Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Thinking Out Loud Link Up

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Reaching out

I haven’t given myself a checkmark in awhile, so I figured this new Lent series I’m doing to reach out is a good a time as any to dust the cobwebs off it and use it.  Continuing on my search for awesome new link ups, today I’m linking up with Amanda over at running with spoons.

This one I think perfectly matched up with what I usually do on Thursdays, anyway, so totally a win-win situation!  Except with this link up I do little snippets of what I’m thinking right now as opposed to one long (sometimes rambling) post on a very specific subject that I took time to think about.

So, regular Thoughts on Thursday is Violet thinking…Thinking Out Loud Thursday link ups is Violet thinking without any censors…any questions???  😉  (If so, feel free to leave them as a comment at the end!)

If, at the end of reading my random craziness and want to join in on the link up fun, you can see the complete rules here.  Well, here goes nothing!  🙂

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) Coconut oil.  YUM.  Where have you been all my life?  Aside from the fact that coconut is one of my very favorite scents in the whole universe (others being vanilla, pineapple, snow, and bookstores–yes, they have a smell), the wonderful creations in which coconut oil is an ingredient are drool-worthy.  I was hosting a “Gal”-entine’s party (though I’m married, I still love doing Valentine’s-y things with my gal pals) and trying to think of a good treat I can make for a friend who’s doing a raw vegan diet, and I came upon a recipe for strawberry milkshake fudge.  Yes, you heard me right.  Strawberry.  Milkshake.  Fudge.  Turns out she couldn’t make it to the party, but I ended up making the fudge anyway, and it was a hit even to those not on a diet.  I fully plan on making it again.  Anyway, that recipe called for some coconut oil, so I grabbed a jar from my mom’s house that she said she never used.  So I had all this leftover coconut oil that I had to figure out something to do with.  Since then, I’ve fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the coconut oil and made a scrumptious tofu curry with it.  The jar’s almost empty and now I’m thinking it’s an ingredient I should always keep on hand.
Product DetailsThis is the kind I have.  Amazing.

2) My doggie chewing.  It’s probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen (but then again, my doggie generates many cute things).  For those who have dogs with a snout that sticks out (as opposed to a dog like a pug or bulldog–not that I have anything against these breeds, but their non-snouts don’t quite have the same effect), you probably know what I’m talking about.  Watching those little micro-muscles help with his mastication is so endearing.  It looks like  he’s opening his mouth to talk.  And he gives a little Elvis lip sometimes when he’s concentrating really hard on chewing.  I picture him having a mafia-type voice in these moments.  When he’s not chewing, I picture his voice as a bit dopey and Gomer-y.
Questions:  What’s your favorite part of your pet, if you have one?  What kind of voice do you picture them to have?

3) Dancing With the Stars.  The new season’s premiere starts on March 17th.  I’m pretty stoked for it.  I gotta admit I was a little confused when I saw Erin Andrews in the cast picture.  I was all, “What the heck?  Is she going to compete again?  Why isn’t anyone else getting a second chance (barring the DWTS all stars season they had)?”  And then I found out she was going to be the co-host, and that’s pretty cool.  I mean, she’s already a seasoned interviewer and she has the added benefit of having gone through the DWTS process.  I’m excited to see what kind of host she’ll be.  The contestants I’m most excited about are Candace Cameron, Danica Mckellar, and Drew Carey.
But…no Harold Wheeler and the band?  What the heck?!
That being said, I’m curious about this whole “switching partners” twist.  It should be interesting.  Anyone know if they’re going back to the Monday & Tuesday format, or are they going to do Mondays-only like last season (totally lame, by the way)?

4) The Bachelor.  Yeah.  So, speaking of reality TV…(hey, don’t judge)
Is it just me, or is this season pretty boring?  For some reason I find myself either skipping episodes or not paying attention to what’s going on, and I’ve never once done this for any Bachelor/Bachelorette season.  For the record, I’ve been watching ever since Brad Womack, Part One, which I believe was back in 2007?  But I’ve since done a little research (I’m nothing if not thorough sometimes) and I’m familiar with Trista’s season, and Andy/Tessa’s season, and the whole Jen Scheft book deal thing.  (I promise that I do have a life.)  I just don’t think Juan Pablo’s got anything going for him.  It was kinda like Ben’s season, but I don’t remember how I managed to not skip any Ben episodes.  I did enjoy that finally someone had the courage to speak out and say what was on the audience’s minds:  Juan Pablo’s a pretty shallow guy who doesn’t ask anything about anyone else.  I’m glad that caught on and turned into a discussion during the Women Tell All.


