The Sexual Accommodization Of A Self-Proclaimed Slut

When I was 19, I had already become a self-proclaimed Slut. I held this title proudly (as I still do, but with far more understanding of what it means to me personally).

At 19, I tore through sex partners like it was my god damn life force. I went to Irish pubs downtown, I would get wasted off beer and tequila shots, wear short skirts that rode up over my ass, dance to Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy, and I would wait patiently until 1 or 2 in the morning when I would vacate the premises with some random boy. I was so proud of my achievements… like each different penis that entered my body was a notch I could carve into my Professional Wall of Fuckery, and, with this, each notch had the magical ability to give me a golden star of self-worth and desirability (shout out to society for this fucked up psychological training).

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This is where the grey area starts and I feel like such giant outcome of everything our Westernized culture has told me I should be and I am enraged.

I have an unusually high sex drive. I knew this at 19 and I know this now. I was working with the information I had at my disposal to achieve the goals I wanted to reach: have as much sex as I could.

If I hadn’t been ferociously recording everything in journals, I would’ve told you that I rocked that shit. That I was the one in power in those situations and that sure, the men folk were using me, but I was also using them. The playing field was level. After I realized how easy it was to get laid, I upped the ante and often orchestrated these intensely intricate dates in order to not only bed the men, but get them “hooked”. I got high off seducing men that held more power than I did: older, *better* looking, wealthy, teacher, CEO, etc.

The experiences I was living empowered me. The experiences I am re-recalling shatter my heart because I know now I could not tell where being empowered stopped and being accommodating started.

What do you mean, Caitlin? I will give you an example dear reader.

One evening at Grace O’Malleys, all dolled-up real good, I went to the bar to get a Corona. The bar was busy and a friendly, 40-something old man who was sitting watching sports very politely and non-presumptively called the bartender over to our area so I could order. I teased him about wearing a baseball cap inside, and he revealed a totally bald head underneath and let me know it was because his head got cold otherwise. He was not hitting on me in any way shape or form – which I was confused by. He continued to help me get the attention of the bartender throughout the night, not once making any sort of sexual advance. At 1 or 2 in the morning, when I came up to the bar again, he asked me why I wasn’t dancing. I held out my hand, prompting him to come dance with me. He seemed astonished, but indulged me and lugged himself out to the dance floor where I pushed him up against a wall and started grinding on him, taking his hands and placing them on my young 19-year-old hips, my face tilted down, eyes staring up at him. After I lured him into making out with me for 15 minutes, I asked him to invite me back to his hotel room. He promptly complied.

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I seem in charge so far, don’t I? Stupid, perhaps, going back to a 40-year-old strangers hotel room after I had inhaled 4 or 5 drinks (a lot, for me), without getting any of his information to give to my friends. But nonetheless, I set this situation up for myself. Of course, we fucked. It was fine, I’m sure. After he had finished (I couldn’t orgasm during partnered sex at this point so never even tried), I was lying naked on top of him, being coy with pillow talk and astonishing him with my real age which he had never inquired about. When, hard again, he inserted his penis without a condom into my vagina. I hesitantly accommodated. He came inside me without any warning. My reaction: a slightly inconvenienced “ugh, now I have to get Plan B tomorrow”.

WHAT?!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? This 40-year-old man came inside a 19-year-old strange girl without any follow up conversation and I was under the impression that my reaction needed to be neutral.

So here we have a slew of things:

From this experience, I walked away feeling powerful because I felt hugely desirable. My Professional Wall of Fuckery notched this achievement of seducing a male in a position of power (because bedding men is hard…).

And also this intensely problematic pandering and accommodating to said male in position of power.

At 19 I built up a tower of self-worth through sexual conquests because I recognized that this was how I could become powerful. I was utilizing femininity to my direct benefit. This is what society, my childhood, my education, my culture told me: Be desired and be worthy. And I played and enjoyed the game because it directly benefitted me: I got laid.

