I get my fair share of compliments about my looks. Some are reasonable, believable. Others seem a bit exaggerated. Despite being the recipient of these compliments since I was a young teenager, I in no way believe that every man that sees me wants me.
But I do wonder if that one person who approached me, started a seemingly friendly conversation, and eventually raped and terrified me, changing my life indefinitely, did it because of the way I look.
There was no cleavage out. I wasn’t purposely exuding any sexual vibes. But he picked me. We were near a parade that had brought hundreds, if not thousands of lightly clad women to the area. But he picked me. All these years later, 19 to be exact, I still wonder why.
Right after it happened, I almost immediately started dressing very plain, almost like an old maid. I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone looking at me. Blue, black, brown and gray became my new wardrobe colors. As a matter of fact, navy blue is still my favorite color. Over the years, I’ve still gotten compliments on my looks, even as a plain Jane. Now and then, I’ll surprise myself and others by splashing some color on my face and in my wardrobe.
That’s when it gets uncomfortable, when people start giving me a lot of compliments. I want to be able to look my best for me, not for any compliments. But even if I get them, I want to be able to graciously accept, without feeling uncomfortable.
But I can’t do that.
So I go back to wearing my comfort colors, blue and black. I look in the mirror and, though I might look neat and clean, I know I’m not putting my personal best foot forward as far as personal appearance is concerned. I want to wear makeup and pretty clothes again. But I’m scared that I’ll be targeted for rape……again.
Somewhere in my mind I’ve lost track of the fact that a man can look at me, be attracted, maybe even want to have sex with me, but not force me to do it.
* This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is either a member of my Facebook mums group, a Twitter follower or has been submitted to me via email. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me. You could help us share the blogs love to helping others by sharing via the social sharing buttons.*