By Nerissa Hosein. I used to pride myself in my appearance, made sure I looked beautiful and confident whenever I go out. I used to dress up at any chance I got. I used to believe eyeliner and lipstick were mandatory for every little trip to the grocery or drugstore. That was me. But no more. I didn’t get fat. I didn’t get old and lost my confidence. I got scared. I’m afraid to be a beautiful woman these days.
Now, I hide behind baggy t-shirts and pants. I make sure that my clothing calls no attention to myself. I don’t wear any form of jewelry, not even my wedding ring so no one would grab it off of me. I make it a habit not to put on any makeup when I’m stepping out. I tie my hair up and try to look as plain as possible. I am afraid if I draw attention to myself I will be kidnapped, raped, murdered or all of the above. I am afraid of every man who watches me a second too long. I am afraid of every car that is behind me. I try my best not to draw attention to myself while I’m alone and out.
Even when I think maybe I should lose a few pounds, there is a tiny voice in my head that says, “Don’t try to look good.” But is that the person I should be now? Is that what being a beautiful woman means now? We are being forced into the shadows, bullied by fear and terror to a point where we can’t shine anymore.
Be ‘Bold For Change’
International Women’s Day was held on March 8, 2017. The theme was aptly titled Be Bold For Change. We are all beautiful women. It is not right for us to cower in fear and hide away in the shadows hoping for things to change. We have to be the change. We have to be bold and take back our power. It takes one step at a time but we can do it. Individually at first, then together. We can start taking steps to protect ourselves! We are women, we are strong, we are the mothers of the earth, the caregivers of the world, we cannot allow fear to push us down and take away our power.
Beautiful women, learn to fight back
Simple things like learning basic self defense, even if you can’t afford a class, use the internet. YouTube has some excellent tutorials on how to protect and defend against attacks. Learning to fight back is our given right.
Avoid becoming a victim
Another important point is taking steps to avoid becoming a victim. We have to realise that times have changed. It is no longer the days when we can walk by the shop alone at night or take a taxi by ourselves. Even if you have to be by yourself, here are some tips to stay safe:
– Pay attention to those around you
– Avoid deserted areas
– Let a loved one know where you are
– Text a relative the number plate of the taxi you choose
– Install a GPS Locator App on your phone and let your family members know how to use it
Take these necessary steps to take back your life. All women are beautiful. Don’t let anyone take that away from us. It starts with each and every one of us. Stop giving these criminal elements opportunities to victimise us. Being a beautiful woman should not be a burden. Be Bold For Change and start protecting yourself! I am a beautiful woman and I refuse to let anyone take away my light!
May 2017 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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