Now, as I re-read all of my old journals, my sense of proud Sluttishness is mixed with a dense sadness for respect I did not get and did not know to ask for. For a deep love for my young self for fighting against gender stereotypes with bold sexuality but an immediate and intense empathy for the unrecognized and unseen trauma my body knows but I did not.

How many times I gave men access to my body and never stopped to recognize at which point I was being taken advantage of. I have so much fear and sorrow for the countless amount of young women who also don’t know where these differences lie because, as a society, we are letting our youth down because we are too scared to talk to them about sex.

At 25, this past year, I learnt that I am an accommodating person. Through no fault of my own, I was hand-crafted and sculpted into a beautiful statue of ~always putting other people first~. There is fine line between trying to better yourself as a human by humbling oneself and always thinking about other people (which is an actual thing I convinced myself I was doing – just ~being chill~ man), but realizing that you are realistically allowing people to wipe their shoes on your back as they tread through your life is a very sudden and horrific realization.

I don’t know how I can completely undo this. There is too much. So many interactions I did record, but so many I did not, and I am nearing the hundreds in regards to how many male partners I have had. And hundreds of experiences that I never directly understood as negatively until now is… too much… How much of myself have I indirectly given away? I don’t even know if I can wholly appreciate how it has effected me beyond having a deeply penetrating empathy for a completely different person that holds space in my past. And now I can’t unsee where this embedded accommodating comes up.

Am I doing myself a disservice when I choose not to speak up? Can I see clearly when I am allowing myself to be used? Am I using kink as a coping mechanism to deal with years of being used by men? Do I have a realistic standard to which I can understand power and when to utilize my own or not? I both feel as though I should brandish power in every instance because I was not given it, but equally understand how often power hinders conversation from moving forward.

Almost as soon as I was struck with this hard, deep truth, I made a vow to myself I would not compromise on my needs, wants or desires in order to accommodate another person, specifically a male person that I might be dating or fucking. I’ve begun to accumulate an elaborate list of things I will no longer tolerate:

not checking in with myself and clarifying exactly what is is I need and want; and holding myself accountable for finding the time, space and energy to communicate these things.

countless last minute cancelations: my time is worthy and important. I’m a fucking busy person running so much shit. I have no time to put up with your flakiness. 

not coming during partnered sex: I now push this portion to last longer often because I feel as though I need to make up for years of saying ‘oh, don’t worry about it’.

sudden halts in communication followed by a highly expectant late night “sup?” (Read this fucking awesome article by Jess Beaulieu about Actions Speaking Louder Than Words.)

catering to the men I was sleeping with in order to “get” to keep sleeping with them (because apparently dicks are a godsend in short supply and I should be so lucky??)

giving an endless supply of energy into relationships that do not mirror back that energy (going through the trouble to do human-care for another person: cooking, touching, kindness, listening, and not receiving these things back without any expectation on my part).

not being frank and honest about where the fuck you are at; omission counts as miscommunication.

Amongst other things. This new self-imposed rule has deeply and positively changed the foundation for my life and my relationships. I’ve forced myself to speak up for myself in situations I feel are being mishandled due to poor communication. I’ve actually sat down with myself to figure out what the fuck I want and how do I even go about doing that…

This weight is with me. This weight will never leave me. It is this weight that will constantly keep my fire burning to fight for better sex ed so I don’t have to worry about other young women not finding value outside of a physical body, outside of sex, outside of being desirable. This slut is still a proud slut, but now my pride comes from the energy I’ve put into investing in myself and my life experiences. 

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To Be A Slut 2.0

At 5, my mother asked me if I knew how to play the piano. I said “Yes, of course.” I had never touched a piano before in my young, naive life, yet remained boldly confident that my brain and hands would figure it out because where else would this information come from?

I also believed I could fly, speak several languages and that my younger sister was my personal stepping stool.

It’s possible this big-thinkin’ could’ve turned me into the child prodigy I never was if just maybe my parents had a little more faith that, DUH, of course I could play the piano without any training whatsoever.

