and not care but my mind thinks about the consequences. I usually end up following my heart which is probably really dumb in certain situations.

As for down south…we all know what lust feels like. It’s extremely powerful and can change how people act. It’s almost impossible to ignore because hormones rush through your whole body amplifying all your sense and making everything feel so much better. I said your heart is the most powerful but I would also argue that lust is. Sometimes lust can be a beautiful thing but it can also be extremely dangerous and when those hormones are blinding your judgement it can be a hard thing to say no too.

That is why I believe in the simplest form of all of this. Trust your gut. It takes a strong person to say no under different circumstances, especially as a teen with all the peer pressure your surrounded by daily.It’s scary, it really is. Trusting yourself is so important but it’s also so hard when people are constantly trying to get you to do and believe different things. I’ve been lucky enough to gain the ability to fully trust myself and my choices through leaving high school. Joining college early was the best thing I could have done for myself and it’s benefitted me in numerous ways. I now am able to say I truly trust myself and the decisions I make…no matter what part they come from.

Don’t Talk If You Don’t Know

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The thing about families, that every ignores, is that they’re all complicated. Every family has issues, it doesn’t matter how “perfect” they come off on the outside. As a kid, I would look at other families and wish they were mine because I felt like mine was so messed up. I was right…my family is really messed up but you know what, I fucking love it.

When I was inside my mom, my biological dad wanted me aborted and when I was born he only visited me when he could bring friends along to show me off like I was some kind of toy. When my mom told him that couldn’t happen anymore he stopped showing up. I haven’t had my biological dad in my life for the 17 years I’ve been on this planet; I’ve only met him once and that was in 8th grade.

Since I was three, I’ve had my step-dad in my life. I’ve never once considered him to be my step-dad, he’s always been my dad until he really dropped the ball. About two years ago, he cheated on my mom and they broke up officially. It’s been a messy divorce. I don’t move back and forth between houses like my little brother does, I know it hurts him and is a constant struggle for him which kills me.

The reason I started specifying that he is my step-dad is because he proved he doesn’t care about me or my family. He got engaged without telling me to a woman he’d known for two months. Then forgot to invite me to the wedding and took on his girlfriends daughter like his own, kicking me to the curb. I lost all respect for him as a man at that point and choose not to have him in my life anymore.

The thing that bugs me is the fact that people pretend like they know you. They think they know your story based on the outside appearance of a situation, when in reality they known nothing because the actual severity is too deep for them to comprehend as the shallow human beings they are. I wonder why certain people find it necessary to talk about other people’s lives like they know the truth, but then I realize it’s because they’re too disappointed with their own lives. Those who do that are people I feel pity for, I can’t imagine hating your life so much that you see it necessary to talk about others.

I won’t lie or pretend the situation with my father didn’t hurt me. It did, it killed me and ate away at my self confidence, mental health and happiness for years but I have become a better person for it. I’ve grown up. I no longer allow issues with other people to damage myself. It’s something I am now able to move out of my mind and live with, without allowing it to hurt me. As someone who played the victim for almost their entire life, it feels amazing to stand tall and proud.

It’s important to be supported, but not by weak links. When it comes to situations or people who bring you down, quit fast and move forward. When you can consciously make the choice to remove yourself from a situation that is hurting you or remove someone whose doing the same that is how you know you have grown up.

Wear the Stories

I was there for first dates, sneaking out late at night, thrown on the floor as your boyfriend turned  off the lights and lost in pile of laundry for weeks at a time. Faded black cotton with a few small holes here and there I started as just your average Kiss t-shirt.

I remember the first day you locked eyes on me. I hung there on the display wall of the Hollywood Bowl’s store for who knows how long. Kiss was coming to perform the following weekend and the numbskulls who worked there set up all the retail for the show weeks in advance. Let me tell you, hanging there for weeks on end was no joy ride. Finally the day of the concert rolled around. Thousands of people rushed straight to their seats or the pit if they were lucky enough. I noticed you from afar, your blonde hair tied into a ponytail on the top of your head with pink streaks running through, face painted white with a black star over your left eye…you were hard to miss. You ran up to the store, posse of girls in tow, and pointed directly at me saying, “I want that one, how much?” Greg, the salesman for the day, said, “That ones $25 please.” You eagerly pulled a wad of cash from you brassiere and handed him the money. He pulled me down, folded me up and handed me over.

