By Emily Chadwell
I’m not really sure why I am writing this.
You will never see it, but you did affect my day in a way that compels me to share.
When you slowed down your car, honked until I looked at you, and waved/winked/gesticulated towards me I did not feel special.
No longer was I a person on a run, no longer was I an athlete, no longer was I a human working on my mental/physical fitness.
I became a body.
I was legs.
I was breasts.
Whether or not it was your intention to turn me into these disconnected entities, you did.
Maybe you meant nothing by it; you liked my dog, or my shirt, or you just enjoy honking at people.
But, you took a woman who trusts her body, a woman who respects her body, and even loves it, and turned her into just a body.
I may be oversensitive or dramatic, but for the next 45 minutes my run was no longer about me; it was about how I looked.
Was my shirt too tight?
Were my pants too sexual?
Did my stomach jiggle when I ran?
Things I should never dwell on while working out.
I can’t blame you.
I can only blame the society that socialized you to honk, and me to smile back.
The society that taught you to feel like you had a right to comment on my external body and me to internalize being self conscious.
I don’t think my experiences are special, or deserving of extra attention.
I recognize that there are people who are victims of worse treatment every single day.
I only ask that people who don’t understand the way your actions impact the lives of others to try.
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Cover Photo Credit: Jean-François Gornet/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)