Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 6 — A stranger

30 Day Letter Challenge
Day 6 — A stranger

To someone who has never met me:

You think you know me. You take a quick glance at me, and I can see the disgust wash over you. The corners of your mouth drop their smile. You don't turn away -  you lock your feet in place, determined to stand your ground and make me scoot around you. You won't be made to feel uncomfortable. I will.

People look at me and assume a lot of things. That I'm ignorant. That I'm wreckless. That I do drugs, that I'm slutty, that I don't love or take care of my children, that I'm childish. People think I look the way I do for others, which could not be further from the truth. The general consensus is that about 5% of men find a heavily tattooed woman attractive. Lots of folks let me know that they think they make me ugly. I have had family members say it makes me ugly.

For some reason, folks assume that my body art makes me immune to crticism. I cannot imagine what would compell a total stranger to walk up to me and tell me that I look horrible. I would never squeeze someone's boobs, asking if they are real. I would never tell a stranger that I think their type of haircut is ugly. I would never say that a person would look great, if only they didn't have that shirt on. But these are the type of comments I get, all the time. I am made to feel like a lesser human being when I go places, because of a choice I have made that doesn't affect anyone but me. A choice that does not define me.

It's hard to be different. People don't like my clothes. I love vintage stuff. Most everyone else thinks I dress like an old lady and they wouldn't be caught dead in my clothes. That's fine. I wouldn't be caught dead in the shit most people are wearing nowdays. But I would never say that to someone. I have had several friends tell me how ugly they think my clothes are. And it hurts. I realize people don't like it, but they don't have to. I like it. I enjoy my 60s dresses and my heels and my red lipstick, and anyone who doesn't can keep their mouth shut.

So, to all the strangers out don't know me. You have never met me, spoken to me, or spent any length of time with me. You know nothing about me at all other than what you see, and that tells you next to nothing. I might fit some of the stereotypes out there, but I promise I don't fit all of them. Look at everyone with a blank slate.

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