(Also: flying? I have that shit FIGURED out so hard in my dreams that I can literally [*what meaning does ‘literally’ have within a dream context?] just START FLYING whenever I want. I can physically feel what it muscles need to move and now it’s like riding a bike. Gravity is much more flexible in my subconscious…).

I have no clue where this innate insistence on being all-knowing came from… A combination of having stubborn-as-fuck parents and the privileges I gained from being raised in a middle-class, white family, I’m sure. Anyway, I can’t play the piano and I do not know how to speak any other languages.

I did, however, carry this absurdly brazzen confidence into my teen years and early twenties. With a very small amount of information, I nixed my University education and delved forth into proclaiming myself a “Sex Educator”.

Now, this probably had about 20% more merit to it than telling people I am pianist… I had boldly bared my naked, non-sexualized bod to be eternalized on the internet, I had read maybe two or three books about porn and non-monogamy, I was having a rampant amount of sex (that I now recognized as confused and vaguely problematic) and I had a pile of self-assurance sitting atop my self-constructed pedestal.

Thus the birth of this blog. And ya know, it hasn’t been for naught and sometimes you just gotta start somewhere. But after 5 years of navigating this world I man-spreaded myself into, I can very accurately tell you I was usually not totally right, often mis-spoke and was poorly informed despite my best intentions.

At some point around 2 or 3 years ago, I recognized the immense amount of information I did not know and how irrelevant my voice was and that there were SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE that were doing a better job than I was and whose voices I valued more than my own on the topics at hand… And I kind of just shut up. Not totally… I still had the absurd amount of stubborn confidence to start a porn company and run queer events (neither of which I had had any training in), but my blog has kind of withered into a ghost of what it was: slightly relevant, humorous (at times), wrought with poor grammar and largely misinformed.

During the past few years, I feel it’s safe to say that I’m putting in the research and reading and learning to actually refer to myself as a “Sex Educator” – if I stand on my toes I can just touch it. And I do largely believe I MAY have something to add to the discourses happening and reach at least SOME people who don’t have access to listening to the same voices I do. But where is all of your ~educating~ happening, Caitlin? It’s a nice title and all, but how exactly do you think you’re informing anyone? Just hoping that the thoughts in your head permeate into the minds of those around the world? Yeah, neat. 

Thus, I will have to begin to write again instead of just sharing articles on Facebook and debating with people I know too well. And 19-year-old Caitlin is jumping in her seat because that tattoo of a quill on my back promising to ‘always be a writer’ might not just be a pretty design anymore.

To start, things I have begun to understand that I have not talked about in the past three years (amongst other things):

  • My own queerness and my own fluid gender expression
  • My preferred lovestyle and how to navigate authentically through that
  • Speaking up for myself in moments I have been taught not to – to hold space where I have often been ignored or undervalued
  • Intersectional feminism and how to actively be anti-oppressive to those who don’t hold the same privileges I do
  • My privilege & I are now very well-acquainted
  • What consent is. Slapped in the face with it and figured out how to be an active participant with it.
  • A deeper appreciation for bodies and minds that are different than mine and that I cannot be a spokesperson for anyone except myself.
  • My kinks

So, with this, here is my official “I’m back for To Be A Slut 2.0” and I’m going to be less wrong about more things. Hopefully.

Molluscum Contagiosum

It happened guys. I got my first STI (note: this post is reeeeaaal personal, you’ve been warned). Realistically, given the amount of sexual encounters I’ve had within the last ten years of being sexually active, I’ve been continuously amazed at my general vaginal health. As a sex educator I am painfully aware of the risks involved in banging, let alone condomless banging. Our fragile human bods are capable of catching all sorts of things when we mash ourselves against another person. But duh, this doesn’t stop us.

Now, even as a sex educator, the logic in my brain can go into a spiralling deficit of hormones when in the midst of heavy-petting with someone I’m into. At this point in my life I’m fine to own up to the fact that I’ve definitely overlooked condom usage a handful of times. It’s fine. It happens. Like, you shouldn’t do it. But it happens.

