(Please excuse any grammatical errors, I am typing quite frantically.)
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, a few weeks ago an episode aired where I express that I had been sexually assaulted by someone I knew during my stay in DC, away at college. With this insane public announcement loads of support, love, and encouragement came rolling in, in which I am incredibly thankful for, those kind words do not go unnoticed. On the flip side I had doubters, people who said that’s what I deserved, people who came at me like there was a specific rule book I needed to follow, and so much more. My intentions in sharing my story were to bring awareness to this issue, as well as to let others know that they are not alone in this and to spread the message of forgiveness.
After dealing with sexual assault I went through a phase where I was not comfortable with my body. I did not identify with my body the same, I did not care to see myself naked, I was not proud. After learning to love myself again mixed in with my daily gym regimen I began to look at myself in a different light. I felt sexy again, I felt confident, capable, valuable all of the above. This come back was very noticeable from my interactions with family and friends to the content I began to post on social media. For me, my posts symbolize personal progression. With every photo I take I can almost always remember exactly how I was feeling, what I was smelling, hearing, thinking about, all of the above. I also enjoy looking nice and putting out looks that I was inspired by, as I do love fashion. I choose to be bigger than what I’ve dealt with and to do the things that make me feel good. I choose to be one with myself, with my body. I choose to care of my temple and treat it with the respect and dignity that it deserves. Looking at what I’ve posted in the past gives me a positive gauge of where I used to be and where I am now and that growth is very exciting to me. Maybe it isn’t the conventional kind of growth you’re accustomed to, but it’s ok to get out of your comfort zone and experience new thoughts.
By allowing this level of vulnerability I’ve ran into some pretty sickening obstacles. I’ve received commentary attacking the way in which I carry myself (from women), I’ve gotten negative commentary on what I wear/post (from women), I have also received some of the most unwarranted, unsolicited opinions and suggestions of how I should live my life from people (mostly women) who I have never exchanged a simple hello with. I love interacting with my supporters but I will not engage in negative talk and comments, being challenged and bringing up controversial topics is good, it's what I want. However, there is a fine line between negativity and controversy.
In times like these, especially because these “times” are more than common I’d expect women, mothers, aunts and daughters to take a moment and really think about what it is that would make us ever want to question a sister or what would make us feel the need to bash. This is a time when we need to band together. A time when we need each other most. No matter how you might feel personally about someone, knowing that they went through traumatic experiences should cultivate a level of care, love, and support. Not judgment and mass loads of critique. Enough is enough! It is time to take a stance to promote and share more love. In this world we already deal with enough hatred and negativity on the daily. I for one will not be a part of the problem, I encourage you to be proactive in sharing and spreading more love. Love is the stem of healing and progression.
-Cyrene Lovette <3