I remember my first crush. I was four, I got started young.
I remember upgrading from my dull beige training bra to my white A-cup bra when I was 12. It was from Macy’s. My sister was shocked. As was I. I looked so different. But better than I had with a tissue-thin cloth covering me.
I remember getting dressed up for my first school dance in the 6th grade. I had a date, too. He was great. I wore a dress from Forever 21 but it was too short so I wore rolled up leggings underneath it.
I remember wearing this old Maybelline mascara that I stole from my mom’s makeup bag. I liked when it clumped.
I remember feeling super confused my sophomore year when my hips got wider and I thought I was going to tip over.
I remember falling in love with the squish around my tummy. It was around the fall of 2016.
I felt the triumph in being a woman. The golden ray around the word, ‘female’. A beautiful thing to be. With forward thinking, curves, colorful ambition, bright ideas and a heart full of love to give.
I remember laughing when I heard the word “sex”.
I also remember feeling uncomfortable around an older male neighbor we had.
I remember having a sense of responsibility trying to protect my sister from the same man.
I remember when I was 11 years old and boys in my class would slap my ass. I didn’t know what to do. If I told them to stop, they would laugh.
I remember when I heard guys in my 7th grade class making fun of how female anatomy looks.
I felt the threats that come from solely existing as a woman. The laughter I would hear in response to my own defense. The fear I had burning inside of me when I knew his hand shouldn’t be on my knee but had no idea what to do.
I remember October 5th, when women in America were safer. And each day following, we regained another ounce of what we had lost.
I remember the saying, “never meet your heroes”. I never had to meet them to lose them. As each day another one came crumbling.
And I’m glad.
I remember getting angry at men that weren't celebrities or accused of something, yet.
I remember being at the gym and feeling ready to defend myself even if it was just one comment.