This is where the kicker comes in… I got the STI that is also not an STI. Molluscum Contagiosum is common in children and can be transmitted through water, gyms, changing areas at pools (some websites claim pools themselves, but there is a whole lot of chlorine in most pools) and yes, also from skin-to-skin contact.

So while there is a possibility that someone in the last two weeks to six months (molluscum has a long incubation period) gave me molluscum from unprotected sex, there is also a high possibility that I contracted the skin virus from working at camp, from sharing a towel, from sitting nude on a surface at a sex club, or even from holding hands/hugging with someone who actively (and, hopefully, unknowingly) had the virus on their skin.

Fun stuff, right?

Like. Meh. I could do without it though.

You’re probably wondering why I am sharing the details of my genital health all over the internet. Accessible to… well… everyone (hi Mom…). Because in the moment of diagnosis I felt wholly and completely: gross, isolated, unloveable, alone, unworthy, dirty, sad, angry, depressed, anxious, unfixable. You name it. It was a fun night…

I’m writing this on the tail end of healing up, so I am in a considerably better headspace than I was a week ago. But having people that I could talk to (also, send them heaps of really gross and unflattering pictures just to get a second opinion) 1000% saved me from drowning in a pit of sadness.

I LOVE my genitalia. The whole shebang. My entire life is a testament to how much I enjoying utilizing my erogenous zones. So when I read on the internet (thanks, internet) that molluscum, while not harmful (no itching, no pain, no nothing, just little inconspicuous bumps that are contagious) will leave the bodies system on its own in 6 months to 2 years I almost barfed. TWO FUCKING YEARS. HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH.

The longest I’ve gone without sex since I was 19 is probably about 3 weeks, tops (this blog isn’t called ‘to be a slut’ for naught). This potential 2 years of no sex was absolutely not a thing I was down to swallow (pun intended). Not even just the no sex part – the potential of having an intimate relationship with someone would just not even be an option. That’s SAD. STI’s are SAD. But they don’t have to be AS sad if we can talk about them openly and reduce the stigma attached to them.

For 3 days, I lived on the internet, scouring every corner to find a solution. There are creams and lotions and potions you can get (that apparently costs lots of money and do not work). You can go and get them frozen off, but there are always a bunch of dormant ones under the skin that haven’t surfaced, so this is an unnecessary amount of pain to go through. Or you can just wait two years and then get on with your life.

And then I found this heavenly little nook on a blog. The post has comments from the past 4 years of people going through the same problem and finding an actual, quick solution: Apple Cider Vinegar baths (or direct application).

The vinegar burns the bumps from molluscum virus so they turn into scabs and DIE. The baths also bring out any dormant bumps that haven’t surfaced yet, so you have the added benefit of making sure you get everything (although quite a horrifying site if you are not prepared for the surplus).

I smelt like salad dressing for a few days. It could’ve been worse.

I also accidentally burnt some of my vulva with too much vinegar (over-sharing ftw, if this happens to you, potential molluscum-virus-holder, coconut oil is super restorative, but use it sparingly as it can spread the molluscum).

I have been overwhelmed at the incredible quality of people I have in my life. While a good handful of the people I sought comfort from are also involved in sexual health (and therefore, typically have good knowledge of STI stigma), a good handful of them don’t know anything about sexual health at all and they were just really wonderful. A massive shout out to the lady who stared into my butthole for me without even questioning it for a moment (I’ll stare into your butthole any day, girl).

The startling realization that never in my life had I had the opportunity (or even desire) to not have sex with someone I was dating was daunting. While I had never even given my high sex-drive a second thought in regards to dating, all of a sudden I was immensely reassured that I held value as a person. Something that I KNEW (I’m a pretty confident person, she says humbly), but I had never actually experienced it so directly.

