A few weeks ago I received a request to share some words on my blog. I have read the writing over and over, and tried to figure out how I could take portions and add it to my writing. And the truth is….I can’t. It comes from an unlikely place, a prison cell in Texas. The words are powerful, but again I struggled. “How can I make this “ours”, when I can’t contribute?” I received another letter two days ago, and I learned that the writer is a father of two girls. He is desperate to share his message, so I’m doing something I have never done before. I am turning this post over to Justin. I believe his message is powerful, and worth sharing. (And no, this is not the same fellow who helped me write, “Be Still. Just Listen.”) The floor is now officially yours Justin.
“#ListenToThisStory (Young Ladies and Women Everywhere)
I’ve read a few articles about women who post nude and exposing pictures. What type of attention or people do you think this attracts? What would you expect in response to these images? Well a few people replied that these girls were slutty, and others salivated. So one woman says, “Internet bullies and perverts not welcome.” Another was offended by the “slutty” accusations and perverts?! And her boyfriend of 5 years left her because she was becoming an entirely different person for attention. So, she doesn’t come to her senses, and belittles him by saying, “Obviously he’s insecure just because I’m comfortable in my body and not ashamed. It would take a real man with confidence to date me.” This clouded outlook encourages our daughters and sisters to think it’s ok to degrade themselves. Somehow it’s cool to be a stripper. Young women are saying they are “exotic dancers”. So I’m like, “Hmmm, do you belly dance, Hawaiian hula, or what? These are foreign, exotic dances.” So the girls say, “No dummy. I’m a stripper!” “Oh. So “dummy”, you’re NOT an exotic dancer. I think you mean “erotic” dancer.”
Women are putting themselves in situations where they are in danger of being sexually harmed or abused, and are seriously not understanding how this could happen to them. Really?! Now to be clear, I do not condone abuse to women in any form, even verbally. So let me say to all the women out there, showing your body is not a way to show confidence. You are advertising your body, attracting potential harm. And to the girl who belittled her boyfriend to build herself up at his expense? You are the internet bully. Girl, no real man wants to date a woman who exposes herself to the world. There’s just some things that should be specially for your significant other. In a relationship I make you feel special by opening to you the parts and things about me I don’t share with anyone else. You wouldn’t feel special if I didn’t save anything especially for you.
Confidence? You don’t have to expose yourself. Confidence is attitude you have, your aura. Not your breast. That reflects something else, that you lack self respect. And if a woman can’t love and respect herself, why would any man believe she can love and respect him? It reflects, “I need attention. Look.” Believe me, trying hard comes off as needy and unattractive. Your unique mind is attractive. Your potential infinite. Use your following to embed real confidence and morals to our youth. Be a role model parents are happy their daughters look up to. Your philosophical idealism is great. You don’t need to show your body to get people to listen. If your followers log in to see breast, they’d be content watching your show on mute! They’re not really following you as a person. That’s not the following you need. Yet you’re offended when people disrespect you? You don’t respect yourself! But you expect respect from others?
Social media has a way of consuming people, creating characters. People pretend to be someone else in fear of the real them being rejected. Being original is what makes people stand out. You don’t need to be liked by everyone. There’s all types of traits people are attracted to. Be yourself and you will find someone really interested in you! Accept you for who you are. You can stop living in fear of maintaining a false image which is very strenuous on the mind. There is somebody for everybody. If you find yourself in an awkward relationship, it’s because your false image online attracted that person. And in person you really don’t like him. He really doesn’t like you. This can hurt you both, breaking confidence that was unsteady to begin with.
So there you have it! Reality check. Perception is everything. Positive and negative criticism because you need both sides of it to create the energy to start anything. Be yourself. Originals are worth more than copies! Calibrate your moral compass, and act responsibly. Perverts aren’t the only ones watching.
To young women everywhere…Education is empowering. You can make a difference, and be confident in clothes.
I really can’t add to his message. I think it was heart felt, incredibly relevant, and articulate. Well said Justin.