“So… you’re a ‘virgin’ virgin?” is a question I’ve been asked multiple times in disbelief by my peers, followed by a series of reactions either reducing my womanhood to a thirteen year old adolescent, or ridiculing me for waiting for so long and even being laughed at. I always feel reluctant and a bit awkward about being a twenty-four year old virgin. Just when I thought I was all alone, not having many friends that are abstaining from sex, MTV decided to produce a new reality show called Virgin Territory. I wasn’t at all caught off guard, since I had roamed their casting section this past spring.
The cast is made up of a variety of people from different walks of life ranging in the 18-25 demographic, but the season premier showcases what TV producers might label as “typical” virgins. Two of the girls are waiting until marriage, while the “sensitive” and hot, yet extremely shy guy with no sexual experience confesses that he just wants a meaningful relationship. We are introduced to Dominique, who is 21 and doesn’t act like a “typical” virgin as she puts it. Phrases like “acting like a virgin” or “doing typical virgin stuff” were tossed around a few times during her scenes, where she even admitted to going to clubs, dancing, drinking, holding conversations with (you guessed it) the opposite sex, and doing all the stuff normal people do. If that’s considered not acting like a virgin (because we live in the 1920’s and wear skirts to the floor), then I guess I broke the mold as well. At one point Bride to be, Lisa, mocks the fact that all her virginal friends are throwing her a Bachelorette party and ‘buying lingerie’. I guess days of the week and cartoon panties are the only draws virgins shop for? The greatest moment in the first episode is when Lisa has a come to Jesus moment with her fiancé about how many times he thinks he’s going to bust a nut (not her words, all mine). She showcased how innocent (Naïve) some people allow themselves to be simply because they are virgins. Either way, I was surprised by how stereotypical the show is, and reinforces all of the ridiculous questions and comments many virgins experience.
“You’re a REAL virgin?” Uh, when did we suddenly become a myth? This isn’t Twilight, fool!
“I bet you’re a tease.” And I bet you’re an idiot!
“Have you ever seen a penis?” A little personal, don’t you think?
“Do you watch porn at all?” Because sharing porno stories with complete strangers and acquaintances is considered normal to those sexually active.
“Have you ever masturbated?” HAVE YOU?
“Aww you’re so cute. That is so adorable!” Thank you, let me just pick my ego up off the floor.
“Good for you! Stay that way ‘cause you aren’t missing anything.”
“WHAT!!! You don’t even know what you’re missing.”
“You’re waiting for marriage? What if you never get married though?” Well there is a million dollar question that’s floated through my head plenty of times, but i’m surviving if that’s your main concern.
You don’t dance like a virgin. The funniest of them all since my ability to dance is based off my sexual experience. VIRGINS TWERK, TOO!
As funny as all of those comments can be, it made me ask a very serious question: Does being a virgin affect how others see me as a woman? I use the term woman instead of female because it’s obvious I was born of female species, but sexuality is associated with maturity. If I had a quarter for every time someone hit me with the “Aww, you’re so innocent” line…
After having a very insightful conversation with a co-worker close in age range, I realized why I never felt feminine enough. My ability to withhold the P made me feel inexperienced in dating, and often younger in spirit than my peers. My issues with feeling like a woman at twenty-four where rooted in my sexual experience, which was a flop compared to many of the stories shared, and the sexually charged media shoved down my throat, no pun intended. Every passing year that I went without a boyfriend and held on to my virginity after graduating high school, the horrific idea of being inexperienced created a wall in viewing myself as sexy. Much like Kyle and Makaela from Virgin Territory, I struggle with approaching or being approached by the opposite sex. I wasn’t aware this was such an issue until I found myself being attracted to a guy in college who less than three years older. He was on his Idris Elba chocolate swag, and here I was a first year lusting after a well-known Senior. I would joke with my friends about how fine he was, and how he could ‘get it’ but inside I knew if the opportunity presented itself, I’d turn into a shy school-girl and meekly decline. The images that exist in my mind when referencing sex are my favorite black love movies (and The Notebook). A woman’s ability to feel sexual without guilt shouldn’t be based upon her sexual encounters, nor should we be reduced to little girls. Society puts out this image that you should be shunned and labeled a loser if you haven’t had sex after a certain age. Maybe MTV should have Girl Code address virgin life after high school, while I continue looking for the answers on how to properly get laid on google.