Anyway.  For those of you who participate in the train wreck that is watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette, who was your favorite and least favorite?  For the record, my all-time favorite is Jillian Harris by a landslide.  Love that girl!

Also, if you happen to be a fan of her fashion and interior designing as much as I am, she has a blog!  Check it out!

5) Shakira. Um.  Okay, last mention of reality TV, but watching this second season of The Voice with her as one of the judges has just solidified how awesome I think Shakira is.  I totally get why people crush on her now:  she’s sexy without trying too hard, nice, genuine, and really smart.  What else could you ask for?  Also, Adam & Blake are freakin’ adorable.

Usher, though?  Meh.
6) “Happy” by Pharrell (sp?) Williams, from Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.  I’m probably gonna get flack for this, but I feel like this song is the modern-day “My Life Will Go On” by Celine Dion.  Good song in its own right, and catchy.  But after hearing it over and over and over again, I can’t get it out of my head and kinda wish it would go away for a little while so I can like it again.  Also, “Let it Go” from Frozen.  I’ve heard so many remakes, parodies, and in different languages.  Just can’t handle anymore.

7) Jennifer Nettles. To end on a positive note, though, the music I am totally digging is on the new solo album by Jennifer Nettles.  Great melodies, great lyrics, great voice (at least in my humble opinion).  I dig it all.  What new albums are you enjoying?
Here’s my favorite song so far from her album, though that changes on a weekly basis:

BONUS:  While searching for a video of this song on YouTube, I just now discovered it’s the next single off of her album and I got to watch the lyric video!  Hooray for happy surprises!  🙂

Thanks everyone for following my random ramblings.

To Saying What’s On Your Mind!

Violet

 

 

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on Thursday: Thrift Store Style

Those who read this blog somewhat consistently know that I’m not shy when it comes to talking about thrift stores, so this post isn’t going to be any different.

For better or worse, thrift stores have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  One of my favorite stories is that I learned how to read in a thrift store.  It was a thrift store my mother frequented in Georgia, and I was reading Cat in the Hat, and apparently the sales associate tried to call my bluff.  I was only 3 1/2, and she didn’t believe I was actually reading it.  My mom was a little doubtful, too, so she flipped the book to a random page and pointed to a word, and I read it (correctly) out loud.  She did this several other times with the same results, so both her and the sales associate were convinced.

I got some of my favorite Strawberry Shortcake (the original, thankyouverymuch) items from the thrift store:  a toy refrigerator that I converted into a bookshelf, a sleeping bag, and a couple of pictures.

Growing up, I assumed that the thrift store was just another department store to buy stuff, like Target.  A one-stop shop of sorts.  I thought nothing of the discounted prices, mostly because at that age I had no concept of what was expensive and what was cheap, and had been to flea markets and used bookstores plenty of times to know that not everything I bought had to be brand-spankin’ new.  I was blissfully unaware of the stigma against thrift store finds until fifth grade.

I remember it well:  I was jogging around the track for P.E. class, wearing a floral pink t-shirt and jeans, both from the thrift store.  I thought I looked pretty cute, if you didn’t pay attention to the sweat pouring down my face from running.  One boy, though, decided to take it upon himself to try and make my day a bad one.

“Look at Violet!  Her clothes look like they’re from Goodwill!  She’s poor!  Violet’s poor, Violet’s poor!”

I’m sure there would be kids out there who would completely crumble under these taunts.  I, however, was a little sassy firecracker throughout my elementary school years.  Right then and there I decided this boy wasn’t worth my time, and I used my ever-present literary skills to quickly come up with an acronym.

“Thank you!”  I shouted back to him.

For a moment, he looked confused.

“I AM Pretty, Outstanding, Outrageous, and Radical!” (Hey, ignore the last word.  I was born in the 80s.  That word was awesome back then.)  I flashed him a toothy, confident smile, satisfied that I silenced him.

Even though I wasn’t about to let this boy bully me and let him think in any way that he got to me, I did start to ponder things when I got home.  What was so wrong with having clothes that looked like they were from Goodwill?  Why did he connect getting clothes from Goodwill with being poor?  What was I missing?

