Hey baby!”, wolf whistles & lecherous looks are just something you have to deal with as a woman. Right? And from a guy I apologise for this!
Nobody likes to be yelled at in the street, whistled at, or otherwise ogled. I know that a lot of women are nervous to leave the house wearing a short skirt, high heels, a low-cut top or anything that could be perceived as “slutty”. It really angers me that people aren’t able to dress however they like because of other people’s stunted social prowess.
I have been with friends when they are on the receiving end of all this nonsense. It is awful. Really awful. Sometimes I think it must be quite terrifying — not the yelling itself so much, but more what it says about the people doing it, and the risk it poses to girls.
However, over the past few months I have become far more aware of myself especially when I am with the impression I give to the world. (I wrote a little bit about this in my article What Does Your Clothing Say About You?) The more I learn, the less negative attention I receive on the street. It’s not because I’m getting ugly or I’m dressing in a more conservative fashion — it;s because I am happy with my dress sense. Obviously I don’t get shouted at, but I used to get some negative attention, and I honestly think it is because I am being more assertive. Which is a great tool to have for both men and women!
I walk in a very assertive, confident way. I have a fast walking pace (I always have; I can’t help it!). I stand up tall, my shoulders back. There is a spring in my step. I give off a very strong message: I’m happy, I’m not scared of you, and I’m not an easy target.
It’s basic self-defence. If you were a predator, or just a generic toss-pot, and wanted someone to hurt, upset or get a rise out of, who would you go for? Someone who looks like they won’t fight back. Someone who looks unsure, nervous, someone who is hunched over, hiding from the world. If you project a strong image, more often than not, people will leave you alone.
But how can you project a strong image when secretly you’re terrified that some guy is going to grab you or yell at you?
Think of someone who walks like they own the pavement — then imitate them. After a while, it will change from imitation to real, actual confidence. I used to use this tactic when I was at a party and feeling introverted — I would think of my friend who is always having a time to remember. I know it sounds overly simplistic, too easy to work. Trust me when I say that it works a charm.
Don’t let people who are just plain creeps stop you from being who you are! People will still look at you; They look at me, I can still feel their attention. But somehow, it’s like I’ve hit the mute button. They don’t make a peep. They are exceptionally well-behaved. It makes my world a better place. I hope it for works for you, too.
Good luck out there!
(All images sources available by clicking on the picture themselves)