This is not the reality for most people. For good reasons people generally like to keep their health issues to themselves. I was very dubious about posting this out of fear of becoming the poster girl for molluscum (whatever. It’s fine). I was skeptical about posting this out of fear of my peers deeming me sexually unappealing or continuously contagious. Or causing previous sex partners to worry about their status (I didn’t give you anything, don’t worry, but you may have given it to me, so you may want to get checked). I didn’t want to have to bear the front of any of my friends or family not knowing enough about sexual health and then having to over-educate far too many people in my immediate life. (I was about to write “worried about job opportunities”, but really, Caitlin? There are FAR more reasons that someone wouldn’t hire you other than the over-sharing about your STI… [*ahem, porn*]. But this may be a reality for other people.)

My week long battle with molluscum has come to an end. It has been emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting. Quite frankly: it fucking sucked. But I am here, at the other end, and I’m FINE and it’s completely because I had people to talk to openly and honestly about it all.

So… If you’ve had or have an STI and want to write about it, you can send it to me and I will post it here, anonymously. For an entire week I was bursting with things to say/write, I can’t imagine I am the only one.

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At 25

I turned 25 a little less than a month ago. Age is a strange and bizarre concept. At 12 I think I was older than my years. At 22 I was younger. At 25, I feel my age.

I feel my body taking longer to recover from hangovers. I feel my back getting crunchy if I don’t stretch during the day. I feel last nights bed-time french fries clinging and sticking to my insides. I feel my energy dissipating for particular sorts of interactions. My patience has both grown and completely gives no fucks when the situation calls for it.

At 25 I feel more alert to the fact that I am sharing so personally so globally. But I am struck by the ultimate goal I once had for this blog – to start a dialogue. So thrust forward I shall.

My penchant for states of mental intoxication is infrequent and often comes with a strict mandatory list of fulfillment before I can go down the road of “hey brain, you might not be back for a few hours”. My capacity for brief relationships and interactions is dwindling and I’ve come to realize how strongly I value one-on-one time with people.

At 25, I finally feel my body is my own.

When I was 19 I ordered “The Art of Seduction” online. I was ecstatic and embarrassed when it was delivered to my door. A young, awkward, and hypersexual teenager learning to seduce. Such a strange experience it was. Dolling myself up on a day-to-day basis, taking hours to pamper and dress myself before I could even leave the house. And when people would stare at me or men would hit on me, I would feel my eyes well up. Walking out of the bathroom from the Eaton Centre, a woman looked me up and down and verbally slapped me with “Well God, sorry I didn’t brush my hair this morning.”

Traveling to Scarborough for school, I would get hit on repeatedly by young men with the one liner of “Hi… Do you have a boyfriend?” and the only way I knew how to push them away was to say “Yes” and let the highly-acclaimed Male Respect wash over my new fan-base and leave me even more convinced that my body and appearance were not for myself, but for the men around me.

At 25, I know the difference. At 25 my relationships don’t change when I take my makeup off or wear sweatpants outside or get food on my face. At 25 I feel I have erased enough of this bizarre hypocritical life society expects of its young women. At 25 I have finally undone this engrained backwards thinking.

At 25, I understand how fleeting relationships can be because people are fleeting. You can never hold onto anyone because a person is not an anchor and often one has difficulty even holding onto themselves. At 25 I have learned sometimes it is ok if you don’t have enough energy to give. Some relationships are too drenched in history to unbury new kindling. Sometimes you can sit across from someone you’ve known deeply for years, and there is nothing you can say or do to resolve the personal conflicts you have both gone through together. I have been too loud to hear someone. I have been too quiet to have been heard. There is no possible way to resolve all conflict in all relationships. At 25, I am letting myself have “this is okay,” because if it’s not, I might not be able to anchor myself.

At 25, I breath deeply enough and have read enough Chopra, Mate, Tolle, Robbins, that I *hope* I can stand diplomatically and with open arms in the middle of a world that is very quick to shoot arrows and stay standing with minimal holes to my person.

At 25, I feel I have both lived 7 lives and lived none at all.

