Last Friday, I was getting ready to go out with my friend Lauren and I couldn’t settle on an outfit. My vintage Ralph Lauren denim shorts were problematic with the bloated stomach I was sporting from eating too much steamed kale – a punishment I had coming for stalking Kayla Itsine’s Instagram for too long – and I had worn my favorite shift dress the night before.
When I was sorting through the last suitcase I have yet to unpack from moving out of my off-campus house – if I unpack that suitcase then it makes it REAL – I found a jumpsuit I haven’t given enough love to since I bought it last summer. It was a win-win, the tie at the waist reminded me I still had one and the onesie linen blend situation was perfect for the 90-degree heat. I added brown sandal wedges, gold bracelets, and my watch. To really drive the point home that I was feelin’ myself, I threw on my new Colour Pop lip kit. I kid you not, I really looked like I had my shit together.
After ubering to a trendy bar on the water, Lauren and I decided to ball out and get a few appetizers. (I know, we’re so bad!) The hostess who sat us looked me up and down and said “I love your outfit!” and placed a menu in front of me. Compliments from strangers, especially strangers with a flawless contour, are always delightful, so I was flattered. This small social interaction only confirmed what we already knew: I was feelin’ myself.
Two gin and tonics, chowder fries, and a lobster quesadilla later, we decided to hop to another bar down the street. As we were leaving, a man who was dining on the outdoor patio took notice of our diva-like presence. And by that I mean a man who was dining on the outdoor patio saw us pass his table.
“You have a good night ladies,” said the man.
“Thanks,” I said, apparently not loud enough.
“Oh so you’re just gonna ignore me, huh?” he said, in a voice that was far louder than it need to be. “Next time I won’t be so nice, BIATCH!”
First of all, I had to google the correct spelling of “biatch” because I firmly believe I have not used this word since I stopped quoting Mean Girls on the daily. (It’s more like every other day now, but that’s besides the point.) Second of all, next time? NEXT TIME?
Lauren and I both laughed this little incident off because catcalling is and always has been fruitless and lame, but I was still annoyed. It is truly irksome when you are feeling like the living and breathing lyrics of Independent Women Part II and some random ass dude shows up to ruin the party and objectify you.
Instead of giving in, however, I simply touched up my ultra matte lips and ordered one more gin and tonic for good measure. We were having great, soul sister conversation and we were determined to continue the good vibes. Eventually the lights came on at the bar and we were told to move it along, so we left our cozy hightop and began to make our way out.
I had almost reached the door when I felt a light tap on my shoulder.
“Excuse me,” said a guy who looked like he could easily front a Fall Out Boy cover band. “Excuse me!”
I normally wouldn’t answer, but the crowd was causing a bottleneck effect at the door and I was stuck.
“Yes?” I said.
“My friend here was going to wear the same outfit as you,” he said, gesturing to the guy standing next to him. They also had a female friend, and all 3 of them were trying to conceal their laughter as if I had “Make America Great Again” written across my boobs.
“Well, that would have been very embarrassing for your friend because I clearly wore it better,” I said before rolling my eyes and barging my way out the door.
I know I shouldn’t have been bugged by this, but it bugged me. Fashion is all about expressing yourself, it is a visual representation of who you are. If you don’t like what I’m wearing, that’s fine, but I didn’t go out of my way to tell you that your red flannel and black snapback made you look like you just got fired from Journeys.
Our night wasn’t ruined by any means, but I totally resent the fact that 2 separate assholes made me pause to think about how I look and question whether or not I was feeling good about myself. When I put that jumpsuit on, I felt good, as any staple piece in your wardrobe should. I’m mad at myself for even letting two strangers make me feel that way.
Moral of the story: there is always going to be someone out there who feels entitled to tell you their opinion of the way you look. Keep doing you, keep letting it roll off your bralette-adorned back.
Not to be all “let your haters be your motivators,” but don’t wear anything for anyone other than yourself. I’m not going to stop wearing that jumpsuit, and I’m sure as hell not going to stop wearing that lip kit – mostly because it is very difficult to take off.
Next time you go out, put on something that makes you feel good, too. And if some stranger has something to say about it, ignore them. Or scream “STRANGER DANGER” and call the cops, that works, too. Do it up.