As if we didn’t get enough of white folks trying to interpret and knock down racial barriers with twerking, along comes Times Magazine giving their two cents. On Wednesday Time Magzine published an online article by Katy Steinmetz titled, "This Is What ‘Bae’ Means". The article was written in response to Pharrell’s current single, 'Come Get it Bae', featuring the poster child of rich whites gone wild, Miley Cyrus.
The article seemed to be written from an honest place of confusion that most people face when they don’t speak slang, live near an urban neighborhoods, or are trying to appropriate urban culture, but the more than obvious headline doesn’t stop Steinmetz from giving a less than brilliant interpretation of ‘Bae’. Katy writes, "Others argue that bae is simply a shortened version of babe, which would similarly account for the rare ae juxtapostion. Slangsters do love to embrace the “dropped letter” versions of slang words. When cool gets old, there is coo. When crazy gets tiresome, there is cray. You could do me a solid, or just do me a sol".
Although it’s not the first time modern day slang has been borrowed from the urban community and worn out, social media was set ablaze by the audacity of Times Magazine and Katy Steinzmeet, leading to the creation of a hashtag funnier than the Paula Dean attack, Hello #TimeTitles! I even got in on the fun, and came up with some non-sense. Listed Below are some popular tweets & my personal favorites from the hashtag craze.
Last night I screamed my lungs out, rapped and sang every lyric, and kept myself from fainting. From the moment I arrived at Met Life Stadium, I was asking myself if this was real? I spent $125 on tour merchandise; that’s how excited I was and sad that it would end in less than three hours. I haven’t seen Beyonce since her very first solo concert, when I was 13 years old. I also was anxious to see Jay-Z for the first time. I had floor seats for a decent price, but I was kind of irritated that I basically had to stand on my chair the whole time because of others standing on their chair. Either way, I enjoyed my edges getting snatched by Queen Bey and Hova.
When I first entered college, I joined a women’s club on campus known as L.E.A.D., which stood for Ladies with Emphasis on Achievement and Distinction. The group took the time out to help women of color on campus by holding programs to bring us together as sisters, and sometimes that included watching out for an overly drunk freshman at a party. I’ve been to my fair share of parties and watched girls get sloppy wasted, vomit in basements, and get walked home to their dorm with a group of friends. During my first semester in college, I became that drunken girl at a party full of strangers. I happened to be on a date, if you want to call it that, and we were headed to his friend’s house for a typical weekend get together. I didn’t attend a big party school, so the parties were never so big that you didn’t recognize the individuals on campus. I had a heated argument with my date on the way to his friend’s house, which drove me to take a few shots. The angrier I became, the more I took shots and attempted to mask my feelings.
Can I tell you that THERE IS A GOD? Thankfully, I was amongst many people that were willing to take care of my drunken ass, make sure I got home, and my date even forgave me for being an embarrassment in front of his friends. It was a story I could add to my college list without being mocked on social media, and laugh about it later. My biggest fear entering college was getting slipped a roofie and possibly ending up date raped, which is why I always turned down drinking and would rather be the DD. I was always aggressive towards guys at parties when I’d see them feeling up a girl who could barely stand, or I’d make an attempt to nurse a complete stranger back to sobriety in the middle of a banging party. I never wanted to have a guilty conscience that I ignored a potential rape victim.
A few months ago, a tragic event happened where 300 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by military forces in Africa. While celebrities and prominent figures used social media and the #bringbackourgirls to raise awareness to the situation, it seemed as if the new sources let it go under the radar even after they were allegedly found. Just when you thought it was over, the world continues to showcase why the internet is no place for children, and why we have to be the Claire Huxtable’s and Mother Theresa’s too these little girls. I scrolled across a FaceBook post reporting an incident surrounding the internet’s ability to turn everything into a joke, including Rape. After a twisted picture of a 16-year-old girl named Jada went viral, it was then confessed by the victim that she had been raped. Unaware of if she had been roofied, a picture of her unconscious naked body floated around twitter and Instagram, while young people everywhere rushed to make memes and recreate the pose using the hashtag ‘#JadaPose’.
It amazes me how little remorse people felt about a naked teen’s body surfacing in cyber space with the ability to repost it, but more importantly I was confused on why Rape Culture continues to be something we let our young adults poke fun at or ignore? Even if this young lady had not been raped, why aren’t parents still monitoring their underage kids parties, teaching young boys and girls to respect their self, as well as their peers? We need to teach more kids how to stop being so coward that they would even condone their ‘friends’ raping someone or even being dragged off to get raped. Where does the conversation start on teaching our young boys not to rape or violate a female? Cyber responsibility is an issue that the parents of the 90s generation don’t have much expertise in educating their growing teens about, because the internet wasn’t around, but that doesn’t make an excuse for educating your child about rape, when to speak up and when to say no.
Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are. -Soren Kierkegaard
I felt it was time to climb out of my work slump and share my thoughts. Lately I’ve been feeling stuck between the struggle of wanting something better for myself and the confusion of how to figure out exactly what that is, as well as how to stop procrastinating. Between working two jobs, which is typically 6 days a week if I don’t give my shifts away, and being a mel-o-dramatic twenty-four year old, I get burned out fast.
Trying to navigate how to be actively in control of your destiny while succeeding in life is some draining shit; I’m not talking reality tv Love & Hip Hop draining either. It’s the ‘how am I going to pay my bills, finish school, be an anti-fuck boy” thought process that is sucking the fun out of my life. I look at my peers in the 21-25 demographic, but they all seems to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. This my perspective on the spectrum: My FB peers either recently graduated college, or they dropped out of school or never even enrolled in college after high school. One half is typically moving to graduate school, finding a stable career and/or engaged, while the other half is one step away from being Erika and Scrappy. They typically are shacking up with their bootycalls for lack of a better work, having kids with their “bae”, maintaining regular jobs and acting fake grown, and/or living with their parents with no job. Oh yeah, I can’t forget about my crime involved, gang-banging Facebook peers.
So between those two choices, I feel a bit lost at sea. I’m staying afloat working in food services, and holding down an internship. I also live with my relative who isn’t forcing me to pay rent, BUT I want to obtain my bachelors degree before the year 2015 ends, and bring my dreams to life. *cues FAME music*
Let’s face it, deep down inside everyone no one WANTS to be the “ain’t shit” friend/family member. So how do you avoid that tittle and settling for less where-ever you may be in life? Fortunately for me, I picked up a few hobbies that have started to become a passion of mine: Dance, Photography, and loathing in pop culture on the internet! I feel kind of lame compared to ALL of those Facebook peers I listed above… yes, even the baby factory ones! My most crucial flaw has always been comparison. It’s fact that we all do it, but it’s how you internalize the self critique based upon what you are measuring yourself against.
What I’m trying to say is, I CHOOSE BEYONCE! Okay, in all seriousness I just want to die knowing I didn’t rest on my laurels, or resort to being a herbalife or Wake Up Now “client”. If that means pushing myself to uncomfortable limits, being broke cause I’m investing my money in education or my brand, and even looking like a fool to my peers, then count me in!
Scandal fans, meet Veronica Mars. After an unfortunate cancellation on the CW network in 2007, the Veronica Mars television show turned film reunited our favorite cast members. To bring the non VM fans up to speed, the murder mystery show was created by Rob Thomas who launched a kick starter campaign 6 years after the series ended with Kirsten Bell. Before Olivia Pope, there was Veronica Mars; a popular teen turned outcast after her best friend’s death, which resulted in Mars pouring her emotions into being the town’s pain in the butt crime solver under her Detective father. Kirsten Bell reprises her lead role as the snoopy private investigator teen from Neptune, California, now living in New York as a post Stanford graduate.
The movie revolves around Veronica who is dreading her 10 year high school reunion, and returning to Neptune to lend a favor to ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). Alongside Veronica are her loyal side-kicks and lovable best friends Mac (Tina Majorino) and Wallace (Percy Daggs III), as well as bad boy Weevil (Francis Capra). If this were scandal, Mac and Wallace would be Abby and Harrison, and Weevil would clearly be Huck. Luckily for fans more than a few familiar faces join VM on screen. Within the first thirty minutes we see that old habits die hard with multiple characters, including Veronica who hasn’t worked a case in years.
The downside of this movie for VM fans is that you don’t get to see the evolution of the series regulars, nor do you want it to end, but the upside is that not a single hair was out of place. Veronica and the gang pick back up with the same wit, drama and relationships that ended back in ’07, just more grown up. The audience cheered, groaned, aww-ed and laughed through-out the entire movie. While it may be a puzzle or bore to those oblivious about the series, the film translated as a smooth watch. I compare my excitement for this film to the joy we all felt when it was announced that Sex and The City would be hitting the big screen back in 08. As satisfied as I was with the film, I secretly wish the show would get picked back up by a network or even become a Netflix series for all the Marshmallows. Hell, I’m willing to donate to a kick starter fund to get a short series made.