It was then that I started to realize that perhaps my mom took me to the thrift store because she might not be able to afford more expensive clothes.  Until then, it never occurred to me that I didn’t go the trendier, more upscale stores at the mall like my friends did.

I’m not gonna lie here.  After that incident, all the way through junior high, high school and most of college, I started to become embarrassed to admit that I shopped at the thrift store.  The one in our town is on a busy street, so when I went to the thrift store, I’d take care to hide my face in case someone I knew happened to be driving by.  One of my best friends in junior high’s parents were better off than mine, which didn’t really bother me much until we went to the mall.  For fun, we’d go and try on outfits at Macy’s.  One day, we both tried an amazing Unionbay shirt that we both fell in love with.  I believe it was about $30, which was much too expensive for me.  For that price, I could easily by at least six shirts at the thrift store.  But oh, how I wanted that shirt!  Imagine my jealousy when my friend told her mom about it, and she was able to get it when she got good grades on her report card.  Just like that!  She also got an adorable jean skirt to go with it.  A few months later, when the same friend and I went back-to-school shopping, I fell in love with a chocolate brown velvet t-shirt.  I called my mom to tell her about it, and she immediately said it was too expensive.  I respected her wishes (and her bank account) and didn’t press the subject, but my mom’s friend saw how upset I was.  She graciously offered to pay for it, and I wore it on my first day of eighth grade.  I felt guilty every single time I wore it around my mother.  I’m sure it made her feel a little inadequate.  It got to the point where I’d wear a sweater over it until I got to school so she wouldn’t have to see it anymore.

(Side note:  If you’re still reading by this point, THANK YOU.  And also, I promise there’s a point and a topic of discussion to come.  And pictures.  And a Macklemore video.  So hang tight.  🙂  )

Then, somewhere about halfway through my college career, thrifting started to become en vogue.  People prided themselves on their thrift store finds, even PREFERRED going to the thrift store instead of the mall because they could find something somewhat unique.  At the very least, they wouldn’t be going to where there are racks and racks of the same item of clothing in different sizes.  I thought immediately of one of my favorite Sweet Valley Twins characters, Mandy Miller, whose personal funky (in a good way) style was comprised of thrift store finds, and it got her into the exclusive Unicorn Club (if you don’t follow me there, don’t worry; it’s just that I was a little completely obsessed with the series growing up).  Shopping from the thrift store became cool and trendy.  I could finally come out of hiding and wear the fact that I shop at thrift stores like a badge of honor.

I still absolutely love shopping at thrift stores; possibly more so in the last five years or so than I can ever remember.  I find great things there, have identified my favorite ones in my area, and sometimes even get bored with the clothes at the mall because I know I could find something cooler at the thrift store.  I do admittedly indulge in classics that I fall in love with at higher-priced stores, but you better believe they get a lot of wear so that I can get the best value of them!

Anyhow, to prove just how much thrift store clothes are a regular part of my rotation, here is the outfit I wore for my latest birthday:
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(Sorry about the weird gray fuzzy background; there were some things/people that I didn’t have permission to publish online, so I hurriedly edited them out.)
The gorgeous-colored shirt and adorable skirt were both thrifted, as well as the pearl necklace that I’m wearing as a belt.  The necklace was something my husband made (he’s kind of embarrassed by it, but I think it’s adorable).  Cute, right?  Would you even guess that the outfit was from a thrift store?

Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is because I recently ran across this news story that happened in Utah:
Short version is that Girl A bullied Girl B for “dressing like a sleaze”.  Girl A’s stepmom was notified, and so stepmom decided to give Girl A a dose of her own medicine.  She took her to the thrift store to pick out the ugliest clothes she could find.  The next few days, she made her stepdaughter wear those clothes as punishment.  The girl cried and got made fun of and people talked behind her back.  In a news interview, she said the lesson was learned.  (I doubt it.  She probably just said it so she could wear her “cool clothes” again.)  As an aside, am I the only one who thinks the blue dress with the red fruit on it was kinda cute?
thrift store dress

As for the other clothes, it’s nothing that the Refashionista can’t fix, right?  (Still haven’t checked the website out yet, you say?  What the heck are you waiting for?!?  Do it.  You won’t regret it.)

