Guest post by Danielle Campoamor, pictured below.
I don’t wear the yoga pants for you. I love the way they feel, combining comfort and practicality with attraction and sensuality. I like how my ass looks in them. I’ll stand in the mirror and strain to appreciate the curves every inch of material highlight. I like how they cinch around my thighs. The shape of my legs has always been worrisome.
I don’t wear eyeliner for you. I don’t like the color of my eyes a dark brown reminiscent of an unwanted bowel movement. But with the right accenting shade they can look more mysterious than mundane. I’ll spend an unnecessary amount of time attempting to get the lines somewhat similar, all the time cursing my unsteady hands and nonexistent skill. I feel more confident, though, when I put the eyeliner away. Even if, more often than not, the lines aren’t exactly the same.
I don’t wear that little black dress for you. I bought it for absolutely no reason other than how devastatingly beautiful it looked on a hanger. I feel sexy and desirable and positive; all difficult feelings to achieve when you’re a woman in a society of “less is more”. I feel connected to my body, proud to take ownership instead of silently shunning its existence. I don’t mind taking up space.
I don’t wear my hair down for you. It’s so thick and there’s so much of it, a long-standing ponytail or fashionable bun can give me a wretched headache. I got it highlighted because I was bored. Sometimes I look in the mirror and want to see the changes radiating inside myself. If I got a new job, I want to add color or if I ended a relationship, I want to cut off a few inches. I like change. I like seeing myself in control of change, even if it’s as minuscule as making a hair appointment.
I don’t wear lingerie for you. It looks amazing on a model and amazing in the store and, with the right lighting, I think it looks amazing on me. I love the lace and the black and the intricate details; so much time spent on something so small and usually unseen. I love the excitement it brings me, hidden ever-so-cleverly underneath a pair of jeans or a simple shirt. I love the possibilities it provides, knowing that if I want to share that part of my wardrobe with someone I can.
I don’t wear high heels for you. I love how elongated they make my legs look, adding inches to my height and my boldness. I’m taller in stature and assurance, both obvious with each, sometimes labored, step I take. I love the different colors and styles and how they can fade in the background or accentuate my personality.
So when you call me a slut for my tight pants or my dark makeup or my black dress or my high heels, I don’t know what you’re talking about. You assume my wardrobe choices are for you. You presume what I put on my body means my body is, now, yours. You think I make choices to entice you or tease you or give you silent permission. You assume my sexuality and the manner in which I choose to express it, as if it’s a topic to be debated with your buddies over beers.
You think an article of clothing gives you freedom from your responsibilities and, what’s worse, you think that’s what I hope my clothes will accomplish.
When you call me a slut, I laugh. I silently wonder how one can go through life, thinking the choices of others revolve around you. I wonder how large an ego must be or a pride must grow in order to accomplish such a profoundly egocentric achievement.
When you accuse me of dressing to be “sexy”, I nod. I agree, because I love feeling sexy. I love my body as a sexual entity and when I feel like highlighting that part of who I am, I do.
When you call me a slut, I smile. I smile because you think it’s all about you.
And it is.
You’re what’s wrong. Not my pants or makeup or dress or heels.
You’re the problem.