Recently I went on an entertaining read of why I dislike people being so concerned with others weight, particularly about those endowed with a few rolls or stretch marks. Any time I discuss weight, I try to uplift and be realistic but also promote self love. I was inspired to share with you a few reasons why my challenges with weight helped me growing up.
1. FAT BUILDS CHARACTER! The most important advice I could ever give you… Growing up fat or chubby instantly puts eyes on you, often testing your strength. I was thrown to the wolves in grade school, and although it took me a while I eventually learned how to speak up, talk mess, and stand firm in who I was. Words of Wisdom: Think enough of yourself to be your own cheerleader & confidante but don’t think too much of yourself that your ego stifles your growth!
2.FAT RIDS LOSERS! Dating is overrated, especially when you have boys shunning you because you can’t be their personal Kim Kardashian. I avoided MANY jerks once I realized my fat was a personal cock blocker. In HS this popular football player tried to secretly spit game, and put on a charade to his friends like I was a thirst bucket. Enjoy me because I’m pretty/amazing, and not because you are a chubby chaser. I’m not saying everyone who prefers you fit is superficial, but if you can’t see past my size, then we can’t go together. Words of Wisdom: Stop looking for your idea of beauty in others, and relying on the perspective of those whom do or don’t find you attractive.
3. WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS? People will try to convince you that you shouldn’t be happy, comfortable or even confident being pleasantly plump; THEY GOTTA GO! Unlike my non-existent list of boyfriends, my friendships and associates were plentiful. I had to endure friendships were I was talked about behind closed doors, and some that were bold enough to try and embarrass me in public. I had girl friends who pursued my crushes because they discredited my beauty and ability to physically attract guys. Words of Wisdom: Fat slurs are just as important as sexual/gender/racial slurs. Don’t be afraid to axe phony friends because real ones do exist.
4. FAT IS COMEDY! If you can’t beat them with your fist, then join them in laughter and hit them with a few shady punch lines. In 5th grade I decided I’d use my weight to intimidate people. (Now before you laugh this is coming from the mind of a 10-year-old) That lasted until I ran all my real friends away, but I improved on my mama jokes. Words of Wisdom: You don’t have to Chris Brown anyone or become Monique, but learn to laugh at yourself and check people when necessary.
5. FAT IS A CROWD SILENCER. I loved dancing, and it really became a confidence booster for me. If I had a dime for everyone who assumed I couldn’t physically slay a dance floor because of my weight… you know the rest. It’s a breath of fresh air to see plus size women being their own Sasha Fierce. Watch out for the BIG GIRLS! Monique’s book “Skinny Women Are Evil” taught me: Whatever you do, do it well. Words of Wisdom: Stop letting your weight limit you.
Now go be fabulous in you double digits! If you don’t like what you see when you wake up, change it; just make sure you’re changing personally for the better and not for Social Media likes.
Choosing a blog name was a struggle that I wouldn’t put on my worst enemy; there’s levels to this! Every since my mother bought our first desktop computer, I’ve hated creating screen names. I created my first email address at 12 years old, prematurely choosing one based off my favorite cartoon character. Almost 12 years later, I still occupy that immature email address due to my dislike for drastic change, along with four more various social and personal accounts.
Creating ratchet screen names is a guilty pleasure no one wants to admit too, and you laugh or wince every time you tell your friends to follow you via social networks. I was cursed with constantly creating corny screen names the moment I made my first BlackPlanet account; it didn’t stop there. I obsessed over what to call myself when I dance battled, especially once So You Think You Can Dance aired. I guess you can say I was trying to “brand” myself before I was aware it was a thing.
I ran through ridiculous chat room, message board, and social networking names until I found Twitter. It wasn’t until I created my Twitter account, Ohtwiddlesticks, that I actually enjoyed something I named. It just made sense to me, not to mention it helped spark a few conversations once I entered college. Twiddlesticks became my nick name on campus, and I eventually earned ‘Dancing Machine’ from being the life of too many college parties. So, why AFROvocative?
My hair became a conversation piece that I didn’t plan for once I went natural in 2010, which helped me find my voice as a young black female. I felt that it made me likeable, and even funny according to some. My Afro gave me a new edge, and most importantly it is provocative.
I named my afro Sasha, because she is every bit of fierce.