The Snob tackled street harassment, how it affected my body image, and how I got over it for Clutch Magazine Online Wednesday. I touched on how vulgarities shouted at me as a teen caused me to have poor body image as an adult. It eventually lead me to trying to change my behavior (and body) in hopes it could control how other people responded.
Here's a snippet:
As a woman you’re told to just ignore or “deal” with street harassment (and all sexual harassment, honestly), so it is pretty easy to internalize it and think it’s all your fault. For years I rued the day I hit puberty, seeing it as some horrible thing that made people suddenly go crazy on me. I wanted to stop whatever was causing this unwanted attention, meaning I often wore clothes two sizes too big for me.
This meant for years I didn’t wear or even own a pair of shorts out of fear of showing my “big legs,” which were obviously too provocative, even in Bermuda shorts or pedal pushers. My dream for the longest was to be thin, really, really thin, size 0, smaller than small, thin. If I was just skinny enough that I had the body of a 10-year-old boy, I’d look more child-like and I wouldn’t get so much unwanted sexual attention from men. The only problem was even if I got down to a size 4 or smaller in a shirt, I still wore pants that were a size 9/10 or larger.
So wearing my coat all day in the winter and blue jeans in the summer with long, loose fitting shirts was pretty much my look as I hated the body I was stuck with for a very long time.