The shame of it all

“Shaming is a form of social control. It occurs when a person violates the norms of the community, and other people respond by publicly criticizing, avoiding, or ostracizing her”.

Shame has pushed me to keep secrets I shouldn’t have. Still today, there are certain things that I’ve done that I feel shame for. I don’t necessarily regret them, but I do feel ashamed for what was my part in those decisions (I’m pretty sure this sentence doesn’t make sense…). But as I get older, I’ve also noticed that my definition of shame has changed. In my mind, no one feels ashamed until someone makes them feel that way. With every fucking stupid and idiotic stunt I’ve pulled, shame is often the least of my worries. I’m far more concerned about making it home in one piece and without a police escort (not anymore). Some would say that we are currently living in a world where shame is virtually gone. And those “some”, would be the godly people. With social media now being used as a platform to launch anything and everything (don’t think that the irony isn’t lost on me…), you too can be famous by leaking a sex tape or making a YouTube channel displaying your various skills.

So the godly people are saying that no one feels ashamed anymore, and that’s because we’ve become a godless society, surrounded by misery and blah blah blah. But who decides what’s shameful and what’s not? I mean, I could feel ashamed for sleeping over 300 hundred men but the next girl could feel ashamed for sleeping with just 2 guys her whole life.. If we feel ashamed about different things because (oh my fucking god, wait for it!) we are inherently different, then doesn’t it make the concept of shame itself obsolete? Shame is only motivated by the concept that we must all collectively share the same belief as to what is prideful and what is shameful. Correct me if I’m wrong, but last I check sluts were still being shamed and so are virgins, fat people, poor people, skinny people and I could go on and on. Pretty much our entire existence is shameful if I keep going. So I vote in favor of casting that word aside all together. The greatest thing that we can be is anything, even ourselves if we wanted to…

 

*Illustration by Brad Amorosino

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