At 25, I both want to apologize to everyone I have ever unintentionally hurt and also reside in my bubble of stubborn, holding a mirror up to everyone I have fought with just so we recognize that we are just staring at ourselves. I see my own flaws so clearly in other people. I see my strengths, too.

My heart remains open, even though my head is exhausted. I sincerely appreciate and value the people in my life whose hearts are also open – it is an honor to be surrounded by friends and family who are so eager to give. I hope I am able to mirror your generosity.

At 25, I feel I have worked so hard just to go three feet forward and one foot back. And I think about all of the work that is still ahead of me and a part of me wants to lie in my bed nest with Max dog and just drink wine and fall asleep and a part of me has found the energy to keep going because passion or… something.

Here’s to my quarter-life crisis and the new sets of adventures this feeling of adult-hood will bring on.

At 30, I hope I will continue to laugh at myself.

The things I haven’t learned

At the bright and ripe age of 24, I have successfully failed at marriage.

If you are new to reading this blog, you will probably take one look at the name and think to yourself ‘well, duh, why would you even GET married’. If you know me… You might be thinking the same thing, regardless.

I am countlessly asked ‘What happened?” And as someone who has never been shy about sharing, I can honestly say, in the grand scheme of things… I don’t know. I really, truly, do not know anything about marriage.

And I know that these are things that don’t need to be said. I don’t owe any explanation to anyone, nor do I particularly want to give one. But in the interest in continuing this blog with the honesty and integrity I started it with, with the deep and real belief I have that the more we share and talk about things, the easier they become to change. So here we go.

A lovely thing someone posted on facebook the other day:

“Being married does not mean your relationship has more value than someone else’s.”

Which carries something beautiful with it and is, of course, 100% accurate. The government knows nothing about your relationship. Some of the most malfunctioning relationships could exist within marriage and some of the most magnificent relationships could exist outside of it.

I did not fail without a fight… Probably too many fights. I wrote countless letters that were never shared, attempting to find some wisdom in repetitive insight… (I never did… or maybe I did. Who knows). When it comes down to it, I physically and emotionally had no more to give. My posture collapsed in upon itself, my eyes welled up with tears, I became useless. Even writing this my chest is constricting and I have a headache. I had reached the threshold of what I could give of myself in this particular relationship.

Maybe it was because, as my mother never failed to remind me, “I was too young”… (I think I will always be too young). Maybe, it was because my brain, overridden by countless Disney movies and hollywood chick flicks,  had very small amounts of other options of what to do when you are entirely consumed by love but to tie yourself to that person for your entire life. Maybe it was my over zealous spontaneity or confidence in my decision-making skills that marriage didn’t seem as daunting as it does now.

Whichever it was or is… I am okay with it. Of course. How could you not be. It was a relationship and relationships are so infused with love and beauty and consumption of wanting something so badly. Relationships are the epitome of the ultimate human expression, in whatever form that expression chooses to come out in.

There are so many other things that need to be said about being married and separating from the person who you existed in marriage with. There are so many moments that you ache for. There are feelings you wonder if you will ever feel again.

“I love your face. Like, so much so. Everything about it is something I find to be so appealing and handsome – a face I would want to spend forever with if I believed in forevers.”

In the painfully honest words of the most romantic teen fiction novel of our time:

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I’d Tap That & to be a slut on the MTV’s!

Some awesome folks over at MTV are in their second season of ‘Losing It’ , providing the public with variations of virginity loss. After hearing how badly the sex-ed system failed so many of us, they decided to do a ‘Sex Ed Special’ and guess who’s in it! You can watch it here: Losing It Sex Ed Special!

What a fantastically awesome project to begin constructing a new social narrative in regards to how we talk about and approach sex. Losing It allows you to see just how differently each of us experience sex and sexuality. Big shout out to you guys over at MTV for kicking ass!

Oh! And thanks for letting me fulfill my dream of dancing about naked on TV! (With a super babely naked partner-in-crime to boot!)

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Face Plaster and Other Strange Goop Bought From Drugstores

I have a curious relationship with makeup.

