Recently I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Alex, the writer of this piece. If Alex has taught me anything, it’s to never judge a book by its cover. I know I’ve really been using cliches left and right to describe these writers, but bear with me.
Alex is a sports reporter. If you look through her social media, you’ll see a beautiful, confident AF, powerful chick. Alex is all of those things, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is more to a person than the way the present themselves to the world.
Although we continue to make strides as a country, we still live in a very heteronormative society. That way of thinking is just second nature to most of us. I think it is important to keep in mind that most people don’t actually fit perfectly in this binary world we’re so accustomed to though.
As you will read, Alex explains her feelings on preconceived notions, labels, and false judgments. This piece is a good reminder that Pride Month is meant to encompass a broad spectrum of experiences, identities, and beliefs. I think most of us can relate to these words in one way or another. Check it out:
In lieu of Pride month: This wannabe Kardashian mirror selfie has inspired me to write about my journey in a male dominated, heteronormative industry.
Fear & Feminism go hand-in-hand for me. It’s just like that game “Never Have I Ever.” You know, that silly game you played back in the day, where you lied to convince the world you’re cooler than you actually are. Anyway, never have I ever fit a specific gender mold or stereotype. With that, I’ve struggled with my identity at times – not a good feeling. My social media image has specifically always been a battle. For many reasons, mostly because of my profession, I’ve been cautious of what I post. Often, resorting to not posting anything at all because I didn’t want to get fired or unfairly judged. Now, I’m in-between jobs and I’m scared it will affect getting hired again. I’ve tormented myself with questions like; “Will this photo make me look too boyish?” Or “Will people think I’m slutty if I post another selfie?” And my favorite, “What if I lose followers with a non-sexy picture, or one about girl politics” (those followers being mostly men who only follow me for the latter).
Why can’t I post all of it without being put into a Jeopardy category? I always post about sports. I post videos of myself being stupid and hitting tackling dummies at the Jets practice facility. I’ve even Instagrammed myself wearing an ugly pantsuit with my mom when we went to vote for Hillary (never forget Hill Dog). So, what I’m saying is simple. I should also be able to post this wannabe Kardashian, bikini mirror selfie if I damn well please! I don’t think it makes me any less of a feminist or strong female figure.
It’s really exhausting dealing with this sh$t. (I know, whoa is me. You poor, privileged white girl). But I can personally tell you that a lot of people struggle with issues that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. I might look or sound a certain way, but most of you don’t know who I really am…probably a good thing because I’m crazy (joking, but not really). Judgmental men AND women are running around rampant in the sports media world. I’m serious, it’s more common than girls spending half of their monthly paychecks on SoulCycle when they can’t even afford their rent. I have a message to all of the haters and instigators. To the athletes who assume I “want” them because of my outgoing personality – sorry, but I’m just a girl trying to do her job. I don’t want you. I want an interview with you, I want your story. To former colleagues who’ve spread rumors that I sleep around, and attribute it to my success as a reporter – your vitriol is more laughable than when some idiot wrote that I wanted “Bukaki” from the entire Jets team on a very public forum (google the word for a chuckle).
You see, sometimes things and people aren’t as they appear, and that’s definitely the case for me. I hate labels more than I hate people who think it’s okay to chomp on their gum, or who leave their bloodstained mattresses in the hallway outside my apartment (seriously people?) I refuse to label myself, but I have you all thinking now, don’t I? The only category I’ll ever put myself into is one labeled “Bad Ass Chick.” I’m proud of exactly who I am; a twenty-something-year-old who just wants to get through the day, and come home to her Frenchie and glass of chardonnay.
This is where the mirror selfie comes back into play. Don’t judge a chick or a dude by his or her cover. So here’s my kicker…I like boys, and I like girls too. The more the merrier! I’ve dated women over the last six years of my life. Shocking? It might be for those of you who don’t know me. That’s why it’s so important we stop making preconceived notions about people in a heteronormative society. You might think I’m weird and that’s fine. I’m perfectly perfect being different.