Ever since high school, I’ve been called a slut. All the boys were attracted to me—that wasn’t my fault! Then, when I started getting famous, the shaming got even worse. All these messed up stories came out about me, and I was like, “That’s not true! I’m not that kind of girl!” But even things I had done—things a man would never be judged for—got me lots of hate.
After my ex-husband Wiz Khalifa and I got a divorce, I’d go out for a date at a restaurant like any normal single human and people would say, “Man, she’s such a ho. She’s out at restaurants with guys.” Then they would see my ex-husband with a bunch of women. They would say, “He’s the man! That’s so cool.” So when I went on a date, I’m a whore, and when he’s piling girls in a car, he’s the man? There’s something wrong here.
It wasn’t just men saying these types of things. There were a lot of women saying hateful things to me. I was getting torn down constantly. But in the past year, I’ve just started not caring.
People would actually say things like, “Who would ever love you? You were a stripper. Why are you in relationships?” And I used to feel like I had to explain that maybe it was because I’m a good person.
But I realized that I can’t make everyone believe. And I can’t talk to everyone and tell them who I really am. They’re still going to have their own opinions. If you know me, you love me. If you don’t know me, you might love me, but you might not—and that’s cool. And you know what? Now I sleep like a baby at night.
It wasn’t even that hard to stop caring what other people thought. I wasn’t married, and I didn’t have a boyfriend so I didn’t have to care about anyone else’s feelings or protect anyone’s heart. I thought, “This is my life. This is about me. If you don’t like it, I don’t care. I’m going to do anything and everything I want with my own life.”
What I’ve realized is that, when you care too much, you’re not living at your full potential. When you really stop caring about what people say, that’s when you really start living. It’s such an amazing feeling. It’s about loving who you are, owning who you are and knowing that it’s O.K. to live your life how you want to live it. We’re all human, which means we’re not all perfect. It’s so cool to think that I might help women think about who they want to be and then encourage them to be that person with no remorse. I want to help women just be happy in their own skin.
So please: Before you judge someone—especially another woman—put yourself in her shoes and also look at your past. That’s what a lot of women fail to do. They’re so quick to call another girl names, but it’s like: You know what? There may have been a time where you looked back and said, “I probably shouldn’t have done that.” Does that make you a ho? No, it makes you a human.
Amber Rose is a model and the author of How to Be a Bad Bitch.
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