I was looking in the mirror just now when I had a very factual realization that I have not ever had before (and bear with me, because this might sound weird coming from the chick who has naked workshops about embracing ones body as it is):  I like the way I look without makeup.

For some of you, this might be a normal day-to-day occurrence, but I started wearing makeup when I was 14 and realized that my eyebrows were not only asymmetrical, but very sparse and lightly-colored. I had died my hair black at this point because I was hardcore and cool, and the only logical thought I had was that my eyebrows needed to match my hair. So, logically, I started filling in the brows (although, at this point, not well).
This. This is how they found their way onto my face.
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No… This is not actually true, but this is the only picture I could find of myself at this age with fake eyebrows. Below is a picture in the same time frame of me without eyebrows.
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Pretty sexy, eh? Oh to be 14 again.

Anyhow. The point here is that I was born with genetically sparse eyebrows, and no where in the vast space that is the media did I see someone who was rocking sparse eyebrows. Apart from this one point of focus, I also realized I had bags under my eyes, red skin blemishes, short eyelashes, eyes that were too close together, and a lack of cheekbone definition… Seriously… This is what went through my mind when I was 14. For some stupid, stupid reason, the day and age we are growing up in is tampering with our brains to get us to be as self-critical as possible as young as possible.

If someone had told me at 14 that one day I would eventually alter my appearance enough to resemble all those blonde, seductive movie stars I cut out of magazines, I would’ve thought they were cray-cray. Regardless, it is my particular belief that we are all beautiful despite and with our altered appearances. At this point in my life, when I dye or cut my hair, change my wardrobe or apply heavy makeup – it is because I am intrinsically enjoying the variations of self that I can have. At 14, I wanted to do it because I thought my natural self wasn’t good-looking enough.

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I think this is partially why I started running the Body Pride workshops. Because while Jessica Simpson is very beautiful, she is just one specimen of the human race. It’s an infuriating process to start to deconstruct the social constructs that have been building up in our minds since we gained access to magazines, the internet, TV and books. It is also a very slow process because they tend to only come one at a time.

For about 8 years I could not leave the house unless I had my eyebrows on. Which is a very silly thing to think, especially because no one but myself made this rule up. In tangent with this eyebrow rule, there existed a large period of time that I wore a considerable amount of heavy of makeup: primer, concealor, cover-up, bronzer, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, highlighter eyeshadow, eyebrow dust, mascara. You name it. Except lipstick. Lipstick and I never became friends.

Not only was this expensive and time-consuming, but also annoying. In my head, I had to apply all of this gunk to my face before going anywhere or allowing anyone to see me. And I mean anyone – my own family went months without seeing my natural face. It got to a point where, upon sleeping at a partners house, I left the bed in the morning to go apply all of this makeup again, fearful they would turn to stone if they saw me without my eyebrows on, god forbid.

It didn’t help that my first boyfriend had told one of our mutual friends that I looked like a bulldog. And we met at camp where makeup didn’t exist. That was nice to hear at 16.

I owe huge thanks to one partner who finally just told me to “Relax a little”. I took a few deep breathes, thought about it, and started to believe that not caring what you looked like when you woke up in the morning, was by far sexier than darting to the bathroom to apply a thick layer of foundation.

So, my life lessons thus far go along the lines of ‘if you are experiencing it, someone else definitely is’. Which is why I have made a post about this. For something that should not be a big deal, it has taken me years, a lot of confirmation (from a husband who seems to have a PhD in flattery), a lot of self-validation (confirming that people don’t actually cover their eyes and hiss when they see me bare-faced) and a puppy (you don’t have a chance to put yo’ eyebrows on when the pup has gots ta pee) in order for me to happily say, I like the way I look without makeup.

And while I do enjoy the wonders that makeup brings (can’t lie about the fun), there is this giant weight that has been lifting by removing this strange goopy rule that I had inflicted so early on myself… So, once again, baring it all, gooplessy yours.

nomakeup