Anyhow, I was a little offended by this punishment.  It gave thrift store clothing a bad name again, making it look like something someone should cry over to wear and be made fun of for wearing.  This shouldn’t be the case.  I felt as if I regressed a couple of decades.  And how did Girl B (the girl who was bullied) feel about this, I wonder?  If I were here, I would’ve felt mocked.  And the fellow classmates learned nothing in this whole mess.  If anything, it fostered bully culture by giving them more to make fun of.  Perhaps Girl A stopped bullying (again, highly doubtful), but people still bullied her.  What will be their punishment?  How is this a win?  I think an interesting solution would’ve been to have Girl A and Girl B go shopping at a thrift store for cool clothes.  Girl A may find that thrift store clothes are cooler than what she stereotypes them to be, and Girl B may feel better that they’re shopping at the same place.  Who knows?  Maybe together they’d be able to start a trend.  But that’s just wishful thinking.

What do you guys think?  Do you love thrift store clothes as much as me?  Do you think this punishment was appropriate?  Were you ever embarrassed to shop at a thrift store?

Personally, I think Macklemore’s got the right idea here.  So I’d like to close with his video.  (BTW, if you’ve been living under a rock, this song has explicit lyrics in it, so it may not be suitable for work.)

To Being F*ing Awesome, No Matter What You Wear!
Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: “Raising” Questions

Hi everyone!  I know it’s been awhile, and I’ll just fully admit that this time around, I don’t have an excuse.  I’ve just been incredibly lazy.  So let’s just jump right on in, shall we?  And I’ll try to be better at posting on a regular basis, I swear.

*~*~*~*~*

Several days ago, I was perusing a favorite thrift store of mine.  It was one I haven’t gone to in awhile, mostly because it’s located in the city I used to live in, about an hour’s drive away.

I entered the doors and grabbed myself a cart (I had some serious shopping in mind!).  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gentleman walk up to the front door and hold it open for an older lady with a walker.  I’m about 95% sure it was a customer, not an employee.  I promise that distinction’s kinda important to this story.

The lady fell all over herself thanking the gentleman (who, truth be told, wasn’t very stereotypically good-looking, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just her being flirtatious).  The gentleman accepted the gratitude in kind, and the lady responded, “You just don’t see good manners much anymore.  I think, though, that people who shop at this kind of place were just raised differently, and that’s why I see it more often here.”

I don’t know why, but I immediately became inwardly defensive.  Which is weird, because I admittedly have never lived in what you would call a big city.  To add to that, a good chunk of the shopping experiences in my life have been at some sort of “discount” store, whether it be the thrift store, Target, or JCPenney.  During my stint as an army brat, we’d shop at the PX, where I’d buy things that I was blissfully unaware of being off-brands, and without sales tax.  (To be fair, that’s absolutely not the case today, at least at the PXs that I’ve seen recently.  They had Coach purses and Juicy Couture jewelry!  That would’ve totally been unheard of twenty years ago.)  I’ve always considered Macy’s a high-end store, while most other shoppers consider it the place where they get their bargains.  I seek out outlet versions of designer stores, and even then, it’s a tad on the expensive side for me.  The only thing I’ve ever bought from Nordstrom was makeup, and that was only because I had a coupon and because they happened to be out of my particular shade of pressed powder at the Clinique counter of every other box store in the mall.  I do, however, venture outside of my shopping box every now and then to take in some Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and the like.  Mostly it’s to people watch, and just to see what ridiculously-expensive stuff looks like, but still.

That being said, I was raised with ridiculously-good manners, if I say so myself.  My mother was the Asian Emily Post growing up.  To this day, I get slightly hyperventilate-y when going to fancy restaurants for fear of spilling water on the tablecloth or food in my lap (which, being the klutz that I am, happens pretty much every single time).  My brothers always open doors for others and say please and thank you.  I have a habit of calling people sir or ma’am, and it took me a really long time getting used to calling my parents-in-law by their first names instead of Mr. & Mrs. without thinking it was extremely rude.  So I guess in my case, I am that girl who shops at “this kind of place” (meaning thrift stores) who was raised to be polite to others.

Then I think of friends who were raised in big cities, who sometimes shop at the higher-end stores.  And maybe it’s because I’m choosy with the type of people I hang out with, but for the most part, they have good manners, too.  They’re just a little rougher around the edges, for sure, but it’s because they’ve grown up to be mindful of their surroundings.  In cities like New York & L.A., you can’t really afford to look people in the eye if you value your life.  And in both cities, people are in more of a hurry than their country counterparts.  The hustle and bustle of cities that don’t sleep leaves little time to sit down and truly listen to someone, and perhaps they’re even slightly more liberal-thinking, assuming that maybe some women don’t appreciate chivalry because it casts them in a helpless maiden role.  Truly, I do see more independent people in big cities.  Mostly because they have to be more independent.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t have manners.

