I’m Going To Burn All of my Cardigans.
I love cardigans. They can go with anything. They go well with jeans, dresses, shorts and so many other things. They have become a part of me.
TW: Sexual Assault.
I wear cardigans to hide my curves. I wear cardigans to cover my butt as my mother always told me to. Cardigans are my armor against catcalls, conversations, and much more. Cardigans have become my invisibility cloak.
Before I was sexually assaulted in college, I would have never worn what I wear now. I wore shorts all the time and tank tops and yoga pants and even when people catcalled me I would roll my eyes and walk away. Even when it got weird. However, as I got older and experienced more in life, even in the summer I would wear the Old Navy classics. A long dress and a long cardigan. Or skinny jeans with a long cardigan to cover my offensive butt which is too large by Christian society’s standards and to cover my wide hips which could cause any man to fall into sin with his eyes.
I spend a lot of time sweating because of all the layers I wear. Now, if it were a religious reason where I believed it and felt supported then I would love to cover myself entirely which is beautiful and my choice. I think modesty in itself is a powerful decision to create your own style and your own identity based on how little of yourself you show to the world. However, I am doing it to hide and protect myself from my family, society, and my own hatred of my hips, thighs, and behind. These are assets that people would kill for. These are parts of myself that people get surgery to make happen but they happen naturally to me. What a blessing!
Though I type it out like a blessing, it still feels like a curse. I still hold those beliefs from when all the boys in the 5th grade slapped my ass and no teachers stopped it. I still hold the shame of being groped by other people in school all the way through college. I still hold every feeling of my body being something that attracts attention and I have no say in how I get to be touched. That’s how it felt when I was younger. It suddenly became too much. Even my freedom and shorts were false.