Why I Am A Slut: Of Reclaiming Power Through A Bold Tattoo - Homegrown

Why I Am A Slut: Of Reclaiming Power Through A Bold Tattoo

Why is thy lord so sluttish, I thee pray,

And is of power better clothes to bey.”

What had started off as a word used by Chaucer in the 1300s to mean ‘untidy’ when he had referred to a sloppy male character as “sluttish” in The Canterbury Tales, was soon reclaimed by men in the following century to refer to dirty (unclean) women. Sexual connotations were not left behind for too long. In present times, the word ‘slut’ is used for the sexual scapegoating of girls and women, possibly in attempts towards establishing and re-establishing the already annihilated, perhaps even non-existent and only artificial, codes of moral conduct for females. It’s not difficult to deduce that this kind of abuse is associated with the need to assert power.

Canadian fashion stylist and creative Simryn Thind asks, “Being promiscuous was actually celebrated in the male community, so why if women like having sex and choose to have it safely, why are they always shamed for it? Why isn’t it celebrated when a woman makes her own sexual choices?”

At the cusp of yet another phase of the feminist revolution in 2020, we say that it’s time to reclaim that power. When words like ‘slut’ are hurled out, they draw power from a feeling of humiliation, and that’s exactly what we need to take away and reclaim.

Simryn, who, upon discovering the power of reclamation, decided to get “SLUT” tattooed on her inner lip says, “We cannot censor obscene language that people may use or expect sexism to be put to an end. Instead, we should reclaim the word slut, be proud of what it means (and get it tattooed on our bodies!). We need to remove the negative power associated with it. Having sex is natural and having more than one partner in life is common in the new world we live in. I also believe the word is genderless. Putting a humorous spin on the word and owning our sexuality will take the power away from men who try to use it against us. I feel like it’s my responsibility to be a part of societal change to make the world a more inclusive and non-discriminatory place. This is just a small thing we can all do to accomplish this.”

In 2014, The Atlantic declared that there was no such thing as a ‘slut’. Come 2015, Leora Tanenbaum, who, 15 years ago, had written a book on growing up as a female with a bad reputation, overturned her argument to say that ‘slut’ could not really be used to reclaim power.

Cut to 2020, here’s Simryn Thind talking about how, tattooed on her inner lip, the word has transformed into a bold sentiment of power for her.

Here’s Simryn in her own words.

“I am Simryn Thind and I have the word “SLUT” tattooed on my inner lip. And no, I didn’t lose a bet, I am actually proud of this tattoo. It is my bold way of conveying a message that I think our society needs to hear. And I believe, just as Homegrown says, that we “cannot be confined or defined,” especially if what we stand for can be used for a larger purpose.

I have always expressed myself in unconventional ways and I like to be slightly controversial to start a stir. Being a fashion stylist, I like to have fun with the way I dress or direct a shoot. I always try to make sure the work I publish has some sort of deeper meaning whether it is to empower women or educate people about mental health etc. Sometimes I make people uncomfortable by being so blunt, but I think any reaction is better than no reaction at all. My rebellion to the status quo has influenced my approach to styling and my style is the essence of my self-expression. I am the black sheep.

I have over 30 tattoos and they have become a part of my identity. It is my favourite form of self-expression and it says so much about who you are without having to say anything. I get them wherever I travel so that my body is a map of where I have been and the experiences I’ve had. Two years ago I decided to pose in my underwear in the back room of a tattoo shop where the artist took photos of me. He then traced this photo and tattooed my nude portrait on my upper arm, which I am very proud of. I wanted to take a stand against body shaming and embrace my unique beauty because we are all beautiful in our own ways. That being said, I also like to have fun with my tattoos and try not to take them too seriously. I’ve definitely gotten a few when I’ve had one too many drinks; one of them from a shady dude on the beach in Bali. I even have lips on my ass insinuating “kiss my ass” to all the haters (or maybe that was solely for an ex-boyfriend).

However, my “SLUT” tattoo has a deeper meaning. One night out at the bar in West Hollywood with all my gay friends, we were calling each other sluts and hoes like we always do. However, in my circles, this is a compliment. I never feel judged about my sex life when I am around these men and when I used to think I was a slut, I actually realized how “vanilla” I may be. I can always be myself around my group of friends. We love our sexual freedom and as long as we are safe and it is consensual, we are generally proud of having sex. It is never looked at as a bad thing when we have sex, call each other whores, dress scandalously or “walk of shame” it home from a one night stand. After a few margaritas, I said I was going to get “SLUT” tattooed on my inner lip and everyone dared me to, thinking I would never go through with it. Well, I did it!

Being a woman, I have been called many names. Hoe, whore, hooker, skank and especially SLUT, are just a few of them. We have all been called names, whether it is behind our backs or to our faces, especially when we are not in fear of expressing ourselves. Recently people on social media have slut-shamed me and although it may not bother me directly, it bothers me that this is part of a larger problem that attacks women.

Although some think I am insane for getting this tattoo, it also carries a message. My goal is to take the negative power away from this word that is so often used to shame women who embrace their sexuality. Women must have an equal voice and not be stigmatized for doing the same thing that men are praised for. This double standard is increasingly becoming a problem in our society and directly discriminates against women. I believe it is my responsibility to take a stand against sexism and derogatory labelling to promote gender equality and sexual freedom.

Because of this tattoo, I have been inspired to start my own genderless clothing line, SLXT MERCH, that promotes the cause by empowering women and the LGBTQ+ community. It will promote sexual freedom and gender equality as well as shedding a positive light and putting a humorous spin on derogatory labelling. Basically, it will remove the negative connotation of the word and have sexually suggestive quotes, imagery and words on luxury street wear pieces and lingerie.

Although I am still in the early stages of creating SLXT MERCH, I can’t wait to introduce it next year. I am so lucky to have people around me that are very supportive and never judge me for my choices. This is why I finally feel confident enough to start this. Although my family has always supported me, it took me a while to find friends and a boyfriend who I could fully be myself around. But I know not everyone is so lucky to be able to express themselves or discuss issues with the people around them.

If even one woman reads this and feels better about the time they may have been attacked for freely expressing themselves, I will have done my job. And girls, self-expression is one way we can tackle this issue, so be yourself! Do what makes you happy whether it is dying your hair pink, piercing your nipple or hooking up with a guy you just met at the bar (as long as you’re safe)! Be yourself, be fearless and slut it up!

Please feel free to reach out to me, even if you just need someone to talk to!”

Simryn Thind is a Canadian fashion stylist, creative director and model. Combined with her love to travel and to experience different cultures, her passion to create has brought her into this line of work. She has travelled to 26 countries and lived in Canada, USA and India. Simryn’s confidence and rebellious approach to styling have led to her being published all over the world. She has been featured in magazines like VICE India, Brown Girl Mag, USA, and En Vie, Japan. In her own words, she is proud of who she is and hates the thought of conforming to social norms. With over 30 tattoos, her body has become a map of her journey and the places she has been. Her open outlook on life has inspired her to help others embrace their true selves.

Reach Simryn out via Instagram at @sim_thind & @simthindstyle & @slxtmerch.

If you enjoyed this article we suggest you read:

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