At the same time, when I do make the pilgrimage to the big cities and the land of more than $20 for socks, I don’t notice as many good manners.  I hear a lot more yelling and statements of privilege and less tipping of hats and respecting elders.  But perhaps it’s because I have my prejudices before even stepping into each of the two greatly-differing environments.

*~*~*~*

What do you guys think?  Do you notice better manners in small towns?  Are you a big city person who has good manners?  Or do you think that both big cities and small towns have such stereotypes that you can’t help but see the stereotypes and nothing more?  Also, what’s your opinion on household income and how people are raised?  Do you think it’s correlated?  The one glaring exception I can see to this are the people with the gigantic mansions or plantation houses in the south.  They’ve got the southern charm/manners AND the money.  Then again, oftentimes, the manners are contrived and fake and often hide condescension.

Let me know in the comments below!  🙂

To Treating Everyone With Respect, No Matter Where You’re From!
Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Honest vs. Nice

“The truth hurts.”  “Tough love.”

These are phrases we hear often.  But does this always have to be the case?  Is there really a such thing as constructive criticism?

There was a picture with a quote I saw on Facebook that made me think about this:

You're Beautiful

To be fair, I’ll put this quote into context.  Country music star Miranda Lambert did an interview with Self magazine, which I believe is in the vein of health magazines.  She asked her husband, fellow country music star Blake Shelton, “Dude, why didn’t you tell me I got fat?”  The above quote isn’t the whole answer.  The full response was, “That would go over like a lead balloon”, then he followed up with the sentiment you see above.

Now, I don’t doubt in the least that Blake really thinks Miranda’s beautiful.  I mean, LOOK AT HER for goodness’ sake.  But there is a critical (albeit a heavily-influenced) side of me that says, “Okay, now you’re just saying that to prevent any trouble.  But do you really think she’s beautiful?!?”

Which brings me to this question:  when it comes to the health of someone you’re in a serious, long-term relationship with, is it better to be nice or honest?  Do honesty and kindness have to be mutually exclusive?

And this refers to both sides of looks-based health, whether you’re too skinny or too fat.  Obviously, there are those who are naturally thin or naturally heavier-set, but when you’ve been with a person for a certain period of time, you can tell when they are not living up to their full health potential.

This is such a fine, fragile line to walk, especially in a society that unfortunately tends to base your worth on how you look.  But it’s also a society that’s riddled with an obesity epidemic and a teenage population running rampant with eating disorders.

So what, really, is your duty as a partner?  Is it to be kind and to unconditionally think that your other half is beautiful?  Or is it to let them know when they’re being unhealthy?

My husband, bless his heart, has tried to do both, with horrible results.  Here are a few (paraphrased) gems from his arsenal:

“When you’re as skinny as those girls, THEN you can afford to eat a cheeseburger and fries.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have another sausage.  You need to concentrate on losing weight.”
“Please…please come and work out with me?  You need it; you’ve been getting pudgy.”
(trying to be sweet)  “But I didn’t end up with a model-thin girl.  I got a double-XL!”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but when you reach your ideal weight, your curves are going to be HOT!”

You can see why I tend to be dubious and find it really hard to accept the times when he tells me I’m beautiful, though he tells me often.

And I’ve called him on it.  I’ve said, “How can you call me beautiful yet tell me I need to lose weight?”  To which he says, “I just think you’d be prettier if you were healthier.”

I get that and I respect it.  But it’s so, so hard to look in the mirror sometimes and see myself as pretty when I’ve heard those previous comments.  It’s funny, too, because before those comments, I had no problems with how I looked.  I thought I was cute.  To be fair, though, I also didn’t exercise much back then, so my contentment could’ve been dangerous to my health.  On the flip side, I’ve told him again and again, in response to his pressing me to lose weight, “I think you’re handsome just the way you are.  I will never tell you otherwise or anything to doubt how handsome you are.  But I respect the fact that you want to be healthy and take care of yourself.”  (Full disclosure:  we could both stand to lose a few dozen pounds or so.)

