I know at least three women who have, in the past, been branded “easy” or worse, “slutty” because of either their sexy way of dress or aggressive dating habits (or a quick turnover of dates, for that matter).
Never judge: The "Samantha" you know may be more like Charlotte.
But surprise, surprise: These women, at the time these labels were slapped on, were actually VIRGINS, and the first men they've incidentally bedded were either their longtime boyfriends, and/or the men who became their husbands. And all of them have been nothing but faithful. Shocked? It gets even better: The so-called "sluts" are now hardworking career women and mothers living successful married lives. Though their reputation may have preceded them in the past, (someone I knew in college was notorious for getting down and dirty with her boyfriend in the parking lot) they're now cruising life in the fast and fabulous lane. Talk about having the last laugh.
The moral of the story here is, don't judge...at all. Whether it's the touchy-feely class flirt or the girl who loves a plunging neckline at work, resist the urge to propagate nasty rumors. It's a total waste of time.
Sometimes I wonder if I'd ever been labeled something horrible. After all, I did work in Cosmo and met gorgeous models. (One time, my cousin’s husband totally freaked and thought I was at a seedy nightclub when he saw me on TV at a Bachelor Bash! I had to explain that it was, um, work.) But I guess when it comes to these things, the recipient of a shameful moniker can never really find out the full extent of her reputation. I’d like to think I've kept a good one throughout the years, but again, I’ll never know, right?
What I do know is that in those years I spent being single and meeting different kinds of guys, my dates all ended with dessert of the wholesome kind and me driving myself home—alone. I think that was the ironic side of having my own space early on; I became more discerning (bordering on paranoid—my apartment was tiny yet you needed to go through two locked doors to get to my bedroom door) of the people I invited over.
I once did bring a dreadful lawyer home who kept insulting my place for being a fire hazard and for not having air-conditioning at the time. Like fungi, he didn’t stay—in my home and in my life—for very long.
I love how my friend, Frances, takes it all in stride when it comes to pointless tittle-tattle:
“Gossip is evil and you truly cannot do anything about it. If you protest, it will fuel it. And they'll never believe you anyway.”
She adds, “If all the gossip I heard about me were true, I'd have lost my virginity to 30 boys at varying times, been many times pregnant, had them all aborted, stole at least 50 boyfriends, and have had tons of bastards, too. Incredible. My life is such an open book…And yet, nasty false rumors like those surface again and again.”
“[On another note,] only very important people get gossiped about. It's dumb consolation but it's true.”
Mariel Chua is the former beauty editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine Philippines. Visit her personal blog at nyminutenow.com.