Don’t tell me what to do

Recently I started wearing red lipstick. Not like, sheer red lip gloss. Like, RED. LIPSTICK.

see?

And I feel pretty great about it. Not only does it make me feel awesome, my beloved grandma Nancy wore red lipstick all the time and it makes me feel like I’m channeling her. And she was amazing so that’s great news.

But I got mad yesterday.
And here’s why:

I’m minding my own business at the check out line at the HEB and a guy remarks to me, “a little dressed up?”
I’m looking at my outfit like, “um, no.”
He’s like, “it’s just that the lipstick you’re wearing. It’s a lot. You probably shouldn’t wear it. I don’t like it.”
Me: *flames flying out of my ears* That’s a good thing. Red doesn’t really seem like it’d be your color.

OKAY, HERE’S THE THING: if you don’t like bright red lipstick, guy, then don’t wear it.
It is absolutely not your place nor any of your business what I, or anyone else, chooses to put on their body.  I am not here for your viewing pleasure.

And then I started thinking about it. And about how many times people have told me that I should/shouldn’t do something because THEY like/don’t like it.

How many times someone has said,
“you shouldn’t wear that dress”
“you shouldn’t be blonde”
“red isn’t your color”
“don’t get too muscular”
“don’t lift too much”

And the thing is, I’m not asking for their opinion.
I’m not saying, “hey, I’m thinking about wearing red lipstick, what do you think?” I’M WEARING IT ALREADY.
This is not an invitation for your unsolicited opinion about what you prefer me to do/wear/look like.
I’m wearing it/doing it because IIIIIII like it and IIIIIIII want to.
And if I had always listened to the people who told me “you shouldn’t” or “don’t”, I’d probably never accomplish anything I wanted to.

After talking it over with Mama Nancy, I’ve decided that there’s only one good response to people who tell me, “don’t…” or “you shouldn’t…”, etc.

So the next time someone tells me “you shouldn’t wear red lipstick”,
my only response will be a big smile and then to say “or else, what?”

"You should just say ‘thank you’"

Growing up, I was taught to say “thank you”. When is it appropriate to say “thank you”? 
When someone does something that you appreciate.

I find myself saying “thank you” a lot. 

“Thank you for holding the door.”
“Thank you for posting that today, I needed it.”
“Thank you for inviting me to lunch.”

The other day, I was talking with a male friend about how much I hate going to the gas station. I hate it. Not because I hate getting gas (even though it puts a huge dent in my wallet) or because I hate going inside to grab whatever. 

I hate it because I almost always get unwanted attention. 

Recounting my last gas station experience, some man felt like it was appropriate to make some kind of suggestive comment about how I look/how my body looks/how he’d love to take me home. And then he looked me up and down like I was a steak.
That happens a lot of times to a lot of women.
It makes me cringe. 

I am not a thing. I’m not some item that he can just buy and take home with him because he purchased it. It is not okay to just say whatever the hell he–or anyone else–wants to me.
And then, when I reject him via ignoring him, he gets mad. 
“You don’t have to be a bitch about it. I was just saying I like how you look.”

To this story, my male friend said, “You should just say ‘thank you’, he just wanted you to know you’re attractive.”

WHAT THE HELL.

This is wrong. 
I should not have to be subjected to inappropriate comments and then say “thank you” like it’s okay. Like I appreciate being talked to like that. Because I don’t.
There’s a difference in being complimentary and being disrespectful.
“You are lovely” does not equal “aye, girl, I like that ass”.

Gender roles suck.
As a woman, I’m expected to just say thank you because women are demure and genteel. Where if a man were receiving unwanted attention, it would be perfectly fine for him to aggressively reject that attention. 
If I reject that attention, I’m labeled a bitch.

I will not say “thank you”.
I will not let anyone think it’s okay to touch my body without my permission or talk to me in a way that is derogatory or demeaning.

I am not a thing. I am a person who is deserving of being treated like a person. 

I will not say “thank you” because I don’t appreciate what you’re doing.
I will not say “thank you” because I strongly suspect that people would change their behavior if they realized that #YesAllWomen deal with this treatment. Even your sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts and friends.

I will not say “thank you” because I don’t owe a thank you, much less any of myself to you.