Some would argue that it’s a doctor’s job to tell you whether or not you’re healthy, not your partner’s.  Your partner’s job is to support you no matter what.  But is it really fair when a partner sees you being unhealthy and doesn’t do anything about it?  I’m positive that if my husband ever took up smoking again, I would be in his face like you wouldn’t believe.  So why should the issue of weight be any different?

*~*~*

I realize this post is pretty disjointed and disorganized, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  What do you guys think about this whole thing?  Was Blake being sweet or dangerous with his statement?  Is it possible to be nice and honest at the same time when it comes to a partner’s weight?  Would you rather your partner be honest or nice when it comes to commenting on your looks?

To Being Healthy and Beautiful!
Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Prude-Shaming

I find that when I have to write something that’s difficult for me to write about, I tend to write a long, rambling intro in order to buy myself time to work up some courage.  Today is no exception.

First off, I should let you know that this isn’t going to be a post that’s a defense of Taylor Swift, even though the recent onslaught of criticism about her was really the catalyst to my researching this subject.

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I exist in a hole.  I’m sure the phrase “slut-shaming” has been around for some time now, but I only came about the phrase recently, in regards to the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s songs.  I was intrigued by the concept, to say the least.  I spent hours looking up the definition, examples, and stories of slut-shaming victims.

I also read countless articles slamming Taylor Swift, since I guess she has involuntarily become the poster child for slut-shaming.

(*Quick reminder:  I repeat, this is NOT a defense of Taylor Swift, but rather, how I came about this particular topic.  So hang tight; I promise there’s a point to all this.)

In said articles, comments on YouTube to her music videos, and even on her Facebook page, I saw a recurring theme along the lines of, “All of this could be solved if you’d just put out.  You wouldn’t have to be bitter, and then you could write songs about something more interesting, like sex.  Win-win.” Or, “She pretends to be such a saint, but there’s no way she can go out with that many boys and not sleep with them.  And if she has gone out with all those boys and haven’t slept with them, no wonder they don’t want her.  Who wants to go out with a tease?” Or “This girl just needs to get laid.  Period.  Maybe then she’d be in a happy, satisfying relationship.”

Um, excuse me.  What?!?

So that led me to wondering if there was a such thing as the opposite of slut-shaming.  Before I even looked it up, the phrase “prude-shaming” popped into my head.  I was curious if, in a culture so wary and up-in-arms about slut-shaming, they ever thought about the other side of the coin.  That in being so passionate about a person’s right to have sex without judgment, they judge those who don’t have sex/have absolutely no desire to/decide to wait for personal reasons.

“So why are you bringing this up, Violet?  You said there was a point, right?”

Right you are.  But first, a little more rambling.  😉

I have to be upfront in saying that I am not condoning slut-shaming.  Not by a longshot.  I absolutely believe that a woman’s worth or lack of worth isn’t defined by her sexual activity.  (I only say “woman” in this case because I rarely ever hear a man being called a slut, but this statement applies to everyone.)  It’s not my job to judge their actions.  Furthermore, I am vehemently opposed to the ridiculous concept that a woman is “asking for it” if they dress in revealing clothes.  Honestly, anyone insinuating anything of the kind just angers me.  You’ve basically reduced all onlookers of the scantily-clad person to dummies who can’t control their impulses.  And that’s just an insult to onlookers.

Ahem.  So anyway, like I said, I’m no way an advocate of slut-shaming.  On the same token, though, I don’t think that gives anyone the license to prude-shame.

And here comes my confessional.  Why I chose to write about this.  Why it took me so long to get to a point: (insert deep breath here)

*I am that prude.*

But now I need to keep you in a little more suspense before revealing more.

First, here’s an extremely-generic definition of slut-shaming from Wikipedia, in case you have been living under a rock like I have:

Slut shaming (also hyphenated, as slut-shaming) is defined as the act of making a woman feel guilty or inferior for engaging in certain sexual behaviors that violate traditional gender expectations.

 It is also used as a form of victim blaming for rape and sexual assault, such as claiming the crime was caused (either in part or in full) due the woman wearing revealing clothing or previously acting in a forward, sexual manner prior to not consenting to sex.

There are many nuances and countless articles/blog posts/etc. on slut-shaming, but for the sake of this post, I chose to simplify it.

