Author: Julia Nicole Hernandez

photography by Lynzi Judish

models: Catina Shoemaker, Brooke Oliver,  Ariel Thompson, Maya McComas, Tracie Khokhlov-Skakovsky,

Hosnah Safi, and Madison Spialek

Have you ever noticed that certain key words can become as common in our vocabulary as mosquitoes near stagnant bodies of water? Maybe that’s why we call them buzzwords. Like slut-shaming, a term that seems to buzz in our faces with no end in sight, but if you take a look at the on-going perception of female sexuality, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.

online fashion magazine

online fashion magazine

 Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the root of the word. Slut. What is a slut? Well, technically speaking it’s a person with a messy room.  So that goes to say, technically speaking, when people ‘slut-shame’ they are shaming someone for being a slob. Seems silly to be bothered by the state of someone’s room if you are not sharing it, but hey, what do I know? Bad joke? Maybe, but so is the concept of a slut in today’s culture.

online fashion magazine

online fashion magazine

Current society dictates that a slut is a person who has a lot of sex, more specifically, a person who happens to have XX chromosome pairs and the genitalia to match. The term slut-shaming stems from societies’ need to degrade, demoralize, and demonize any person who they’ve deemed falls in this category. I’m sure you’ve heard it, “he won’t buy the cow if the milk is free”, or “she’s not the kind of girl you take home to momma”, or another great one “she’s not what you would call wifey material”. Countless cliché sayings to be had: you know, boys will be boys, she’s just a whore, and all that rot. Female promiscuity is the ever constant sacrificial offering upon the alter of public opinion.  One has to wonder when this/if this endless 15 minute spotlight on women’s sexuality will end. Slut-shaming is our weapon against any bold enough to step out of and exist outside of the cage we insist on trying to force the female body and feminine behavior into without the sole purpose of pleasing public opinion.

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A person could drown in the sea of examples of this phenomenon, but it’s at least worth the attempt to wade into in order to dissect it a little further.  Let’s make a quick list, shall we? Taylor Swift, apparently she likes to date. Kim Kardashian posed naked in a magazine, did you know she’s a mother? Jennifer Lawrence, Arianna Grande, Gabrielle Union, and the several other female celebrities should have known better than to take those pictures, it’s their own fault some creep hacked their personal information. Such filthy messy rooms these unlady like ladies keep. How dare they, am I right? Oh and we can’t forget media’s favorite nudist Lena Dunham. Let’s get a little more specific, Taylor Swift’s crime? Not hiding away and considering herself ruined each time a relationship doesn’t work out and ends, also throwing it in your face. That slut, am I right? Moving on to Kim Kardashian. While there are several reasonable arguments to be had against her recent magazine spread, the main focus sticks to the line of how dare she, a mother, get naked and plaster it all over the internet for public consumption. I guess she missed the parenting disclaimer that nullifies a woman’s sexuality once the mantle of motherhood is received. Again, that slut, am I right? The victims of the photo leak ‘scandal’, their crime? Having these pictures of themselves in the first place, an audacity to own their sexuality in the privacy of their own homes, such sluts. Lena Dunham keeps taking off her clothes on camera despite the fact that some people don’t consider her attractive. One last time, slut, am I right, can you believe these women are so shameless, wink, nudge?

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See what happened there, slut then shame, slut-shaming. We’ve come full circle to the word. Slut-shaming is every underhanded or blatant media comment on the perceived shamelessness of being confident. Slut-shaming is what is happening every time the discussion turns to side boob and celebrities not wearing their panties. Slut-shaming is questioning why an actress is taking her clothes off we haven’t asked of her. Slut-shaming is what we’re doing when we call a massive violation of privacy a ‘scandal’ rather than the sex-crime it is. Are your ears buzzing , maybe your head, it’s a bit dizzying isn’t it, to think about all the different ways society fixates on this concept of ownership over individual bodies when that individual happens to be to a woman. A creepy stalker-esque obsession with female sexuality alongside a morbid determination to break it and put it in the box deemed appropriate for it to reside. Slut-shaming is societies’ throwing a temper-tantrum because a woman, any woman, dares exist on their own terms as opposed to that of the given society.

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