Dear Catcalling Johns…
I was always a confident child growing up, did not care what people thought of me until I was walking and someone mentioned how “grown” I was. You made it seem as if the only thing valuable about me was the shape of my body. In your efforts to make me feel “special”, you made me hate my body. Hate how men would comment and pay attention to me because if it. It might seem odd why I did not “appreciate” the “compliments”, it is because they were not compliments but harassment.
When I did not respond, you would say it wasn’t that good anyway, you had seen better and just wanted me to feel special. I became conscious of how I looked from that. That statement changed how I viewed myself.
I began wearing baggy clothes, shied away from clothes I liked, to save myself. If I am being honest, I blame you for my lack of fashion sense. I would wear the biggest t-shirt and tasteless bottoms just to hide. Since then, I am turned off when a man comments on my body. To me, it seems it is the ONLY thing they appreciate about me. They might mean it, but to me, it comes across differently.
I am just learning to love my body again, discover how it works and what it needs. I am beginning to accept how it stretches and how it is just perfect for me. I am appreciating and nurturing it for myself. Understanding that it is not what society perceives as perfect but in my eyes and God’s eyes, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.