Okay, so let’s rewind a bit.  After the term “prude-shaming” came into my head, I decided to turn to trusty Google to see if anyone else had thought of the concept.  To my pleasant amazement, people have!  I’d have to say that there are significantly less discussions about prude-shaming than slut-shaming, but I think that’s perhaps because society might not think that prudes get slammed as much as sluts do, and therefore don’t need as much attention or advocacy.

I’m here to say that that’s utter rubbish, and this video that I found perfectly explains why.

I also particularly liked what these articles had to say.

There are many more, but it starts to get into defending-Taylor-Swift land, and like I said, I wasn’t going to go there.

***

The reason I bring all this up is because I want people to be more aware of this side of the coin.  It’s a real thing.

As I said above, I am that prude.  I’ve been told that there must be something inherently wrong with me because I don’t desire sex.  That everyone desires sex.  Like gay people back in the day, I’ve actually had people suggest not only therapy, but drugs to “fix” me (i.e., hormone treatment).  A friend of mine, who thought she was trying to help me go up on the cool-o-meter, offered to pay a boy $20 to kiss me on my 16th birthday.  I get sexy clothing thrown at me from my mother, who thinks I need to up my sexiness quotient and sighs with displeasure when I gravitate towards the fuzzy, oversized men’s sweatshirts and comfy-looking ballet flats at the clothing store instead of the tight, short, lacy dresses and stilettos.  One particular situation comes to mind, when I went to Victoria’s Secret with my blonde bombshell sex-kitten friend, and the first thing I picked up was a long-sleeved flannel set with clouds printed on it.  I squealed with excitement, “Isn’t this adorable?”  My friend shook her head and gave me a look of pity.  “Honey, you’re in a Victoria’s Secret, and that’s what you pick up?  That’s just a disgrace.”  She quickly steered me over to the lacy black bustiers with garters.  I also remember a coworker offering to go underwear shopping with me to get something sexy.  She said something along the lines of, “It’s the secret to a good marriage.”  Um, what about trust, love, and laughter?

I get invited to Passion Parties, get told about how empowering the act of oral sex is supposed to feel, and hear about various kinky sexual conquests, and all of a sudden I feel about two inches tall that I can’t get excited about the conversation.  I’m a woman, after all.  I should celebrate my sexuality, right?

Not if it makes me uncomfortable.

I’ve gone through many traumatic prude-shaming experiences, ones that have brought me to my knees, sobbing because I feel like I’m broken.  I’ve gone through periods of trying to make myself sexier so that I can blend in with everyone else, and I remember feeling like such a fake.  There are so many others, but ones I don’t really feel comfortable disclosing right now.

“But Violet.  You’re married.  Does that mean…?”

Why yes, yes I am married.  And if you were to ask us, we’d both agree that we’re happily married.

Really, I’ll just leave it at that.  Because the rest of it?  My sex life and all of that?  It shouldn’t matter.  I’d like to say it again—if there’s anything that I want you all to take away from this—

I absolutely believe that a woman’s worth or lack of worth isn’t defined by her sexual activity. 

This covers sluts, prudes, and everything in between.

One more story:

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about attraction and homosexuality.  (For the sake of confidentiality, I’ve chosen to not reveal their gender, so I’m going to be annoying and use “they” and “them”.)  This friend brought up that while they’ve entertained the thought that they may be gay, that they’ve decided they aren’t, because the thought of having gay sex isn’t appealing to them.  I was quick to bring up that being gay is based on much more than craving gay sex.  This statement completely floored them.  “I thought that was the basis of figuring out whether or not you were gay.”  So I told my friend that homosexual relationships, like any other relationship, can oftentimes consist of more than just sex.  And besides, I’m positive that there are young kids out there who are aware that they’re gay without having to fantasize about sex with someone of the same gender.  On the same note, I’m sure that there are such things as a gay asexual.  Tim Gunn comes to mind.

A person is so much more than her sex life.  So let’s agree to celebrate all parts of what makes a person instead of labeling a person based on just one part, shall we?  Okay then.

***

I’d like to conclude by saying thank you for reading this.  This definitely wasn’t easy for me, and I’ve been putting off writing this post for about a month.  So please respect the courage that it took me to write this.  Thanks again.  And I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Do you think any side has it easier?  Have you ever heard of prude-shaming?  Have you ever been a victim of either slut-shaming or prude-shaming?  Let me know.  I think the most powerful way of making people aware of a problem, and to begin healing, is to share stories.

In Hopes of a World Where You Don’t Have to be Shamed for Being Yourself,

Violet