I felt this overwhelming feeling of happiness when you ran to the bathroom, ripped off your shirt and put me on almost immediately. As you leaned over to touch up your red lipstick, I began to wonder how it was even possible that out of all the other shirts you picked me. After all, I’m just a black t-shirt with the bands name printed across and Gene Simmons face with that massive tongue down the length of the shirt. I realized I had been zoning out for quite some time because when I came to, the concert had started and I was being rubbed against the chest of some guy. As the concert ended and you hopped the car with the man you’d just met, I knew my journey had just begun.

Years passed, you slept in me almost every night and even brought me along on your honeymoon. Yes, she married the guy she met the day I was purchased at that very Kiss concert. I was along for the ride as you and your family moved into the big house on Vanita Pl. A couple weeks after the move things started to change, I noticed some of your other clothes being tossed into a plastic bag, I’ve never been so scared.

It was dark, I was tangled up with other shirts and pants and being violently rocked around. Finally someone ripped open the bag and dumped all of us out onto the cold, wooden table of a thrift store. It was a young girl, she looked to be about 16. The look on her face when she dug me of the pile was the same look the woman at the Kiss concert gave me, pure joy. I remember being shoved into the girls purse and the rest was a blur.

When I finally came too, my sleeves had been cut off, along with my neckline and I had bright red paint splattered all over. I was shocked, but as the young girl leaned into her mirror to put on bright red lipstick, I knew my journey wasn’t over and that these next chapters were going to be good ones.

NOTE: This was a project I had to do, it’s a story based off the perspective of a t-shirt! hope you enjoy:)

Coping Through Beauty

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The easiest way to feel rejuvenated and fresh is to do something to the one part of your body that will always come back. That being, your hair. It’s the fastest way to cope with a situation. When everything feels like it’s falling apart, you can run to the store, grab a bottle of hair dye and completely change yourself within minutes.

My mother always told me that she knew when things went wrong between boy’s and I because I always asked to dye or cut my hair right after. It’s the concept of seeking change. The idea that altering your physical appearance will change the person underneath and in turn change your world around you.

It doesn’t just have to be fights with boys that make you crave change. I got into a fight with my best friend and hours later I was in the bathroom gloved up and holding a tube of pink hair dye. Accompanied by a pink streak, I set foot into the world with a fresh outlook. No longer letting the petty drama affect me. It’s funny how something so minor can spark such a fiery feeling in oneself.

Whenever someone questions me about my hair, makeup or possible tattoos/piercings I don’t feel it necessary to answer. Why should my physical appearance be any of your business?  My motives for creating how I look on the outside shouldn’t matter and it shouldn’t be a controversy. So next time your world feels like it’s falling apart, turn to something less harmful like dying your hair or chopping it all off because in the end, the chaos will pass and your hair will grow back.

Playin

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I’m not 100% sure where the rules for dating come from. Who decides what’s okay and what’s not? There are social norms that your supposed to comply while making your own rules at the same time. Although, in most cases if you make rules that go against the norms your shunned and judged, when in reality your just defining the relationship based on your terms.

Are you considered a player if your “talking” to someone while sleeping with someone else? Are you a slut if you date more than one person? Is monogamy even possible in this generation?

These questions are ones that cross my mind all the time now. High school rules about love are completely different compared to the college ones. In college no one cares who you sleep with, who you date or what you do but it’s the total opposite in high school. I switched mid year, transferring from one world to another in a matter of days. My lines are blurry. I hang out with a lot of high schoolers too so when I’m following the college norms and being questioned by my high school friends, that’s when the confusion begins.

The first month of so was the hardest. I was very confused about how I should act, but when I realized that college has no rules and no one really judges you, that’s when I truly felt free. I left high school because I was tired of the petty drama and the judgement. Coming to college early was the best thing I’ve ever done. Now that I’ve just given into the college mentality of not giving a fuck about anyone’s opinions on me, my life is at ease.

There are no longer rules about relationships, love, lust or actions. It’s solely based on my opinion of what I think is okay or not. Although I still do ask for help when I need it, I’m learning everyday to make more and more decisions(the right ones) on my own. It’s tough, I still slip up all the time and sometimes wonder down the wrong path, but every mistake I’ve made has engraved a lesson in my mind. Learning from your actions is all you can do.